Ford Authority

Next-Generation GM Diesel Half-Ton Trucks To Bring The Fight To Ford F-150 Diesel

As Ford Motor Company works to put a diesel-powered version of its ever-popular F-150 half-ton pickup on the road, it looks more and more as though the Blue Oval won’t only face competition from Ram Trucks and its 1500 EcoDiesel, but from the GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado, as well. As reported by our sister site, GM Authority, a fresh batch of 2019 GMC Sierra spy shots have cropped up, capturing what appear to be a diesel exhaust treatment fluid tank and a particulate filter.

Given that a next-generation 2019 Chevrolet Silverado had previously been spied filling up at the diesel pump, it seems almost a certainty that GM is working on an oil-burning engine for both half-ton truck models.

The Ford F-150 diesel is slated to arrive early next year, drawing on a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter “Lion” diesel V6 to deliver commendable fuel economy with mucho torque. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s twin-turbo V6 also displaces 3.0 liters, producing some 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft in the process, so expect the Ford to surpass those figures.

Meanwhile, however, it’s unknown what diesel engine GM might use to power its oil-burning full-size pickups; the automaker made headway developing a 4.5-liter diesel V8 last decade for use in its half-ton trucks, but the project was scrapped when the US economy took a nosedive in 2009. More than likely, it’ll be an all-new diesel mill displacing at least as much volume as its two US-born competitors.

That Ford’s F-150 diesel launches first will presumably give General Motors the opportunity to one-up the Blue Oval on both power and torque – if not fuel economy – through purposeful tuning.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. Tyrone

    You might want to do more research on the Ram Eco diesel! It is a single Turbo Engine. There are twin turbo upgrades available that push that engine to 600 ft lb of torque with proper tuning.

    1. Gregsfc

      Also, the Ram Ecodiesel is currently still banned from new sales except for already- manufactured units on dealer lots 2017 and before, and even those can be sold only if they are equipped with new soft ware that has a lower mpg estimate as high as 20/27/23, only barely beating F150 with the 2.7L Ecoboost.

      It bears mentioning that FCA has announced that the Jeep Wrangler will have a reworked 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel, and that it’ll have 260 HP and more peak torque as well, and I’d also expect mpg to eek back up to 28- 29 when it reappears in the Ram 1500.

      1. NNF

        Although the mpg numbers are similar between the 2.7 EB and the 3.0 Ecodiesel, when put to work, such as hauling or towing, the 2.7 will see much more significant mileage drops than the diesel.

  2. Gregsfc

    Lots of buzz about mpg- leading, super high- priced diesels, but they will be so irrelevant in so far as take rate, they’re hardly worth mentioning. Same for hybrids when they come. Just a lot of money for good mpg and cost the manufacturer thousands extra per unit. On the other hand, the real competition is with respect to lower cost solutions. This is where it gets interesting. Ford leads the way right now. First, 2nd, and 3rd place, 2.7 Ecoboost, 3.3 NA V6, and 3.5 Ecoboost respectively. These three engines make up 70% of their sales with 5% buying the diesel and 25% buying the V8. How will GM respond with these lower cost options? Will it be dynamic skip fire combined with a mild hybrid, a four cylinder turbo, a six cylinder trubo, or a choice from each category. I see the next Silverado and Seirra being instantly caught up with F150; maybe even going ahead.

  3. Gregsfc

    Even though lots of enthusiasts like to talk about a V8 diesel in a half ton much like they like to talk about an unnecessary turbo V8 gas engine, when it comes to making that happen in the real world, it’s tough. Although the benefit of such an engine in a half ton would be peak torque from 520-550, there are a whole host of issues: Firstly, the cost of a mid size six cylinder already makes a diesel half ton a tough sell, the high cost of a small V8 would be pretty close to that of the heavy- duty diesels; and when it comes to those, the price premium is as high as $12K in order that manufacturers protect margin. So are customers going to pay $10K+ over the price of a truck with the 5.3 V8, which would have more horses and adequate torque for half to duty. Secondly, a V8 diesel would not significantly improve on mpg beyond a small turbo or a V8 with dynamic skip fire and mild hybrid apllication, yet those type technologies are much cheaper to apply than a V8 diesel. And then besides the cost dilemma and mpg dilemma, the last problem is what Nissan found out about. If you add 500 pounds or more to the weight of a truck via a small V8 diesel, then you either have to rate payload super low to keep it under 8501 GVWR or you have to make it a 3/4 ton.


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