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GM to Boost Towing Capacity of its 1500 Diesel Pickups

General Motors wants to boost the towing capacity of its diesel-powered 1500 pickup trucks

This past June we tested the diesel-powered version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500; a few months later we did the same with the GMC Sierra.

Now, just six months on, GM says it wants to increase the towing capacity of those new diesel models. Really, it’s one more sign of the fevered competition taking place in the full-size truck segment.

Currently, the towing capacity of GM”S pickups equipped with the 3.0L 6-cylinder Duramax engine is 9,300 lb. That powertrain develops 277 hp ad 460 lb-ft and has proven itself highly effective since it debuted. Even better, it puts up an impressive 7.1L/100 km fuel-consumption rating on highway.

GMC Sierra
Photo: GMC
GMC Sierra

The problem for GM is that the diesel-powered variant of the Ford F-150, while it consumes more on the highway, can pull up to 11,500 lb. Over at Ram, its equivalent puts up similar consumption numbers but has an even-better towing capacity of 12,650 lb.

For GM, to have its very capable product wind up third in terms of towing capacity is simply not acceptable, so it’s not surprising that GM wants to revisit its pickups’ capabilities, even though the company believes that current capacity meets owners’ needs 95% of the time.

And so it presented its engineers with a tough challenge. General Motors acknowledges having prioritized fuel economy over pulling capacity, but it also says it never stops trying to fine-tune its powertrains.

Stay tuned.

Ram 1500 / Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Photo: D.Boshouwers
Ram 1500 / Chevrolet Silverado 1500