How GM missed the truck fuel economy race, and how it will return
The pickup truck fuel economy race is between Chrysler’s Ram 1500 and the upcoming aluminum-bodied F-150 coming late this year.
But the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra should’ve been contenders.
Six years ago, GM was installing production machinery in its Tonowanda, N.Y., engine plant to build an advanced, 4.5-liter Duramax diesel V-8 for the light duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
But then GM ran out of money. And the company’s bankruptcy killed that engine.
If that wasn’t bad enough for GM, the Ram 1500 likely would not own the fuel economy crown today -- at 28 mpg highway -- were it not for General Motors.
In 2006, GM announced that it was developing a 3.0-liter twin turbo diesel V-6 that would be launched in 2009 in the European version of the Cadllac CTS. But Cadillac failed in Europe, and the bankruptcy saw GM’s engine partner, VM Motori, finish that engine. Fiat now owns VM Motori, and that’s how, in effect, the Cadillac V-6 ended up under the hood of the Ram.
The success of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has Ford scrambling to boost the fuel economy of the upcoming aluminum-bodied F-150 coming late this year. Last week, details emerged in Ford’s dealer order guide for the truck showing there will be an SFE of Super Fuel Economy version of the F-150.
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