By on October 10, 2018

Is the American public ready to accept a full-size pickup truck equipped with a four-cylinder engine under its squared-off hood? GM sure hopes so, as a turbocharged 2.7-liter is set to be the base motor in two of its Silverado trims: the LT and RST.

The EPA has now rated the thirstiness of the new mill, which is set to be one of six (count ‘em) available across all eight trims of the 2019 Silverado.

Government enviro-boffins estimate the 2.7L inline-four will be good for 20 mpg city / 23 mpg highway in rear-wheel drive configurations. This makes for a combined rating of 21 mpg. That’s about a single MPG less than comparable V6s from Ford and Ram, if you’re keeping track at home.

GM expects the mill to haul a maximum of 7,200 lbs and tap out at 2,430 lbs of payload. This makes it the least capable Silverado powertrain in terms of towing, keeping in mind that the upcoming 3.0L diesel is not yet rated.

If that 2.7L displacement figure sounds familiar, it’s because the digits are shared with Ford and the smallest EcoBoost mill available in its F-150 pickup. Difference is, of course, the Blue Oval has six cylinders while the Bowtie will only have a quartet.

Large displacement four-bangers must naturally feature sizeable cylinders. It’s a clear exaggeration to say these particular pistons are the size of paint cans, but they’re still pretty sizable. The engine has a long piston stroke of 4.01 inches, which does help enable a higher compression ratio and should provide the low-end grunt demanded by truck buyers.

Its offset crankshaft, slightly off-center from the cylinders, allows a more upright position for the connecting rods and should reduce piston load against the cylinder walls. Some of those cylinders will occasionally be put on furlough, thanks to the application of GM’s Active Fuel Management system.

What’s interesting is that GM chooses to largely refer to this engine as a 2.7 Turbo, scarcely mentioning the words four-cylinder. In fact, that phrase appears nowhere in today’s press release about fuel economy and showed up only twice in a bumf about the engine back in May.

The four-banger will line up with GM’s eight-speed automatic, a power team that’ll make 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. For 2018, Ford’s 2.7L makes 325 horses and a freshly-revised torque rating of 400 lb-ft., some 25 more than last year. Chevy expects its 2.7L-powered trucks to reach 60 mph in less than seven seconds.

Even at the smaller end of the field, Detroit’s power war never sleeps.

[Images: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

139 Comments on “Four on the Floor: EPA Rates Chevy’s New 2.7L Turbo...”


  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    GM…WHAT A DISGRACE!!!

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Let the whining begin!!!
      Funny how a 2.7 liter GM is rated to tow more than a 4.6 liter Base Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Funny how the Tundra will probably still be towing at 200k miles and beyond (maybe even a million miles later as we’ve seen), this Tri-power 4 cylinder wonder will be lucky to make it to the other side of the warranty period intact. I predict a plethora of lemon law cases on these. I see absolutely no reason why someone would pick this motor option over the 4.3L or 5.3L.

        • 0 avatar
          VW4motion

          You obviously know nothing about modern engineering.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Feel free to drop some knowledge then, friendo

          • 0 avatar
            VW4motion

            Just read your comment regarding this new engine. Typical toyoda owner comment. Doh

            We tried to test drive a 2018 Tundra last week. This is that same 9 yo model. Well, Toyota put a stop sale on all tundra’s. They didn’t even want us to start the truck. This didn’t leave us with a sense of security to purchase the truck. Granted they do have $5800 on the hood with 0% financing for 60 months. Not bad.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          you’re calling it unreliable and failure prone just by looking at a picture of it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            A highly pressurized 4 cylinder engine with higher-than-average crankshaft loads and inherent balance/vibration concerns, used in a heavy-load towing application, from a manufacturer with a penchant for lowest-bidder overseas suppliers. Hmm what could possibly go wrong?

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            I’m not a fan of GM for various reasons, but I do give their truck power trains credit for being quite reliable. Lots of local farmers use them around here, my cousin included. The bodies tend to fall off of them long before any engine or trans work is required.
            I’m quite confident if they’re releasing this combo in a truck it’s been run through the ringers. Just don’t see any of the big 3 dropping a dud in a platform that is the bread and butter. Trucks are where reputations are earned for better or worse.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I cannot under any circumstance see one of these 2.7L turbo motors living to old age like we currently see in old rusty GMT400s with their trusty 4.3s/305/350s. Now those GMs I am a huge fan of. In fact I’d say they are my favorite pickup truck ever (design/capability/reliability wise)

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Everybody seems to be afraid of turbo engines, or think that they will just up and grenade at a predetermined date. (Not directed at you, just in general). Factually speaking, if an engine is designed from the ground up as this one was, block, deck, proper head retention,engine internals, proper compression, etc. AND the factory programming is left alone theres no reason they can’t last as long as an NA motor. It was designed specifically for a truck, It’s got piston cooling jets like a diesel engine does to aid in controlling cylinder temps, Forged steel crank and rods. They didn’t just slap a car engine in a truck and call it good. GM claims this engine was subjected to the exact same stress and durability tests as the engines in their HD line.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Foreign cargo trucks have been using turbodiesel 4 bangers for decades. I’m all for tearing down a bad idea but this is just silly teenage fearmongering.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Come on man…if Ford GM, or FCA built a truck as hopelessly outclassed as the Tundra you would be quick to call it out, and rightfully so.

