GM working to increase Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel tow rating
The current 9,300-pound limit is said to already cover 95 percent of customers.
General Motors is apparently attempting to squeeze a bit more towing capacity from the latest diesel-powered Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500.
The 3.0-liter Duramax engine delivers 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, achieving an impressive 33-mpg highway rating but with a maximum towing capacity of 9,300 pounds.
For comparison, the Ford F-150 diesel has a lower 30-mpg highway rating yet superior towing capabilities of up to 11,500 pounds. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has managed a 32-mpg highway rating despite a much higher towing benchmark of 12,560 pounds.
GM believes 9,300 pounds is good enough for the vast majority of customers. The company has nonetheless tasked engineers with tweaking the truck, starting with materials used around the engine bay, to increase the hauling figure, GM's diesel engine control assistant chief engineer, John Barta, recently told Muscle Cars and Trucks.
"There was a conscious decision to maybe not go after the towing but go after the fuel economy," he said. "We just launched the engine, but we're not standing still ... we're trying to improve performance and still lower emissions. It's a delicate balance to do that."
GM engineers are apparently facing difficulty managing heat under the hood. The Duramax inline-six places its exhaust treatment components directly downstream from the turbocharger, providing an emissions advantage during normal driving but exposing the emissions hardware to potential accelerated degradation when towing above the current maximum weight.