Things on the other side of the Atlantic haven’t been as tense but Mercedes and Volkswagen have dropped diesel engines in the United States. General Motors isn’t following suit as the company has announced the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will be offered with a 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder turbo-diesel starting early next year.
They will join an assortment of other diesel-powered vehicles in GM’s lineup but there have been a few questions about the fate of several models following the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to Groupe PSA. GM currently buys a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine from PSA, for use in the Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox, but that might not be the case much longer.
According to Auto News Europe, GM kept its powertrain development center in Torino, Italy with the intention of using it to develop future diesel engines. The 3.0-liter Duramax is a sign of things to come as the report says it’s the first to be built using “GM’s new diesel engine architecture … that follows on from the modular Cylinder Set Strategy [CCS] first used in gasoline engines.”
That’s worth mentioning as GM Powertrain Torino boss, Pierpaolo Antonioli, confirmed the new range of diesel engines will include three- and four-cylinder units. Little is known about the upcoming engines but the report suggests they could be unveiled next year.
While diesel sales are still relatively limited in the United States, Antonioli said “We have an important strategy around diesel” and are working to increase sales in America. That could be an uphill battle but GM is hoping to attract former Volkswagen owners with its new diesel engines.