Chevy Colorado to get 30-mpg diesel engine

The company wants to dethrone the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, requiring a highway rating of at least 30 mpg.

General Motors is reportedly preparing to take on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, with plans to add an oil-burner to the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

The midsize stablemates won't be an apples-to-apples rival against Chrysler's full-size pickup, but the size disparity could give GM an edge as it attempts to win the mpg battle. To dethrone the Ram EcoDiesel, the Colorado will need to achieve a city/highway rating of at least 22/30 mpg.

The feat is expected to be achieved with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax engine, which will likely produce 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, according to a Car and Driver report. The powerplant is nearly 60 ponies and 50 lb-ft of torque shy of FCA's 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel mill, but the Colorado and Canyon are approximately 1,000 lbs lighter than the Ram 1500.

The current Colorado maxes out at 20/27 mpg with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, achieving better highway and combined ratings than the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. The new F-150 is also among the fuel-sippers in the full-size segment, with a 19/26 mpg rating.

The diesel-powered Colorado and Canyon are expected to be available exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission when they arrive in showrooms sometime this fall. Pricing remains unclear, but the oil burner will likely fetch significant premium over the standard models.

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