          Furthermore plenty of the gen 1 ecoboosts are chugging along at 200k. There is nothing to support your ascertation that the modern turbo truck engines have been anything but reliable. Toyota does a lot of things right, but the Tundra is a good generation behind the domestic offerings at least. I’m at 65k. No issues. I know of at least 2 3.5 ecoboosts that are over 250 k now with none. Data supports that they aren’t alone.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I’d say the current Tundra’s sin is being a “5/6ths” ton truck in terms of being a heavy and overbuilt halfton with towing gears from the factory and no aero-chin spoiler. All of that adds up to some rather poor unloaded MPG. Yes it hasn’t been updated in quite some time and has been eclipsed in most metrics by more modern competition. But if you truly want minimal hassle over long term ownership in the halfton class, I’d say it remains the best bet, thanks to that overbuilt (heavy, simple, thirsty) design. They also seem to resist rust better than any other halfton of the ’09-’14ish era (prior to aluminum body F150). We’ll see how the frames do, but I’ve yet to see a ’07+ tundra with rotten bed sides or cab corners, but just about half of the ’11+ F150s have perforated or bubbling cab corners, a lot of the Rams are starting to bubble on the beds and rockers, rear wheel arches on GMs.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t think the tundra is a bad truck at all but it is really ugly and really old. My in-laws keep having issues with the brakes on theirs and they got a letter to have the frame inspected for rust. I think body rusting vs frame rusting kind of makes those issue equal out. As far as longevity the highest mileage vehicles amoung my groups of friends family and co-workers are GM trucks and Ram diesels. Also some older power strokes. One of my friends daily driver is a Tahoe with 350,000 miles on the 5.3. thing runs great. There are a couple of things to avoid in full size trucks (5.4 Ford’s early airbag 4th gen Rams Ford 6.0 powerstrokes First year ram ecodiesel, and the early cylinder deactivation 5.3 GM) but in general they all seem to do fairly well on longevity.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The brake caliper binding thing I’ve heard of, the way they have those monster binders set up with the “float” in the pins, you need to keep them lubed up to avoid issues. I’d be curious to see how the frames are (or aren’t) holding up on the ’07+ Tundras, the recall seems to cover kind of a strange range of years that captures 1st gen Tundras but only part of this different generation.

            5.3s seem hit or miss. My coworker’s ’05 ‘burb with AFM has started to use oil a decent amount at 140k miles, but still within the realm of living with it and checking the level. A different coworker had endless issues with a ’10 Silverado that kept fouling the plug on one cylinder (he traded it in…for a Tundra).

            The GMT900 trucks also seem to suffer from some very low-end Chinese parts, stuff like wheel bearings, power lock and power window blocks, stuff that GM thought was simple enough that it could easily be outsourced to a lowest-bidder sort of operation.

          • 0 avatar

            I think my inlaws Tundra is an 09. They brought it in and they checked something on it and said it was not effected. I have heard of at least one that did get it’s frame replaced.

            I thought 2005 was pre AFM on the burban. I was pretty sure in fullsize truck applications it started in 2007. I gather they are better by the 2010 ones but that was likley the issue with the other one. Some of the newer 2014’s had a new AFM issue with collapsed lifters. In genral I think the 6.0 will last you the longest of the GM engines. But I know of quite a few super high mileage 5.3’s.

            On the body parts well thats one of those reliable vs durable kind of things. American trucks still have issue with certain parts despite having most of the basics down. And yes alot has to do with cost cutting which Diamler Chrysler and prebankruptcy GM were the worst culprits.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Given the choice, I’d take a small V6 over a big I4 any day, and not worry about the 1 mpg difference. YMMV

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Less mileage than a V6?

    F*** you Guangzhou Motors.

    P.S. “bumf” is not a word.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    *ring Deadweight*

    And for good reason..this is not great. How are you going to market a 4 cylinder truck when it can’t even beat the V6 in mpg.

    Yeah, it’s got more torque, blah blah blah. Isn’t the whole point of downsizing, more power, less fuel? Lol this isn’t a good way to start 4 cylinders in the full size market, GM.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    That’s a big 4cyl.

    I’d love to see a technical article about how enginerds decide displacements with an eye towards the cylinder/displacement relationship.

    For instance:
    For the most part, I4 motors for cars typically top out at 2.5L (odd Porsche 3L motors notwithstanding) while I6/V6 motors typically bottom out at that same displacement (ignoring the wacky Mazda K8 motor).

    Similarly, most modern V6 motors top out < 4L and while most modern V8 motors start at 4L.

    I'm sure there's a host of reasons that lead to this (thermodynamics, perceived vs actual performance, brand segmentation, etc) but if the good TTAC could elucidate them for us, that'd be neat.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      4-cylinder engines above 2.5L or so tend to vibrate harshly, requiring use of balance shafts and all their expensive drive assemblies, even when cradled in the incredibly effective contemporary isolating mounts. Though I have not seen a diagram of the GM 2.7, I am fairly certain it has a balance shaft(s) to smooth things out.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The standard engine in the base Tacoma is a 2.7l (NA) four.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        But dude, when Toyota does it…it’s Toyota. So you know, Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I’m curious, why does a GM article seem to bring a bunch of GM’s-battered-wife syndrome types out of the woodwork to post anti-Toyota comments? It’s like clockwork.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Where is the anti-Toyota comments?

            Lots of comments that large displacement 4-bangers are have NVH issues and/or reliability issues because of the large displacement.

            It was simply pointed out that Toyota has a 2.7L 4-banger in a truck capacity and now you’re triggered because – well I guess large displacement 4-cylinder engines have reliability and NVH issues unless it’s Toyota because the rules of physics don’t apply or maybe, just maybe, the whole large displacement 4-cylinder engines have NVH and reliability issues is just a red herring in the first place.

