GM Cancels Upcoming Advanced Gasoline V-8 Engine; New 4.5L V-8 Diesel Still a Go
04 January 2008
GM is canceling the planned production of an advanced DOHC V-8 gasoline engine due to go into production in 2009 that it would have applied to luxury vehicles—cars or trucks.
The company announced last year that it planned to invest $300 million into the Tonawanda plant in New York for renovation to part of the plant, new machinery and tooling to support production of the new gasoline V-8.
The planned production of a new 4.5L V-8 Duramax turbo-diesel, also slated for Tonawanda in 2009, is still a go. (Earlier post.) The new diesel improves engine fuel efficiency by 25% compared to gasoline engines, reduces CO2 emissions by 13% and cuts particulates and NOx emissions by at least 90% compared to comparable diesels today, according to GM. The engine will be rated in excess of 310 hp (231 kW) and 520 lb-ft (705 Nm) of torque.
This will be GM’s first engine to use a selective catalytic reduction NOx aftertreatment system with a diesel particulate filter to help achieve the Tier 2 Bin 5 and California LEV 2 emissions standards. The engine will be applied in pickup trucks of less than 8,600 lbs (3,900 kg) GVW and the HUMMER H2 after 2009.
GM will invest $100 million in the Tonawanda plant to support production of the new diesel V-8.
The GM Powertrain Tonawanda engine plant currently produces the 4-cylinder, Ecotec 2.2-liter engines for the Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR and Malibu and the Saturn Ion; High Value, V-6 3.5- and 3.9-liter engines for the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, and the Pontiac G6; Inline 4- and 5-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and the Hummer H3; Vortec 8100 8.1-liter engines for the Chevrolet Kodiak, GMC TopKick and sold outside GM for various marine applications.
Interesting- the new 4.5 diesel will apparently outperform their existing 5.3 gas V8s and, given the torque advantage, at least give the 6.0 gas V8 a run for its money. When they first announced a 4.5 diesel for the light duty trucks I was impressed at how "small" the displacement seemed, but with that output it seems like they should have aimed for the new diesel to be around 3.5 or 4 liters.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and they must have picked this displacement years ago given the lag between product planning and production. At least they are will be getting so much output from this diesel that nobody will be able to argue for buying the gas engine for reasons of performance.
I wonder if their light duty truck transmissions can even handle 520 lb/ft of torque?! That's far beyond what's been run through them thus far (AFAIK the gas 6.0, at 370 lb/ft, is as far as they have gone). They may have to use a heavy duty transmission in a light duty truck for this to work.
Posted by: Wes | 04 January 2008 at 09:26 AM
OK, apparently the new 6-speed automatic they've been using in light duty applications has model designations up to 6L90E now. In GM transmission model numbers, the third and fourth digits correspond loosely to GVWR and torque capacity. I don't know the exact rating but have found notes online that suggest that the torque capacity of the older 4L85E was rated to 460 lb-ft of torque. That implies that the 6L90E could be suitable and intended for this use, and it's already in use in the Escalade and Denali.
Posted by: Wes | 04 January 2008 at 09:40 AM
Ditto, this engine is still enormously powerful, and more than pickups and large SUVs "needed" until recently. I drive a large SUV and like it, but everything I do could be handled by an ICE half the size of what it has, provided there was a 6 or 7 speed auto transmission and a few other sensible changes possible with existing and affordable technology. Hopefully GM can create a V6 diesel from this design which would have more reasonable power and torque output for real driving and economy. (This would not be unprecedented since GM has had more than 20 years use out of their 4.3L Vortec gas V6 that was derived from 6 cylinders of their small block V8 design.) Even large vehicles can be propelled well by 150hp, as shown by the Sprinter van.
Posted by: Zach | 04 January 2008 at 10:01 AM
GM has a new 2.9L V6 turbodiesel with up to 250 hp and 400 ft/lbs in some European models right now, and I'm sure they are examining the idea of bringing it to North America very closely.
Posted by: DC | 04 January 2008 at 11:18 AM
Diesel outpowers gas? Duhhhh .... the Diesel has a turbo.
For a real comparison, compare both turbocharged and DI.
Posted by: steve white | 04 January 2008 at 11:47 AM
The first effects of the new CAFÉ regulations result in the killing of an advanced Gasoline V-8. Not surprising, I would guess.
The new 4.5 diesel fills the line for diesel power plants for all their big SUVs and Big pickups. If they bring in the 2.9 TDI from Europe that would cover the intermediate and large sedan diesel requirement.
