• The 2019 Silverado’s 3.0-Liter Duramax Is Chevy’s First I-6 Turbodiesel

Also the first I-6 since Chevy killed the Trailblazer in 2009.

Chevrolet is breaking the status quo with its all-new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel. Announce in conjunction with the new 2019 Silverado 1500, this light-duty turbodiesel marks a few big milestones for the automaker. It breaks convention by avoiding the familiar V-6 design used by both Ford and Ram’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesels.

First, the 3.0-liter I-6 Duramax is the first straight-six diesel engine Chevy has ever made, and second, it’s the first inline-six produced since the Chevy Trailblazer and its 4.2-liter Atlas I-6 ended production during the 2009 model year.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Turbodiesel – Driven Drivetrain
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Note: Chevrolet Equinox’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine pictured here.

The 3.0-liter I-6 Duramax is the first straight-six diesel engine Chevy has ever made

Though Chevy has a long history with diesel and turbodiesel engines, they have all been I-4, V-6, and V-8 configurations. Currently, Chevy makes both I-4 and V-8 styles. They include the 1.6-liter I-4 found in the Cruze and Equinox, the 2.8-liter I-4 Duramax in the Colorado, and the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 used in the Silverado HDs. The list of V-6 turbodiesel is much shorter, containing only the Oldsmobile’s 4.3-liter V-6 built from 1982 through 1985.

As for the Chevy Trailblazer’s 4.2-liter inline-six gasoline engine, it met an untimely demise thanks to the downturn in the economy, the Trailblazer’s age, the ease of manufacturing the 4.3-liter V-6 next to the 5.3-liter V-8, and the rise in popularity of front-wheel-drive crossovers. The 4.2-liter Atlas was simply too long for transversely mounting between the front wheels of a crossover SUV. While it would have made a great engine in the Silverado 1500, the Atlas would have proved too costly in replacing the 4.3-liter V-6. See, the V-6 was basically a 5.3-liter V-8 with two cylinders missing. That meant it was the same width and shared the same engine mounts as the V-8. The similarities also made engine production much easier for Chevy.

Read our in-depth look at the 4.2-liter Atlas inline-six.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Diesel High Resolution Drivetrain
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Note: Colorado’s 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder diesel engine pictured here.

The new Duramax will have to compete with Ram’s updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and Ford’s all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6.

As for Chevrolet’s all-new 3.0-liter Inline-six Duramax, its displacement, cylinder arrangement, and fuel are all we know. Power, fuel economy, and option cost have not been announced. Still, that won’t stop us from speculating. The new Duramax will have to compete with Ram’s updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and Ford’s all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6.

Ram’s revised EcoDiesel will make 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The Ford’s Power Stroke will produce 250 horses and 440 pound-feet of torque. Chevy is undoubtedly targeting these performance figures. Since the last automaker to debut will generally one-up the competition, Chevy’s turbodiesel could potentially make more than 260 horses and 442 pound-feet. However, Chevy could be targeting fuel economy rather than power, in which case, we might see Chevy’s specs fall around the F-150’s.

And while horsepower and torque are important, the real winner will be the first truck to achieve greater than 30 mpg on the highway without some outlandish fuel economy-oriented trim package.


Chevrolet Silverado

2019 Chevrolet Silverado Interior Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Exterior
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0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview

2016 Chevrolet Silverado
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Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.

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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

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 full bio
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