            Actually if you squint, you’d see it was a compliment (maybe backhanded) because of the red herring of large displacement 4 cylinder engine BAD! BAD! BAD!

            Uh-huh, explain that to the companies who have large displacement 4-cylinder engines then…Toyota being one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Can you not wrap your head around the fact that one is an under-stressed naturally aspirated 2.7L placed in a midsize truck with low tow ratings and the other has been turbocharged VERY heavily to give it half-ton spec tow ratings? My concern was never NVH, it was all about longevity and durability in a serious towing application (including effects of vibration/crank forces on reliability).

            Toyota’s 2.7L four experience goes back to the excellent iron block counterbalanced 3RZ of the mid 90s, a stupendously reliable engine that IMO deserves more recognition than the 22RE that everyone has heard about. The current 2.7 isn’t bad I guess, and I haven’t heard of any substantial reliability woes.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Weimer

            2430 lb payload isn’t half-ton.

            I expect if it’s used like a true half-ton – ~1000 lb payload, ~5000 lb towing – it will be quite reliable.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            22 psi max boost is not out of the realm for an engine that’s been designed for it from the ground up. Sorry, it’s just the way it is.

            For comparison, Fords 2.7 Ecoboost waste gate at 19-20 psi. This since 2012 that I know of.
            Nothing new.

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      We all know the Toyota 2.7 was a terrible engine too. Just like this one, I think it didn’t get much better or the same mileage as the 3.5 V6 in the Sienna, and maybe worse when carrying heavy loads. It was also rough and was probably just a way to have a lower base price for advertising.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Clearly disappointing. I expected better. Being a four cylinder, small displacement motor fan, this powertrain has fascinated me more than any other pickup truck ever. Seriously, one might as well go for the 2.7 Ford with two extra cylinders for added smoothness.
    Nerd question, any body care to speculate, or know? I assume that for any given displacement, all other factors being equal, internal motor friction is greater as the number of cylinders increases.??

    • 0 avatar
      bts

      Friction of the piston against the cylinder wall increases for the same engine displacement as the number of cylinders goes up since there’s more surface area for the same displacement. Also more valves to open and close. However, combustion efficiency is lower if each cylinder’s volume is oversized and it’s harder to move air efficiently and quickly into and out of each cylinder at higher RPMs since head size is smaller compared to stroke on an engine like this.

      I remember reading that it’s typically most efficient for each cylinder to be about a half liter but German car makers for turbo charging so they’re sticking with abound that size.

      GM used to have some inline 6 and 5 gas engines, and I think an inline 5 either natural or turbo charged would have been a better choice. This could have also been used as a replacement for heavier v6s.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        The GM inline 5 was a pretty awful motor. Not awful in a reliability sense, but it was a harsh, unbalanced beast that didn’t put good HP, torque, or fuel economy numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          bts

          True, but if they designed a new one instead of this oversized inline 4 I’d see it alot more useful in both cars and trucks and a replacement for heavier V6s.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          Those motors were a missed opportunity. Why did they not run the straight 6 in the full size trucks and retire the 4.3?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I really wanted an Atlas 4.2 I6 Chevy 1500.

            I knew a young man who bought a Trailblazer because he liked the way it “sounded” vs the competition. I don’t think the lad even knew how to change a tire.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The 4.2L Atlas was a freaking turbine of fury. I got a ride in a Trailblazer once and I know exactly what your acquaintance was talking about. It would have been really neat in some sort of midsize Chevy/Pontiac RWD sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “Not awful in a reliability sense”

          Valve seats on the early run motors that liked to drop, and timing chains/guides (all years) that required you to drop the oil pan to remove the timing chain cover. Between that and the insane amount of money that GM spent developing the whole Atlas line (inline 4/5/6), I’d say the program overall was kind of a failure. Too bad, the 4.2L is actually a pretty sweet motor that makes good power.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      I think the offset crank is there for engine smoothness. It reduces the side loads on the power stroke.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Let the whining begin!! This will be fun.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’ll make the analogy of GM rolling out this engine with someone walking out and soiling themselves in public.

      The person who soiled themselves then says “Let the whining begin!! This will be fun.”

      Uh, people aren’t whining, they’re pointing and laughing.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        Laughing at the morons spending 50% more in fuel cost just to say they own a Toyota. Math does not lie.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          This isn’t about Toyota, this is about GM making an absolute stinker of a truck motor.

          It truly is satire: GM takes a cool old name from their past and associates it with an absolute abomination of CAFE-driven tech and puts it inside of their Chinesium-wonder. I’m curious to see how things unfold.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Internal motor friction..

    Well, the 6-cylinder should have 50% more friction in the crankshaft and main bearings, and 50% more on the camshaft, yes?

    Then, the surface area of the cylinders (bore diameter x pie x stroke x number of cylinders).

    I think that as a result, a 4-cylinder should be a little more fuel efficient than a 6 with the same displacement. BUT, it’s a pretty steep cost in terms of smoothness compared to an inline six, or even a balanced 60-degree V6.

    I think fuel efficiency and cost are why BMW now has replaced 6-cylinders with 4.

    I’d rather lose 1 mpg and have a six of the same displacement.

