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Detailing The 2016 Canyon’s New Duramax Diesel

A deep-dive look at the all-new Duramax turbo diesel engine which will be available on the 2016 Canyon midsize pickup truck.


The 2016 GMC Canyon diesel boasts an all-new powertrain that expands the Canyon’s already class-leading capabilities, including trailering capacity of up to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg).

The new 2.8L Duramax diesel, SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm), is estimated to deliver greater highway fuel economy than the Canyon’s segment-topping gas engines, and is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever from General Motors. It goes on sale this fall.

An available trailering package includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector, as well as the segment-exclusive automatic locking rear differential. A 3.42 rear axle ratio and four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife™ brake rotors are standard. Capacities include:

  • Maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) for 2WD models and 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg) for 4WD
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) for 2WD and 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) for 4WD

 “A diesel engine was part of the Canyon’s portfolio plan from the beginning, meaning the chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture were engineered to support it,” said Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer. “That means there are no compromises with the Canyon diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.”

All-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel details
The Canyon small pickup truck’s new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel is part of General Motors’ global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed to deliver capability and efficiency. It features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.

  “The new 2.8L Duramax was designed specifically for trucks and has undergone many of the same validation tests as the 6.6L Duramax offered in the GMC Sierra HD models, advancing the Duramax brand’s legacy of durability and reliability,” said Yackley.

The Duramax 2.8L is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by GM and meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.

The cooled EGR contributes to lower emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates, improving emissions performance by reducing the formation of NOx.

Smart exhaust brake details
The Canyon’s integrated, driver-selectable exhaust brake system is based on the system introduced on the 2015 Sierra HD models and uses the compression power of the 2.8L Duramax engine to improve vehicle control and reduce brake pad wear.

When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, exhaust cruise grade braking helps the cruise control system maintain the desired downhill vehicle speed, keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes and exit cruise control to maintain speed.

When the exhaust brake is engaged in non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load. It is a smart system that varies the amount of braking needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The engagement of the system is smooth and quiet, while its performance enhances the driver’s feeling of control.

CPVA contributes to refinement
The Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter is designed to control vibration and noise. It is an absorbing damper with a set of secondary spring masses, that — when energized — cancels out the engine’s torsional vibrations so the driver and passengers can’t feel them.

In its unique design, the spring masses vibrate in the opposite direction of the torsional vibrations of the engine, balancing out undesirable torsional vibrations. Its use in the Canyon mid-size truck marks the first application of a CPVA in GM vehicles and its first use in the midsize truck segment.

Additional engine features include:

  • Iron cylinder block and aluminum DOHC cylinder head
  • Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
  • Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery
  • Piston-cooling oil jets
  • 16.5:1 compression ratio
  • Common rail direct injection fuel system
  • Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures
  • Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump
  • Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness
  • B20 bio-diesel capability

The new Duramax diesel is offered on 2016 Canyon SLE and SLT Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD. It is priced $3,730 more than a comparably equipped Canyon V-6 model. 2