Chevrolet has introduced the diesel version (earlier post) of its 2016 Colorado midsize pickup truck. (Colorado is the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Cars.com’s Best Pickup Truck of 2015.) With 369 lb-ft of torque (500 N·m) generated by the all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel, the Colorado’s maximum trailering capacity rises to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) on 2WD models, with estimated fuel economy projected by GM to top the already segment-leading efficiency of the gas models (27 mpg (8.7 l/100 km) highway with 2.5L gasoline engine and automatic transmission).
It is also the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors. The new Colorado diesel goes on sales this fall, offered in LT and Z71 Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD. It is priced $3,730 more than a comparably equipped 3.6L V-6 model.
Colorado’s new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel is part of GM’s global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines, and features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.
Power is SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 N·m) at 2,000 rpm. A broad torque band makes it very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides immediate and smooth horsepower on demand.
It is a no-compromise turbocharged engine that is also really fun to drive, with excellent responsiveness. It was also designed specifically for trucks and has undergone many of the same validation tests as the 6.6L Duramax, contributing to legendary Duramax durability and reliability.—Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer
Additional engine features:
- Iron cylinder block and aluminum DOHC cylinder head
- Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
- Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery
- Piston-cooling oil jets
- 16.5:1 compression ratio
- Common rail direct injection fuel system
- Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures
- Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump
- Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness
- B20 bio-diesel capability.
The Duramax 2.8L is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
The cooled EGR contributes to lower emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates, improving emissions performance by reducing the formation of NOx.
To control vibration and noise inside Colorado, engineers integrated a Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter used with the standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission. It marks the first application of a CPVA in a GM vehicle and the first time it has been used in the midsize truck segment.
The CPVA is an absorbing damper with a set of secondary spring masses, that—when energized—cancels out the engine’s torsional vibrations so the driver and passengers can’t feel them. In its unique design, the spring masses vibrate in the opposite direction of the torsional vibrations of the engine, balancing out undesirable torsional vibrations.
The Colorado’s integrated, driver-selectable exhaust brake system is based on the system introduced on the 2015 Silverado HD models and uses the compression power of the 2.8L Duramax engine to improve vehicle control and reduce brake pad wear.
When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, exhaust cruise grade braking will help the cruise control system maintain the desired vehicle speed when travelling downhill, keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes and exit cruise control to maintain speed.
When the exhaust brake is engaged in non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load. It is a smart system that varies the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The engagement of the system is smooth and quiet, while its performance enhances the driver’s feeling of control.
Features included with or exclusive to Colorado diesel models:
- The Z82 trailering package is standard and includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector
- An all-new integrated trailer brake controller is standard and exclusive on diesel models
- The G80 automatic locking rear differential is standard
- A 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard
- A new, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case is included on 4WD models Maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) for 2WD models and 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg) for 4WD
- GVWRs of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) for 2WD and 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) for 4WD.
Colorado offers segment-exclusive features such as Chevy MyLink with phone integration technology—and compatibility with Apple CarPlay—OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.
Chevrolet sold 41,575 Colorado trucks in the first six months of 2015, expanding the midsize truck market and driving new truck customers to Chevrolet—particularly in areas such as California and Texas, which have traditionally been hotspots for import brands.