    The irony here is that GM’s 4-cylinder is NOT beating the 2.7 Ford V6 in EPA ratings. That’s not good (for GM)

  • avatar
    Ion

    What’s the power band? If that torque is not at sub 4000 rpm they should just call this the new iron-duke

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    The question is not the power output but where is it? My ’16 Cruze with the 1.4T felt stronger than its 135hp/135 torque because the torque peak was down low, around 2000 rpm. Above 4500, it was all noise and not much else. It was fine in normal driving, but it wasn’t any fun otherwise.

    The 1.8T in my ’17 Golf feels strong until about 5000 for the same reason (though it’s a much smoother motor). Low torque peak (1800 rpm) and and more power, even with one less gear and a manual, it does about the same as the Cruze did on fuel. Although the VW is much more enjoyable and fun to drive, so my right foot is a bit heavier with it too.

    I don’t mind (yet) replacing displacement with forced induction. My Golf (or the Cruze) were fine around town, even with all the hills I live with. But I’m sure the mileage in the hills with all these boosted motors (no matter what it’s in) is nowhere near the EPA value. And since most people drive like pedals are switches, it’s probably worse.

    Toyota offered the 2.7 NA four briefly in the Sienna when the current van was introduced around 2010-2011. At 150hp, that must have been Hell and it didn’t do any better than the V6 in mileage IIRC.

    But I’d take that same motor now with a light turbo tuned for low-end power. The 3.5 in our Sienna SE makes [email protected] and around 260 ft-lb torque at 4500rpm. It feels lethargic around town until WOT ( not helped by Eco mode, which is defeatable, but needs done every time you turn the car on) I’d rather have a 260hp turbo four with the same torque or more at a 2000rpm. I don’t know if mileage would improve ( high-teens mostly city) but it would be much more livable.

    All that said, if a turbo 4 can’t beat a turbo 6 in fuel economy, even with more power, what is the point?

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I’ve ridden in a couple of those 2.7l Siennas – the dealer I bought my Tacoma from (Toyota of Plano) had a couple they used for courtesy vans, so I got to ride in them a few times when the Tacoma was still in its complimentary 2-year/25,000 mile oil change period. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t impressive, either. They also offered a 2.7l 4Runner for a year, too (in the 2010 SR5 2WD).

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m not sure what’s behind this industry shift from 6cyl to turbo-4cyl engines, if there’s no real mpg savings what’s the point?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Probably cost.
      4s are cheaper to build than 6s.
      And with the decline of sedans, there’s likely available manufacturing capacity at the 4 cyl plants.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        Fours are cheaper to build than six–if they have comparable air induction.

        A Turbo adds a lot of cost and complexity. I think personally a turbo four costs MORE to make than a non-turbo six.

        I welcome other comments.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          Turbocharged engines do not cost as much as you’d think.

          They are common enough now that the manufacturing is downright reasonable; the 2nd cyl. head and valvetrain in a V6 more than makes up for it.

          And the complexity is way down too. A modern turbo requires one servomotor (for the electric wastegate) one solenoid (for the boost relief valve), one pressure sensor, and simple oil and coolant lines. The ECU requires some fancy footwork, but that’s development cost, not manufacturing cost. (And programming an ECU for a turbo is old-hat by now.)

          The rats-nest of (crispy-fried) vac lines and control valves to govern something difficult to manufacture reliably are no more.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        That’s what I figured for lack of a better reason, but if the turbo cost more then a 6, I’m still at a loss

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          The turbo 4’s minor advantage in fuel efficiency is what GM wants.

          Just like these new 8 and 10-speed automatics. The gain over a 6-speed is very minor; yet the increase in cost and complexity is not so minor.

          Stop-start also helps EPA fuel economy, but it is annoying and probably puts more wear and tear on the battery and electrical system.

          All of this for minor fuel economy gains.

          I’d rather have a slightly smaller vehicle, with a smaller, naturally aspirated 6-cylinder.

          But that’s me.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            …Stop-start also helps EPA fuel economy, but it is annoying and probably puts more wear and tear on the battery and electrical system…

            Yes, because engineers are total idiots and didn’t specify starters that can do more duty cycles lifetime, batteries that can support short-term draw, and an electrical system to back it up. My goodness the folks at Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Ford, GM et al sure as Hell didn’t consider any of that.

            Jebus the comments sometimes.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “Yes, because engineers are total idiots and didn’t specify starters that can do more duty cycles lifetime, batteries that can support short-term draw,”

            Oh, they did, and the result of it is that my truck has an AGM battery that costs $200 to replace, while the non stop-start editions can get by with the regular $129 battery.

            A Carquest replacement starter for the 2.7 is $259 where the regular starter for non stop start trucks is $165.

            To save six freaking dollars in gas, or in my case zero dollars because I permanently disabled the damned thing to keep the air conditioning working.

      • 0 avatar
        ahintofpepperjack

        There is absolutely no way that a 4 cylinder engine with turbocharger, forged rods/ pistons, and intercooler are cheaper to produce than a naturally aspirated V6 engine.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          So, the question remains, why?

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            could be in preparation for a version of the Silverado/Sierra to go electrification for a Volt type drivetrain where the motor acts as a range extender that charges the batteries, or at the very least a Prius type system where the ICE engine is used only for light load cruising.

            A truck the size of 1/2 tons has to get high 20s to low 30s MPG combined on the sticker if California and its fans get their way on the 2025 MPG targets and no one is prepared for that even with diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I suspect derivatives of this engine will be used in future applications where the motor will not be as strained as in a full size pickup and where the advantages of a turbo 4 over a V6 will be more realized. A V6 may perform similar or better in a full size pickup but have less potential applications in other models and thus GM may have decided not to focus their money on a new one right now.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      The ability to game the fuel economy test?

