Duramax I-4 Starts Production in Thailand, Headed For U.S. Colorado & Canyon
Details are still sparse on the engine’s output specs and fuel economy ratings, but GM estimates the engine will be fine-tuned to produce 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy should be respectable, with its highway average hovering in the mid 30’s mpg. The Duramax is also expected to help increase the Colorado and Canyon’s towing capacity past its current 7,000-pound maximum.
The baby Duramax, as it’s been lovingly coined by industry analysts, uses a water-cooled, variable-geometry turbocharger and a high-pressure, common-rail fuel system pushing diesel at 29,000 psi. Also in the mix is a balance shaft that counter-rotates to quell vibrations.
The 2.8-liter I-4 is designed to pass all Euro-4 emissions regulations and can be upgraded to pass Euro-5 and Euro-6 regulations if GM were to make the Duramax available in Europe.
The engine will be shipped to North America and will enter production trucks beginning in the third quarter of 2015, with sales of the diesel-equipped Colorado and Canyon starting in sometime in the fourth quarter. Once at dealers, General Motors is sure to sell a handsome number of Duramax-equipped trucks, thanks to their outstanding capabilities and expected fuel economy. There is still no word on what GM will charge to upgrade from the 3.6-liter V-6 to the baby Duramax.
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Why it matters
The 2.8-liter Duramax is a highly anticipated addition to GM’s mid-size truck category that has been pined for since the Colorado and Canyon twins were introduced in 2014. The torque-rich engine will be a great choice for owners who often tow trailers or haul cargo, or those whose commutes include long highway jaunts but also need the capability of a truck.
While its sad GM isn’t producing this engine in the U.S., the global-focused automaker already has the infrastructure in place to handle the job. What’s more, having Thailand’s existing plant construct the engine keeps costs down by eliminating the need to build additional manufacturing facilities in North America, though it would help stimulate the economy by creating jobs.
All that aside, it will be great to finally have the 2.8-liter Duramax inside the GM mid-sized twins.
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