The battle between power and efficiency has been brewing since the beginning of the automobile. From massive engines to power adders (a supercharger, turbocharger, or nitrous engine, for example), all manufacturers have been trying to get that perfect balance of fuel economy and capability. GMC is one of the manufacturers that has found the seamless combination of force and mileage per gallon with the Duramax turbocharged diesel engine--currently found in the GMC Sierra HD and Savana vans.
As far as trucks are concerned, diesel fuel has been used for many generations and is known to be loud, always blowing black smoke, and costly to maintain. But GMC's latest Duramax engine could be one of the quietest, cleanest, and cheapest to maintain diesel motors ever manufactured. And, with the use of a turbocharger, the Duramax has added power.
Depending on the GMC vehicle, the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine does have different power ratings, but the engine ranges from 260 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of torque for the Savana to 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque for the GMC Sierra HD 2500.
Many people look at those numbers and think that because of the large amount of power, fuel economy has to suffer. However, with the use of an Allison six-speed automatic transmission geared with fuel economy in mind, GMC says that the 2013 GMC Sierra 2500 HD equipped with the Duramax engine is capable of a maximum highway range of 680 miles on a single tank, which averages out to just under 19 miles per gallon.
In the past, a supercharger or turbocharger was often used in performance-oriented vehicles, including the GMC Typhoon and GMC Cyclone--two performance trucks that GMC manufactured in the early 1990s. Today, with the use of new technology and fuel-delivery methods, the use of a turbocharger in a heavy-duty truck like the Sierra HD not only offers the power you need but also fuel economy, which is worth every penny.