      (Although, being 1 mpg LESS efficient, GM completely torpedoes this guess…)

  • avatar
    IBx1

    IRON

    DUKE

    Your nightmares have returned

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Since this one is aluminum block and head, shouldn’t it be called the Aluminum Prince?

      And the crankshaft is forged steel so perhaps only the rods are iron?

      • 0 avatar
        Yankee

        Thanks indi500fan for making me spit-choke my water at my desk. I suspect once the reliability data starts rolling in that “Alloy Jester” will be more apt. One thing GM has proven is that there is a fuse lit on all their turbo engines at the factory that burns down and blows up shortly after the warranty expires, so I really doubt this overtaxed mill in a heavy truck will prove any better than their past experiments with small engines in big cars that ate bearings and head gaskets. Time will tell, although I doubt the take rate of trucks with this engine will give us an adequate sample size for a thorough study.

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        GM mixing aluminum internals and steel internals, what can go wrong? Vega, HT 4100, 4L60 valve bodies, Northstar. It’s all good Bra!

  • avatar
    1500cc

    So the equivalent Ford engine is more powerful, has more torque, gets better fuel economy, is likely smoother, and is generally more marketable. On the other hand GM might have a slight advantage on weight and cost.

    It might be a decent engine, but it really seems like GM whiffed on this one.

    (On a side note, the truck pictured at the top is the best looking new Silvy I’ve seen. Maybe the black hides some of the worst aspects, or maybe I’m just getting used to the new design.)

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Yeah I think some of the other trims that have body color grille and bumpers help it too, but the black really hides some odd creases. But I just don’t like that line that comes off the headlights and swoops down on the front door before disappearing. Ugh

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    IF you are looking for an application for it, then in the lightest least spec’d trim possible it may make sense as an alternative to a “midsize” offering IE: Colorado etc. BUT, the way trucks are nowadays, loaded up to the gills and weighing 9000 lbs, a four just aint my kind of joy. GM likes big fours, the GM 3.0 four in my Mercruiser sterndrive is a great example. Please, no boat anchor jokes, I kinda like the thing!

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    This is disappointing. GM was talking it up like it would be much higher. The torque curve they described would have been great for light duty work, but that MPG just won’t cut it.

    As others have mentioned, the ram with etorque does better and also has some torque smoothing features from the generator.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    What is the EPA rating for 4WD trucks?

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    1. Isn’t each cylinder in a 2.7 four about the same size as each cylinder in a 5.3 V8? And smaller than a 5.7 or 6.2 V8? And smaller than in a 4.3 V6? Whatever with the “paint can” analogy in the post…

    2. A turbo does not add a HUGE amount of complexity. The turbo is a housing, a spinning shaft, and a couple of bearings. One oil feed and one water feed line as well as return lines, and an intercooler is basically a radiator with some solid tubing for air to travel through, And some code in the ECU. Adding a turbo to an inline four adds SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER parts than the additional parts required to create a normally aspirated V-6. Any of you could replace a turbo in your driveway on almost any vehicle that has one in far less time and with less complexity or chance of screwing it up than replacing anything in the valvetrain of a vehicle, never mind the real internals.

    3. Many of you seem to have driven or had experience with this engine with the quick condemnation of it. As I recall many/most here had the EXACT same comments and predictions relative to Ford when they started rolling out their turbo V6’s. Now all of a sudden everyone seems to be a fan of those over these. Methinks maybe y’all should let things shake out a bit first. I haven’t seen, heard, or driven this engine yet myself, but am not dismissing it out of hand. Anyone who tows heavy loads regularly won’t be looking at this anyway, so that’s a strawman. But to haul the mulch twice a year or take the softball gear to practice or commute to work or take four fat asses to Texas Roadhouse for a Bloomin’ Onion, how exactly will this be overloaded and doomed to failure?

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      1. Depends on the stroke which happily was provided in the article (4.01″)! A 3.616″ bore with the given stroke, times four cylinders is 2.699L.

      according to Wikipedia a 5.7l GM V8 has a 3.89″/3.62″ bore/stroke.

      the GM 4.3 V6 is 4.00″/3.48″ bore/stroke

      2. with the growing popularity of productions turbo engines, they probably are able to get a much better deal on specific components than in the past.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So everyone’s lining up to buy one of these, I see.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    Did they cut a 5.3L in half, add a turbo, and call it a day?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      If they did that would be classic GM.

      Original Iron Duke – saw one bank of cylinders off of a Pontiac V8 so you can use the same production equipment for milling.

      The original 4.3 V6 – take a SBC and cut two cylinders off. Again it is easier to set up the production line alongside existing production.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        TBF, VW/Audi did it the other way with the 3.6L V8 – it was two 1.8L 4-cylinder mills joined at the crank.

        Some of the common parts even migrated to the W12.

        I would love to see the old 4.3 sundowned and they make a new truck V6 out of the 5.3/6.0/6.2 LSx (or whatever they call them now).

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “I would love to see the old 4.3 sundowned and they make a new truck V6 out of the 5.3/6.0/6.2 LSx (or whatever they call them now).”

