New Vitz Rockets Off Showroom Floors
DaimlerChrysler Emphasizes Synthetic Diesel BioFuel Commitment

GM Offers Diesel Option for Full-Size Vans


GM is now offering a diesel engine option for its 2006 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans (8–12 passengers).

The latest version of the 6.6-liter V-8 Duramax turbodiesel delivers 250 horsepower (186 kw) and a robust 460 lb-ft (624 Nm) of torque. It is mated with GM’s Hydra-Matic 4L85-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, which is specially tuned for diesel-engine compatibility.

Preliminary testing shows combined EPA fuel economy of 20.2 mpg US (11.6 l/100km)—a 35% improvement over the 15 mpg of the gasoline-fueled 5.3-liter versions.  GM also explicitly notes that the Duramax is compatible with biodiesel.

The 2006 version of the Duramax engine features a strengthened iron cylinder block and revised piston design which reduces the compression ratio (to 16.8:1 from 17.5:1). The lower compression reduces the “clattering” sound of the engine at idle, while also helping to improve overall smoothness during driving. The lower compression also helps reduce NOx emissions.

A revised variable-geometry turbocharger also enhances performance and emissions control.

A new, 32-bit engine controller monitors and adjusts the engine’s operation. Designed exclusively for the Duramax diesel engine, the controller helps the injectors precisely meter fuel to the cylinders and can compensate for the variability of the injectors and fuel flow. The more powerful controller also can support up to five injections per cylinder and eliminates the need for an engine-mounted drive unit to fire the fuel injectors.

And yes, this is available for the US.


John Norris

Cool that they mention biodiesel. I wonder how that effects emissions? Maybe diesel engine + particulate trap + biodiesel = SULEV. Anyone know?

-- John

John Norris

SULEV diesel: some of my questions are answered by the adjacent posting on DaimlerChrysler and SunDiesel. 50% PM reduction is great - but from what to what?

-- John


It’s relative—depends on with what you’re starting, although most of the comparisons I’ve seen are against conventional EU diesel. Generally, whatever diesel you start with gets improved emissions via BTL (or GTL).

When DaimlerChrsyler and Volkswagen announced their partnership with Choren on SunDiesel in Oct 2003, the companies noted that:

The results of initial studies show that the many Euro-3 diesel vehicles can already fulfil the Euro 4 emissions standard with no technical modifications when run on SunDiesel. This shows the enormous potential of this synthetic fuel to reduce hydrocarbon (HC), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particle emissions and its major contribution to protecting the environment and the climate.

Because one can fine-tune the characteristics of the synthetic fuel in conjunction with optimizing the engine, the results should be able to be improved.


Its about time a diesel van I can put in my garage and its cheaper than anything else I have looked at. B100 is all its going to get.
Pete M
The Great White North (Canada)

Waguih Guindy

We are a Travel Agency located in Cairo / Egypt. WE are interested in purchasing 20 Savana Vans 1500 Diesel Engine for our operations.

Please advise by return all details concerning features & all vehicle specification.

Kindly consider this as an urgent matter.


Waguih GUINDY (Mr.)
Managing Director
Escale Travel Service

Cellular: +20 10 126 1116

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)