Light Duty Domestic Pickups: Oil Burners Are Go!

light duty domestic pickups oil burners are go

The Detroit News reports the new fuel mileage bill will have one side effect that should make some truck buyers happy: all three Detroit automakers are planning a diesel option for their light-duty pickups. Long restricted to heavier-duty applications, oil-burners provide the mileage the manufacturers will need to meet the new fleet-wide 35 mpg standard. Dodge will shoehorn a diesel into the Ram 1500 just after the 2009 model year. Ford plans diesels for "future generations" of the F-150. And GM is developing a V-8 diesel for the Silverado 1500 that could replace any small-block V8 in its lineup. Just think– if things keep heading in Rudolph's direction, a diesel Impala could displace the Crown Vic as the taxi of choice. That is, if GM has finally exorcised the ghosts of their 1980's V8 diesel debacle.

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  • Blautens Blautens on Jan 02, 2008

    It does seem like most of the focus on diesel motors in trucks has been to make the diesel a high powered optional motor, not focused on mileage but on heavy duty type applications such as towing. It would be interesting to see a lower powered, more efficient diesel in the high volume "half ton" market.

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Jan 02, 2008

    Mr. Albright is correct. A V-8 oil burner is overkill in most automotive and light-truck applications. All those big rigs you see on the freeway? Just about all of them have inline-6 Diesels. If anything a straight six would be easier to balance and reduce noise at idle. The V Motori 4-banger in the Jeep Liberty is a fantastic Diesel engine well suited to a light duty truck. Mated to the proper transmission it could easily beat 30 MPG. So why is Detroit so fixated on 8-cylinders? --chuck

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Jan 02, 2008
    I have no doubt that GM knows how to build a proper diesel engine, the only question is if they will do so this time. I’m pretty sure nobody there wants to repeat the 1980s V-8 diesel disaster. Thanks for the link! You are right. I think GM can build a good diesel, but I don't know if the public will accept it. A V-8 oil burner is overkill in most automotive and light-truck applications. All those big rigs you see on the freeway? Just about all of them have inline-6 Diesels. Yeah, but they are huge! Caterpillar has the C-15 which displaces 15.2 liters and produce 625 horsepower and 2050 pound feet of torque. Some people just prefer to have an eight-cylinder engine in their truck, whether diesel or gas. I just want a good engine.

  • Johnster Johnster on Jan 02, 2008

    While the GM/Oldsmobile 5.7 Liter Diesel V-8 engine was a complete disaster, in the early '80s GM offered a 4.3 Liter Diesel V-6 engine for use in its then new front-wheel-drive mid-sized and full-sized cars. It was even offered as an option in the FWD Cadillac Fleetwood and DeVille. The 4.3 Liter Diesel V-6 was actually a pretty good engine, a bit anemic, but without the reliability problems of the 5.7 Liter Diesel V-8. Unfortunately, by the time GM's Diesel V-6 came out, GM had such a poor reputation for diesels, that the engine died due to a lack of interest. Enough time has passed that such a fate is unlikely to occur with any new diesel engines that GM brings out.

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