New Duramax already setting the bar

The heavily updated 6.6-liter Duramax has barely had its stats made public knowledge and Chevy is already setting records with it. Chevy set a Guinness World Record for the “world’s largest flag pulled by a moving vehicle” on the eve of the 2016 Texas State Fair. The American flag, measuring roughly 40 by 80 feet and with an area measuring 3,186 square feet, was pulled behind the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD using a custom-built rigging system.

Chevy only needed to pull the flag 328 feet without it touching the ground to set the record. The Silverado HD blew right past that distance, however, going a full four laps around the Texas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval track. The six-mile trek was hardly work for the new Duramax though. The updates for 2017 Duramax include a 19 percent boost in torque, giving the turbodiesel a full 910 pound-feet of torque. Horsepower is also up, rated at 445 horses. Those are impressive gains over the outgoing Duramax diesel.

Most of the Duramax’s stats have already been revealed, but Chevy used this event to release some limited performance data as well. The Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab with 4WD is said to hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds – a seven-tenths improvement over the time from a comparable 2016 Silverado 2500 HD. The sprint from 50 mph to 70 mph in a Silverado 2500 HD regular cab 4WD with a 10,000-pound trailer attached happens 1.5 seconds quicker than before, too, needing just 10.6 seconds to accelerate. Lastly, the Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD with dual rear wheels can ascend the Davis Dam grade 40 seconds quicker than before while towing 23,000 pounds, despite outside temperatures hovering at 110 degrees.

The American flag wasn’t the only flag used either. Chevy then strapped up a Texas state flag with the same 40 by 80-foot dimensions. A group of 20 people assisted in launching and retrieving the flags, ensuring neither touched the ground. Both the American flag and Texas state flag will be on display at the 2016 Texas State Fair until October 23.

The 2017 Silverado HDs will be hitting showrooms in the early months of 2017.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

This Guinness World Record is really just a statement of presence for Chevy’s newly overhauled 6.6-liter Duramax. The turbodiesel has been idling the in segment with no changes or updates for several years now. With the competition from Ford and Ram getting stronger, GM had to do something drastic. This move to improve the Duramax turbodiesel is certainly welcomed and very much needed.

We are still waiting to GM to announced payload and towing figures for the 2017 Silverado HD. We expect capacities in both areas will improve, however, until major frame and suspension updates are done, the Silverado HD will remain behind the Ram HD and Ford Super Duty.

Interestingly enough, Chevy almost makes an excuse for the Silverado HD’s lack of towing capacity. Near the bottom is the press release below, Chevy states, “For customers hauling cargo levels that require a commercial driver’s license, Chevrolet is expanding its line of commercial vehicles with two new offerings: a Low Cab Forward introduced for the 2016 calendar year, and an all-new conventional-cab, medium-duty truck developed with Navistar to be introduced in the future.”

So while Ram and Ford offer towing capacities surpassing 30,000 pounds, GM points customers to its commercial lineup that consists of a medium-duty cab-forward truck badge engineered from Isuzu and a future product to come from a partnership with Navistar.

Currently the 2016 Silverado 3500 HD can pull 23,200 pounds with properly equipped. The new 2017 Ford Super Duty F-450 can haul 32,500 pounds – nearly 10,000 pounds more than the Chevy. Even the F-350 can haul up to 32,000 pounds. Needless to say, General Motors has some catching up to do.

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado HD here.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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