Heavy Duty comfortable on highway, in winter
A giant diesel furnace
Keeping speed reasonable, the tester’s optional new 6.6 litre Duramax turbodiesel V8 chugs along at about 1,600 revs-- making barely a peep in the process. Monstrous low-end torque means that downshifting is optional, and that the 2500HD will discreetly increase its velocity with the slightest touch of the accelerator.
Jam it, and the Duramax rockets the truck along almost inappropriately-- leaving snorty diesel sound effects in its wake. No smell, smoke or soot, of course.
On cold mornings, the tester’s remote start function pre-heats the leather seats, and more importantly, the 6.6 litre diesel furnace. It clacks briefly upon ignition, after which point sound effects quickly fade to a soft hum no louder than a big gas engine. The tester wore a leather grille cover to help the engine heat up quickly in the cold, too.
To Diesel or not to Diesel
This new ‘clean’ diesel mill is a $9,670 option above the standard six-litre gas V8. GM’s Craig Couch, Product Manager for the Chevrolet Silverado, explains the merits of the Duramax turbodiesel engine.
“This can be a better choice than gas powertrains for customers who will use their truck to regularly tow loads over 10,000 pounds, to haul up grades, experience altitude, or expect quick, high torque acceleration. A turbocharged diesel is more efficient than a gas engine due to the energy density of the fuel (diesel has 17% more energy per litre), and because of a higher pressure combustion cycle.
“Due to the efficiency of the engine, lower RPMs, and the higher energy content of the fuel source, a diesel powertrain is significantly more fuel efficient than gas when loaded near the vehicle limits”.
The tester’s diesel engine came paired to a tough-as-nails six-speed Allison automatic transmission. Nice positive shifting from this gearbox. It’s not a Lexus, but for something built to handle the torque output of a small earthquake, it’s impressively smooth.
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