The European diesel may not be T2 Bin 5 complaint since the EU won't need such tough standards until well into the 2020s, despite EU Green bleating to the contrary.
Posted by: Stan Peterson | 04 January 2008 at 01:15 PM
Don't get too excited on CAFE killing an extraneous V8. GM has their Aussie wonks at Holden working on bodging 2 V6's together to make a V12 for future high-end Caddies.
"Cadillac will return to Australian shores, nearly forty years after ending local sales. The first cars will hit Aussie showrooms late next year and will be limited to the CTS range. The announcement was made by Holden chairman and managing director Chris Gubbey at a media event today.
The first model will be the 304hp (227kW) 3.6L V6 petrol version but a 2.9L turbodiesel V6 powered car is expected to follow in 2009. All cars will come standard with a six-speed auto. The only mechanical options will be two different sports suspension packages.
The big news is that engineers in Australia are working on a new V12 engine destined for an all-new Cadillac flagship. According to Drive, the new car will be based on the long wheelbase Holden Statesman sedan but will get its own unique body plus a V12 powertrain.
According to GM’s Bob Lutz, development work is ‘‘well under way’’ in Australia. The new V12 engine is essentially two GM 3.6L V6 engines mated together with a single crankshaft. Inside sources have revealed that the engine’s output will be roughly double that of a single V6, so expect to see around 523hp (390kW) and 680Nm (500lb-ft) of torque from its 7.2L of displacement.
The new model will be targeted at cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS range, and will include crash avoidance and safety technologies as well as direct injection and cylinder deactivation features."
Posted by: rob | 04 January 2008 at 06:48 PM
1. Their old 4 speed transmissions can easily handle 520 lb/ft, it depends on how the unit is configured. The 4L8x descend from the Turbo 400 series, which were originally designed for 500 lb/ft and more.
2. Diesels do not suffer the pumping losses of gas engines and there is relatively little penalty for increases in displacement. One engine must fill a variety of roles; for whatever reason mfrs cannot afford to offer 3 or 4 diesel options in a particular vehicle. Too small and it operates at high pressures and higher rpm and will disappoint in more demanding roles. A little larger than needed and one loses a few % in efficiency - only a large fleet customer cares.
With the smaller work trucks (HD pickups) they offer 1 diesel with enough power for all needs - those diesels outsell the much cheaper gas engines in some lines b/c they are seen as a premium product which outperforms the gas alternative. They're more than needed to move the truck around and probably more than most people need, but it's a lot less stressful to drive with a little extra vs not enough.
I don't personally want a lumbering SUV as daily transport, but I'm in a minority. Everyone else expects one that drives as well or better than the station wagons they replace.
Posted by: Larry | 05 January 2008 at 11:50 PM
The 4.5 follows the natural evolution of our engines - more HP from less displacement. The 2.9 V-6 diesel s/h/b here last year. You can thank a tree hugger. I want a clean environment as much you do, maybe more.
But our national security is far more important.
What to do?
Drilling in,on, and off-shore in the USA, min. 10 new refineries (have a tree hugger on the design team), sell semi-compliant diesels now with coupon for retrofit package for Bin 2 Tier 5 compliance install later, reduce cash flow to those clearly working on our destruction. First politician to propose deficit spending without declaration of war is re-called and a new election takes place. No sales tax on any vehicle achieving over 40 mpg highway, 5% tax credit for purchase of any vehicle achieving 50 mpg. Tax incentive for hybrid diesel trucks that install 400 sf of solar panels on roof of trailers, increase allowable weight limit to allow for batteries without reducing cargo capacity. National campaign to view wind turbines as "art" and install in locations where THERE IS WIND, regardless if Ted Kennedy sails there. National "X" prize for development of environmentally friendly battery exceeding 150% of today's LiOn.
We are at the point where this is an emergency, right?
Instead of allowing the environmentalists to just put a choke hold on development of what we all need right now, why not get them involved in the design of new wells and refineries?
Now we can talk about engines, trucks, and cars....
Funny how the "new" small block diesel is about the same cubes as the 1st V-8 from GM 50 yrs ago. It's deja vu all over again. Good move to offer install in more than just trucks. If similar aftermarket to what's out there for the 6.6, there will be plenty of power and even better mpg available.
This could be a fabulous success for GM. If capacity allows, would like to see packages to retrofit into other/earlier vehicles - maybe some sort of tax incentive to make the investment.
We're a little late out of the gate, but at least going in the right direction, and not a moment too soon.
Posted by: Bob Hastings | 04 April 2008 at 06:50 AM