          IIRC the current 4.3L is very closely related to the rest of the V8 lineup. My brother was recently at the Bedford Indiana casting plant and said the 4.3L blocks and heads looked just like chopped down versions of their V8 brethren. I’m a big fan of the current iteration of this 4.3L, I think it makes fantastic power and torque for the MPG that it’s rated for, and is usefully stronger down low than the competitions’ 3.3/3.5/3.6L NA motors, I’d say the Nissan 4.0L is the only other “true” V6 truck motor left on the market after Toyota downgraded the Tacoma to the 3.5L. Others and I have discussed here how cool a 4.3L Colorado would be.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Weimer

            Yes, I’m out of date – the old 4.3 left in 2014. The new one is LS/LT1 based. I just assumed and shot my mouth off.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Yeah replacing an ancient 4.3 with an ALL NEW 4.3 made many of us smack our foreheads.

            Just make it a 4.4 or something to distinguish it from the one Grandpa had in his Astro van.

          • 0 avatar

            Those old 4.3’s were pretty good thou. For the time smooth and powerful. Also pretty reliable. I wonder if they thought for branding reasons it was easier to keep the same displacement. Of course if that was the idea they would have never changed the 5.7 to a 5.3.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Agreed mopar the 4.3Ls themselves are absolute tanks, and make strong low end power and get impressive MPG. I’d honestly say a Chevy 4.3L is a better overall motor than Jeep’s famous 4.0L. The 4.3L’s issue lies in the fuel injection system, which is highly sensitive to adequate fuel pressure. When the fuel pump starts to crap out, the cars can quickly fail to start. The system was changed several times, but generally depends on a central injector with lines running out to “poppet” valves, I think the final years switched to individual port-mounted injectors finally, and kits are sold the retrofit older mono-injector cars to the new system. In addition to fuel pressure sensitivity, those hoses and poppet valves can lead to issues of not atomizing fuel correctly and can end up just dumping a ton of gas into the cylinder. If you smell raw gas in traffic, look around for an S10/Blazer/Astro.

          • 0 avatar

            Most of my experience with 4.3 is in marine applications which were mostly carb’d or had EFI made by Mercury or Volvo Penta. These were great engines really dependable great power and also great fuel economy for the power. In cars in the 90’s several friends had 4.3 s10’s and blazers which were cool. My favorite was fleet 1/2 tons long beds with the 4.3. 20 MPG and really nice motor to drive around with.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        you’re thinking of the “Trophy 4” from 1961. The Iron Duke was designed as a 4-banger from the ground up.

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        Principal Dan, don’t forget about the Buick 3.8L V-6. It was the old Buick / Oldsmobile aluminum V-8 with two cylinders lopped off. That motor went on to be Rover V-8s and AMC Dauntless V-6s.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          An until they went split-pin to even out the firing order it was *awful*.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Even firing with split pins is one cylinder firing every 120 degrees. Without the split pin it was (If I am modeling correctly in my mind) two cylinders firing at 90 degree interval followed by a 180 interval to the next two firing at 90, and so one. That had to be an awkward sounding and feeling motor.

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      see above where I “mathed out” the bore size. not a match, nor is the architecture in-general from the press photo shown.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Easy to see what GM is going for here. Make a POS, market it as the “Turbo 2.7”, and make Ford’s volume motor look bad by association because it’s a turbo 2.7 too.

    “Yeah it is pretty weak, and gets crappy mileage, but little turbos are like that and at least Chevy doesn’t charge $1000 extra for it like Ford does. Now let’s test drive the 355 horsepower V8!”

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Ahahahahahahahahaha! aha aha aha…Okay I’m good. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
    OMG my sides I cant…..ahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    One advantage, to the manufacturer at least, is that a 2.7L single-turbo 4-cylinder is less complex (1/2 the heads, turbos, and other stuff), and thus less expensive to produce than an equivalent V6. It may be marginally more reliable due to the simplicity as well.

    GM has been offering seemingly odd engines (1.4T, 4.8 V8) for years now, and they’ve usually been better than expected. We’ll see how this turns out in a V8-preferred market.

    I suspect the offset crank on this mill will make a smoother running engine than a 2.0+ has been generally known for.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    People sure do get their Carhartts in a bunch whenever the subject of pickup trucks comes up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      A good pick-up is part of a self-employed business plan for a lot of people. A crappy truck can cost a small businessman plenty in downtime. So, yeah it’s important

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Seems like a complete waste. I can’t believe GM would have bothered if they had known how underwhelming the numbers were going to be.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    2430 lb payload?

    This isn’t your father’s half-ton pickup. It’s a 1 or 3/4-ton in drag. With a 4-banger.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “ton” ratings have been obsolete for some time now. better to just use the FHWA classifications. 150/1500 trucks are the low end of class 2, 250/2500 trucks are the high end. Above that the nameplates pretty much follow the classes (F-350= Class 3, F-450= class 4, and so on.)

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        True, but what does that mean?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          FHWA classifies trucks by GVWR.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          What does what mean? The Classes? They’re based on Gross Vehicle Weight (max weight of vehicle+passengers+cargo+fuel+trailer tongue weight).

          Class 1 is anything up to 6000 lbs. Every “half-ton” was a Class 1 until the mid-’70s, when the F-150, D-150, and Chevy Big 10 were introduced. These were juuuust over 6000 lbs. (6050 IIRC) so they’d be exempt from emissions regs and thus could use the big block engines. The big blocks were dropped from half-tons after the ’79 energy crisis, but the trucks remained popular, and by about 1985 the F-100, light-duty C-10, and D-100 had been discontinued.

