Chevrolet’s next-generation 2019 Silverado will be available with a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder, making it the first full-size pickup truck to “go there.”
Displacing the same volume as Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, Chevrolet’s all-new motor ditches two cylinders, though it ditches even more under light loads, thanks to General Motors’ Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) system.
It’s a good thing GM shaved a good deal of weight off the new truck.
While “four-cylinder” bring to mind the wimpy four-bangers of yesteryear, the automaker claims its newest motor is anything but. Regardless, it went to great pains to avoid any mention of “four-cylinder.” The all-aluminum, long-stroke four generates 310 horsepower — 25 hp more than the base 4.3-liter V6 (which is still available in stripped-down work versions of the 2019 Silverado).
Torque, all 348 lb-ft of it, comes online at 1,500 rpm. That’s 43 more lb-ft than the 4.3-liter. A charge-air cooler helps the Silverado’s low-end grunt by feeding colder, denser air to the combustion chambers.
GM claims a 0-60 time of 7 seconds, with the 2.7 turbo falling in line with the payload and towing specs of the entry-level Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, each of which carries six cylinders under the hood. Ford’s new 3.3-liter V6 generates 290 hp and 265 lb-ft, while the 3.6-liter Pentastar found in the Ram makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft.
The automaker also claims greater fuel economy than either of its rivals, though it didn’t provide any MPG figures. A 2018 F-150 with the 3.3-liter engine and six-speed automatic returns as much as 25 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined. The only transmission available with GM’s 2.7 turbo is an eight-speed automatic.
With direct injection and turbocharging raising pressures, GM outfitted the engine with an offset, forged steel crankshaft and iron piston ring groove inserts for durability. Boosted efficiency comes by way of an electro-mechanical variable camshaft (allowing high- and low-lift valve profiles), a dual-volute turbocharger (two gas inlets, two nozzles), integrated exhaust manifold for faster warm-ups, and a parasitic drag-reducing electric water pump. Engine stop/start and cylinder deactivation completes the package.
Compared to a base 2018 model, GM says the 2019 2.7-liter Silverado comes in 380 pounds lighter.
Buyers of 2019 Silverados in Work Truck (WT), Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims can still get their hands on the 4.3-liter engine, or choose to swap it for a 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management. The 2.7-liter appears as the standard offering in high-volume LT and RST trims. While those trims also get an available 5.3-liter, the automaker’s new 3.0-liter inline-six diesel shows up in early 2019 with a 10-speed automatic in tow.
The diesel is also available on high-zoot LTZ and High Country trims.
[Images: General Motors]