Chevrolet Takes Wraps Off The 2016 Colorado Duramax Diesel
It’s official: The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel takes GM’s new midsize pickup’s capability and efficiency to unprecedented levels.
With 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm) generated by its all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel, the Colorado’s maximum trailering capacity rises to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) on 2WD models, with estimated fuel economy projected to top the already segment-leading efficiency of the gas models.
It is also the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors.
“Simply put, there’s no other midsize truck that can do what Colorado can with its all-new Duramax diesel,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck Marketing. “Along with greater capability and efficiency, it expands the Colorado lineup to give customers more choices and the capability of exploring more possibilities on and off the road.”
The new Colorado diesel goes on sales this fall, offered in LT and Z71 Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD. It is priced $3,730 more than a comparably equipped 3.6L V-6 model.
Features included with or exclusive to Colorado diesel models:
- Smart diesel exhaust brake system that enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear on steep grades
- Standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission matched with a Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter, which reduces powertrain noise and vibration
- The Z82 trailering package is standard and includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector
- An all-new integrated trailer brake controller is standard and exclusive on diesel models
- The G80 automatic locking rear differential is standard
- A 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard
- A new, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case is included on 4WD models
- Maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) for 2WD models and 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg) for 4WD
- GVWRs of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) for 2WD and 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) for 4WD.
“A diesel engine was part of the Colorado’s portfolio plan from the very beginning, meaning the chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture were engineered to support its capability,” states Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer.
“That means there are no compromises with the Colorado diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control,” says Yackley.
Inside the new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel
Colorado’s new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.
Power is SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm) at 2,000 rpm. A broad torque band makes it very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides a confident feeling of immediate and smooth horsepower on demand.
“It is a no-compromise turbocharged engine that is also really fun to drive, with excellent responsiveness,” says Yackley. “It was also designed specifically for trucks and has undergone many of the same validation tests as the 6.6L Duramax, contributing to legendary Duramax durability and reliability.”
Additional engine features:
- Iron cylinder block and aluminum DOHC cylinder head
- Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
- Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery
- Piston-cooling oil jets
- 16.5:1 compression ratio
- Common rail direct injection fuel system
- Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures
- Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump
- Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness
- B20 bio-diesel capability.
The Duramax 2.8L is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors, and meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
The cooled EGR contributes to lower emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates, improving emissions performance by reducing the formation of NOx.
Controlling noise and vibration with the CPVA
To control vibration and noise inside Colorado, engineers integrated a device called the Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter used with the standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission. It marks the first application of a CPVA in a GM vehicle and the first time it has been used in the midsize truck segment.
The CPVA is an absorbing damper with a set of secondary spring masses, that — when energized — cancels out the engine’s torsional vibrations so the driver and passengers can’t feel them.
In its unique design, the spring masses vibrate in the opposite direction of the torsional vibrations of the engine, balancing out undesirable torsional vibrations.
Smart exhaust brake details
The Colorado’s integrated, driver-selectable exhaust brake system is based on the system introduced on the 2015 Silverado HD models and uses the compression power of the 2.8L Duramax engine to improve vehicle control and reduce brake pad wear.
When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, exhaust cruise grade braking will help the cruise control system maintain the desired vehicle speed when travelling downhill, keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes and exit cruise control to maintain speed.
When the exhaust brake is engaged in non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load.
It is a smart system that varies the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The engagement of the system is smooth and quiet, while its performance enhances the driver’s feeling of control.
Colorado at a glance
Colorado, the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Cars.com’s Best Pickup Truck of 2015, offers the most horsepower and best highway efficiency in the segment (27 mpg with 2.5L engine and automatic transmission), as well as the highest available trailering rating, for gas-powered models – 7,000 pounds (V-6 models when properly equipped) – and higher payload rating – 1,590 pounds (V-6 models when properly equipped).