          Class 2 has since been divided into 2A and 2B: 2A is 6001-8500 lbs., which is every modern “half-ton” and some older light-duty 3/4 tons. This class also includes a few mid-size trucks (like the new Ford Ranger) and full-size SUVs that have had their GVWRs bumped up like 40 years ago–but in this case, it’s not for emissions standards, but for tax breaks. Businesses can write off certain vehicle purchases if the GVWR is over 6K, because obviously that vehicle is gonna be a heavy truck and not a personal-use car, right? (/s, just in case)

          Class 2B (8501-10,000 lbs.) is all the heavy-duty 3/4 tons, and Class 3 (10-14K) is the one-tons. Historically, one-ton pickups maxed out around 10K; I believe the 1999 F-350 Super Duty was the first non-chassis cab pickup to break that informal ceiling at 12,500. Although the Big 3 call their 3/4 and one-tons “heavy dutys,” strictly speaking, Classes 1-3 are all in the realm of “light-duty trucks.”

          Class 4 is where the medium-duties begin: 14-16K, what used to be informally referred to as “ton and a half” trucks, then Class 5 is 16-19.5K. Generally, these trucks still share cabs and hoods with the light-dutys. Class 6 (19.5-26K) is also part of the medium-duty line, though they often just share the cab of the lighter trucks, with a larger front clip.

          Above 26K are the real heavy-duty trucks. You usually need a CDL to drive the thing, and air brakes become the norm. Class 7 goes up to 33K GVWR, and Class 8 is anything above that (mostly semi trucks).

          • 0 avatar
            gregsfc

            Good work. Example: I drive a Ram 5500 at work with a fish tank mounted on a 14′ bed/body. It’s a regular cab, pickup truck style Ram truck with a long wheel base. It’s GVWR is 19,500; which of course is under 26,000 lbs, and therefore I don’t need a CDL, but if we had a truck just one class above the one we have, it’d be over 26,000 GVWR; we’d have to get CDLs and our gov’t employer would have to pay us more.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Just the thing for those who buy pickup trucks as a fashion statement and never haul much more than luggage or groceries.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Personally, I’d just stick to the 4.3L or 5.3L.

    • 0 avatar
      gregsfc

      If you want the 4.3L, you’re relegated to one of the three work trim levels, as it will not be available as an engine choice in the trim levels in which the new 2.7L is being sold; a category called “high volume”. Also, there are two versions of the 5.3L V8. The first version is the carryover power train, which has the older cylinder deactivation technology (AFM) and mated to a six speed. It is that version which is sold in the three work trim levels in the “high value” category; and the mpg for that power train, according to GM’s own announcement, will be lower than it was in the previous truck but with the same exact performance, even though it is supposed to be a lighter and lower drag design. The second version is the one in the higher trims that is mated to an 8-speed and with Dynamic Fuel Management. That version does get slightly higher mpg rating than the previous truck in some configurations, coming in as high as 17/23/19 in 2WD, which exactly matches F150’s V8 that does not have cylinder deactivation but does have start stop and is always mated to a 10-seed transmission no matter the trim level or price paid; and the 5.3 with DFM beats out the new Ram 5.7 Hemi with eTorque but just barely, as the Ram comes in at 17/22/19, putting all three V8s very close to each other with the only caveat being that with GM and Ram, one has to choose the V8 that is either optional or at a higher trim level and not just the standard V8 sold in work trucks; whereas with the F150, anywhere that the V8 is planted, it is there most advanced product, and therefore gets all the performance, capability, and mpg available no matter the price paid or configuration selected.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    It’s the Geo Metro of full size pickup trucks.

    *Brought to you by Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (GGM LLC), now with even 75% more Chineseium,
    Silaoan, and other absolite lowest-cost bid parts content!

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    p.s. – This Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors (GGM) Chrevolet Chinarado has cylinder deactivation that allows it to run on 2 cylinders (even when motor is not technically FUBAR).

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Can they put this in Colorado/Canyon? Syclone II anyone?

  • avatar
    gregsfc

    What happened? There is no reason why this engine, in this new, lighter, more aerodynamic truck should not right now be the gas-engine fuel economy champ in the Silverado and Sierra. But it is not even close. In fact, the highway estimate only matches the 5.3L V8 mated to the same 8-speed but with dynamic fuel management versus this new engine which uses active fuel management. It’s highway estimate also does no better than matching F150s V8 EPA estimate.

    We first have to look at where this EPA estimate puts the new turbo 4 in the rankings for all gas-engine-powered full-size pickups:

    1. Ford 2.7L Ecoboost 20/26/22
    2. (tie) Ford 3.3L V6 20/25/22
    2. (tie) Ram 3.5L V6 eTorque 20/25/22
    4. GM 2.7L I4 Tripower 20/23/22
    5. Ford 3.5L Ecoboost 18/25/21

    So what is going on here with respect to highway mpg? This is a big, big disappointment from a power train that should be class leading by all rights considering the technology that has gone in to the power train and the truck. It should be class leading, because, not only is it a four cylinder turbo, but it also uses cylinder deactivation and it also has start-stop just like F150 and the new Ram V6; and it’s up to 450 pounds lighter than the previous generation pickup. But instead, it’s highway rating is the same as the fancier V8 that will be sold in the same trim levels as an optional engine (the version of the V8 that uses dynamic fuel management). And it is a full three points behind ford’s 2.7L V6, which has two more cylinders and no cylinder deactivation and 15 more horsepower and 52 more ft-lb torque. Let me run that by you again…Compared to this 2.7 Tripower from GM that’s available only as the standard engine in 2 out of 8 trims; an F150 can be purchased with a twin turbo starting at a much cheaper price, with 2 more cylinders; a transmission with 2 more gears; 15 more horses; 52 more foot lb torque; 800 more pounds towing; available in all configurations and trims up through Lariat, including a regular cab short bed, which GM is no longer even going to build; they get the same city rating, but the much more capable Ford 2.7L V6 Ecoboost gets the same in the city and 3 more on the highway. Not only that, but Ford’s base, naturally-aspired V6 engine gets 2 higher on the highway, and the same in the city and the same in the combined rating with 3.3L displacement. Moreover, Ram’s 3.6L now standard with eTorque gets the same in the city but three more on the highway than the Tripower with no downsizing or turbo charging and without cylinder deactivation. To add insult to injury, even if someone did want this engine in a GM truck with the same highway mpg as their own and others’ V8s, then he or she must choose one of two trim levels out of 8 total trim levels, whereas Ford and Ram lets you have their most fuel economical power trains down to their lowest price pickup except that Ram does not build the regular cab in either bed length in the new-styled pickup.

