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6 Shooter
03-11-09, 08:47 AM
Richard Truett
Automotive News
March 10, 2009 - 7:26 pm ET
UPDATED: 3/10/09 8:05 p.m. ET

DETROIT -- General Motors' deteriorating financial situation has caused the company to delay one of the most advanced engines that it has ever designed, a 4.5-liter diesel for light-duty trucks.

"We have to make tough decisions right now," said GM Powertrain spokeswoman Susan Garavaglia.

Truck enthusiasts were eagerly awaiting the engine, which would have started production next fall at GM's plant in Tonawanda, N.Y. The engine has unique cylinder heads that eliminate the intake and exhaust manifolds. Its lightweight block has advanced castings for the crankshaft-bearing journals and oil-circulation system.

GM had planned to install the engine in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The result would have been a fuel-efficient truck priced for less than the heavy duty diesel-powered trucks available now.

The move comes three weeks before a U.S. auto task force is set to determine whether the automaker deserves an additional $16.6 billion in federal aid. GM, kept afloat by $13.4 billion in U.S. loans received so far, is trying to shed brands, sell assets and curb spending as it battles a worldwide collapse in auto sales after four profitless years.

Selling the rights?

GM has been awarded several patents for the engine design, and early tests have shown the new motor to be as smooth and quiet as a gasoline engine. Development of the engine was far along when the decision was made to put the program on hold.

Rights to the engine may be sold to another company, Garavaglia said.
If GM decides to revive the engine, it would likely take at least a year for it to enter production. Meanwhile, GM will not be out of the diesel truck business. The company will continue to offer the 6.6-liter Duramax engine in heavy-duty pickups and modify it as necessary to meet tougher emissions standards.

GM also has just launched Two Mode hybrid versions of the Silverado and Sierra, which get an EPA rated 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. The 4.5-liter diesel would have raised the trucks' fuel economy into the mid to high 20s mpg.

Last month, GM scrapped plans to build an engine plant for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Cruze small car. Instead, the engines will initially come from a European factory while an existing factory in Flint, Mich., is retooled to make the new engines.

GM Powertrain Group Vice President Tom Stephens recently said that all of GM's future production plans are constantly being re-evaluated.

Automotive News Article (http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20090310%2FANA02%2F903109970%2F1181&uid=130485)

c4c5specialist
03-11-09, 09:00 AM
Hi there,
I can only hope it gets into the truck line soon.
From what I have seen, it will be a cutting edge powertrain.
Allthebest, c4c5

Mac
03-11-09, 09:25 AM
This sounds like a step backward to me. Introducing innovative technologies is the way to go... why would they delay such a promising development?

-Mac

6 Shooter
03-11-09, 09:33 AM
Mac - Were not talking about the sharpest knifes n da drawer! ;)

L8TR - D

Yoda
03-11-09, 09:53 AM
This sounds like a step backward to me. Introducing innovative technologies is the way to go... why would they delay such a promising development?

-Mac

Just a w.a.g. but maybe Congress has something to do with it. Blinded by the light, green power, anything else is BAD ;shrug

It may be a great business venture, but what does Polosi, Reed and the others know about it :eyerole

Bud

njlouc
03-11-09, 10:39 AM
That sounds like a great idea!! sell off the last hope you have for the future in favor of the Volt that is overpriced and no one wants!!
Just go total bankrupt - forget chapter 11.
They must be waiting for a gov't bailout AND a return to the SUV days.
Why didn't they consider this and other areas when grilled by the senate geniuses??
It's funny that a company that has been in the car business for 100 years has no plan and no clue!!
Nothing has changed.

I have a great idea!! put a large V8 into a small pontiac - that would be fast!!
Oh sorry ......that was done 45years ago.

Mac
03-11-09, 04:06 PM
Just a w.a.g. but maybe Congress has something to do with it. Blinded by the light, green power, anything else is BAD ;shrug

It may be a great business venture, but what does Polosi, Reed and the others know about it :eyerole

Bud
I can't see Congress pushing GM on something like this. It's supposed to be very efficient and clean. I could see Congress pushing on the Camaro or Hummer but an innovative smaller diesel?

-Mac

Bob Chadwick
03-11-09, 05:45 PM
Sadly it appears that any inovation that doesn't resemble a Prius is out with the green crowd and their bought and paid for politicians.

catbert
03-12-09, 05:08 PM
That sounds like a great idea!! sell off the last hope you have for the future in favor of the Volt that is overpriced and no one wants!!

Speak for yourself - I want a Volt!

Hib Halverson
03-12-09, 06:51 PM
Hey "catbert".
I'm curious...besides making a green/feel-good statement, why do you want a Chevy Volt?

I'll add that, the engineer in me is sad to see the light-truck diesel being put on hold, but the economist and marketer in me understands why. First, full-sized, light truck sales are in the pooper, especially that portion of light truck sales which went to people using them for personal transportation. Secondly, diesel fuel will probably never again be cheaper than gasoline and it may continue to be more expensive than gasoline enough that the fuel savings from a diesel won't be enough to recover the extra cost of the engine in a resonable amount of miles driven.

Thus the light-truck diesel might not have been as sucessful a product it would have been, had we been able to sustain a level of light-truck and SUV sales we did in the first two-thirds of this decade.

catbert
03-12-09, 07:00 PM
Hey "catbert".
I'm curious...besides making a green/feel-good statement, why do you want a Chevy Volt?



The specs make it the perfect commuter/city car for us. Except for Vette cruisin', we'd NEVER use gas.:upthumbs