GM is developing an inline-six engine for trucks and pickups

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2
Image: Chevy

GM is looking to reduce its pickup truck engine offerings. If a report of GM Authority Believe it, the General is currently considering a line of straight-six gasoline engines for use in its pickup trucks and SUVs.

Engine development follows GM’s process called Cylinder set strategy, where several different engine configurations derive from the same basic architecture. If the development of this new engine progresses, GM Authority says it will share its architecture with GM L3B 2.7 liter turbocharged I4 making 310 hp. This engine replaced the ancient 4.3 liter V6.

A turbocharged six-cylinder engine would make sense for GM, moving away from the large-displacement naturally aspirated V8s in the automaker’s hugely popular (and profitable) full-size trucks and SUVs. It would also follow an industry trend towards boosted six-cylinder engines – and straight-sixes in particular.

Ford has been making Ecoboost V6s for years and offers them in everything from dispatch and Navigator to F-150 performance versions of the Edge, Explorer and Aviator. While their real-world fuel economy gains are questionable, they produce power rivaling the V8 and help Ford meet regulatory requirements for better efficiency. Toyota just introduced a new turbocharged hybrid V6 in the Lexus LX and the new Toyota Sequoia and Tundra.

A bunch of automakers have come out with all-new straight-six engines over the past few years. mercedes kicked things off in 2017 with the all-new S-Class and its 3.0-litre I6. In higher trims, this thing produces V8-like power, with 516 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s Stellantis with its new Turbocharged Hurricane I6currently available in the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer and likely to spread elsewhere in the automaker’s lineup.

If GM goes ahead with this rumored engine, it will be the company’s first turbocharged straight-six, and its first straight-six since the Atlas engine that was only used in the GMT 360 SUVs ( Oldsmobile Bravada, Saab 9-7X, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Isuzu Ascender, GMC Envoy).

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