  • avatar
    gregsfc

    Ford’s 2.7L twin turbo Ecoboost versus GM’s 2.7L I4 Tripower.
    Ecoboost : Tripower
    Torque: 400 @ 2750 : 348 @ 1500
    HP : 325 @ 5000 : 310 @ 5800
    MPG : 20/26/22 : 20/23/21

    Availability F150: Available in XL, XLT all configurations starting at or about $29.5K list price including destination ($995 premium which includes 10-speed transmission). Standard in Lariat trim around $41K.

    Availability Silverado/Sierra: standard engine in LT and RST in double cab and crew cab configurations; not available in regular cab or lower trims or higher trims; starting around $38,500. GM is deceiving with their marketing claiming it’s a base engine, but it’s a base engine only at the 4th & 5th trim level up and not available anywhere else; whereas the F150 can be optioned for $995 in all configurations and trim levels up to Lariat but is standard in Lariat, and Ford does not call theirs a base engine.

    GM is also playing marketing tricks by comparing their gas turbo engine to Ford and Ram NA V6 engines, even though their turbo engine is not available in the lower trims, but with respect to Ford; the only place they beat Ford on pricing for their turbo versus Ford’s more capable and more efficient turbo is the LT versus the Lariat where they are both standard, but that still does not hide the fact that a customer can get an F150 with a twin turbo V6 with more power, more torque, more payload and much more towing for at least $8K less and get 3 more estimated mpg on the highway and get it in any configuration that Ford builds; all the way up through Lariat.

    Lastly, GM and the media are all making a mistake with regards to Ford’s base 3.3L V6. They are saying it’s top mpg rating is 19/25/22 and so they are saying they beat F150’s base engine city rating, but over at fueleconomy.gov; the 3.3L V6 in 2WD, standard duty FFV version is rated at 20/25/22, and so it now gets really hard for Chevy to compare their 2.7L Tripower to any Ford engine in a positive way, but they still will. They’ll just lie about the competiton or how they match up in so far as class.

  • avatar
    gregsfc

    What’s good about the new 2.7L I4 Tripower? A rather large four cylinder turbo for a full-size truck application, particularly a work truck, 2WD, regular cab or double cab is a great concept (lighter and less featured pickups with less than 18″ wheels and smaller profile), because a 4 cylinder turbo should rival a naturally-aspired V6 for cost and beat it for performance. It also does not (in concept) significantly handicap performance and efficiency versus a turbo six cylinder for light and medium duty applications in a half-ton pickup, because turbo charging is sort of a great equalizer. The Tripower engine is proof of this last assertion. A 2.7L 4 cylinder turbo that produces 310 hp and 348 ft-lb torque starting at only 1500 RPM beats any NA V6 in the segment for performance and payload and even beats Tundra’s base 4.6L V8 in those categories.

    What’s bad about the 2.7L Tripower? Almost everything. It’s availability puts it out of any regular cab configuration; is disallowed in any lower trim where value seekers would actually want such an engine; it’s tow number is lower than some mid size trucks, as it doesn’t necessarily have to get a big tow number, but it should be at least 7,700. Although GM is stating it’s a base engine and comepeting with Ford and Ram’s base engine, it is not a base engine, because one can get an F150 in XL or XLT or Lariat starting at a much cheaper price with their own base engine and even an F150 with their own 2.7L turbo for a much cheaper price than the cheapest possible Tripower-powered Chevy or GMC. It also cannot compete with Ram and their 3.6L V6 NA engine connected to their eTorque system, because this is a true base engine for Ram; available in their lowest trim and smallest configuration, although Ram doesn’t offer their new-styled truck in any regular cab. And then the big elephant in the room; the new Tripower falls by 2 to the Ram in the highway rating and 3 to F150 in the highway rating and falls to both of them by 1 in mixed driving.

    So while a rather large, 4 cylinder turbo is still a great opportunity for a great application in a half ton pickup; GM has not come close to meeting that opportunity. I would surmise that Ford or another manufacturer could produce around a 3.0L I4 turbo that could compete performance wise with the current Ecoboost V6 twin turbo; meet or beat the current F150 with the 2.7L V6 for mpg; and cost much less, making it a great replacement engine for Ford or Ram’s base NA V6.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • mcs: “on the other hand, why is it only Tesla deserves an exception?” Tesla never had a dealership...
  • dal20402: Only on TTAC: “The 200k mile service is too time-consuming. I won’t buy it.”
  • dal20402: I assume the $40k RAV4 buyer is not budgeting another $40k in the first year for parts and repairs.
  • SSJeep: Kyree XD
  • SSJeep: But, of course, the driver of the Rav4 will actually be able to start their CUV and make it to work every day...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States