Automotive manufacturing history includes two brutal horsepower wars. The first involved gasoline engines and started when the GI's returned home from WWII. It ended with the 1973 oil crisis. This oil embargo gave birth to the next slow-starting and fierce-ending feud, which we are all veterans of-the diesel horsepower wars. Notice how power levels have recently leveled off? It's because in 2010, manufacturers need to address what's coming out the tailpipe just as much as they have to worry about what numbers the engine makes. Since we're optimistic and believe the past is a guide, we predict we'll see the emissions restrictions turn into a catalyst for better performing diesel engines. Fortunately for us, a world without problems is a very boring place for engineers.
The '11 Silverado and Sierra will see a larger opening in the front bumper. This modificat
The LML Duramax
The '11 diesel pickups built by GM will use the same basic 6.6L engine GM has been using for the last decade. This signifies the original Duramax engine's design was a good foundation-one the engineers didn't need to totally change as we predicted with the 6.9L UMAX ("Detroit Spy Report," April '07). Still, stricter future emissions requirements are putting more pressure on the industry to improve the cleanliness of diesel exhaust without giving up power. The rest of this article highlights the new features on the '11 Duramax trucks that enable squeaky-clean diesel. Only the future knows for sure whether the new emissions pressure will crush the diesel market into a cube- or a diamond.
* Coming down the pipe for the '11 Silverado and Sierra should be larger-diameter brakes. We expect 13- to 14-inch rotors.
* The torsion bar front suspension has been retained but features more load capacity.
* 1480 U-joints will be used to handle increased cargo andtowing capacities.
* The AAM 11 1/2-inch ring gear rear axle will be carried over.
* The body and interior stayed the same, but the chassis has been redesigned in order to increase the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
* The '11 Duramax traded its slower solenoid injectors for quicker opening and closing piezo units. The common-rail fuel system sprays diesel up to 29,000 psi inside the combustion chamber.