GM's 3.0-liter Inline-six Diesel Bound for Flint Factory

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

General Motors has a new in-house 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel planned for its next-generation full-size pickups, and, while it won’t be available from launch, now we know where it’s being built.

GM’s vice president of global propulsion systems, Dan Nicholson, says the engine — which came as a surprise announcement during the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado’s weekend debut — will hail from Flint, Michigan.

Nicholson confirmed to Automotive News that the new mill’s production will be in a plant known for building the company’s last inline-six: the Atlas 4.2-liter found in the automaker’s midsize SUVs and trucks.

This nugget of information shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, at least not if you watched Saturday’s Silverado unveiling. During the event, GM product chief Mark Reuss told media they could expect “to see some announcements around Flint.”

Flint Engine Operations will start assembling the new light-duty diesels late this year or early next. Designed to give Ford Motor Company’s recently announced 3.0-liter diesel V6 a run for its money, the engine’s development took place at the General Motors diesel center of excellence in Turin. While output and fuel economy specs remain a mystery, GM’s new powerplant gains a helping hand from the next-gen truck’s 450 pounds of weight reduction and the addition of a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford claims it’s aiming for an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 30 miles per gallon. If GM’s able to beat that engine’s 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft, as well as its final economy figures, expect an emergency meeting in Dearborn.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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11 of 39 comments
  • Troyohchatter Troyohchatter on Jan 17, 2018

    Ford's going with a V6 and GM with an inline. Should make for interesting water cooler talk though Cummins went with a V configuration for their small displacement 6 that's in the Nissan, for what that's worth.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 18, 2018

      troyochatter, Cost is the reason for V8s, they are cheaper than inline 8s and use a lot less length. Inline sixes are the best engine for heavy trucks. You don't see many heavy diesels that are V. The V6 was not because of the V8 in so far as the compact V6 could be easier to slot in FWD vehicles in lieu of a inline 4. An inline six is superior to a V6. V configured engines really don't offer anything other than cost and size.

  • St.George St.George on Jan 17, 2018

    Stick this in the Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon please! Mind you, I still wouldn't be able to afford one :-(

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jan 17, 2018

    I hope for GM's sake that this is more reliable than the awful Atlas. I was so psyched that GM was coming out with a new Inline 6, and so terribly disappointed when it turned out to be such a turd.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 18, 2018

      John, The Italians have some of the best diesel tech going. There is no modern diesel that can't thank Fiat enough for CRD and direct injection.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 18, 2018

    I did a little research regarding what engines were designed in GM's Torino diesel centre of excellence. There is a 2 litre diesel that "came" out of Torino that has 195hp and around 300ftlb of torque. So it is feasible that GM will trounce the Lion in power (270-280hp?) and have around 445ftlb of torque. If the inline six can do that it will be impressive.