No Excuses 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel for Sierra 1500 | GMC Life

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NO EXCUSES: 3.0L DURAMAX® TURBO-DIESEL ENGINE IS EFFICIENT, RESPONSIVE AND POWERFUL

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Diesel engines are known for their efficiency and durability, but when you’re talking about the 2020 Sierra 1500 pickup truck’s available 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine, that’s just the beginning.

With up to 30 MPG highway on 2WD models, 460 lb.-ft. of torque, 277 hp and a max towing capability of 9,000 lbs., the newest Duramax offers — everything truck owners want — capability, power and efficiency.

“The 3.0L Duramax was designed to be a ‘no excuses’ engine option that offers excellent fuel efficiency, great low-end torque and smooth responsive operation," Assistant Chief Engineer John Barta states. “We delivered on those targets with outstanding fuel economy, best-in-class 277 horsepower and great throttle response.”

Barta — a member of the team that created this new engine being built in Flint, Mich. — was there as it was developed and tested, and tested some more.

“We logged well over 2.5 million on-road miles specifically with the 3.0L Duramax,” Barta recalls. “More than five round-trips to the moon!”        

To help test the durability, GMC seeks out nature’s extremes — going to Death Valley at the hottest times of the year, north to Canada at the coldest times of the year and to many of the highest elevations that a customer can drive in North America.

“In October 2018, our verification team drove eight development trucks to Fairbanks, Alaska, to find freezing temperatures and validate our diesel exhaust fluid systems prior to the upcoming winter season,” Barta says. “It was an epic 6,200-mile drive to Fairbanks from our Michigan Proving Grounds, and we found what we were looking for, minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.”

BALANCED ATTACK

The 3.0L Duramax diesel inline-six engine design lends itself to efficiency.

“The inline six is a naturally balanced engine,” Barta points out. “The result is we don’t need balance shafts and the engine only has one set of overhead cams (compared with two sets in a V6). Fewer parts mean less weight and friction and enhanced efficiency. It’s a win-win design that offers fuel economy and smooth operation.”

The 3.0L Duramax includes several new features that all work in harmony to increase power, reduce friction and increase efficiency.

Active Thermal Management targets specific areas of the powertrain system for heating and cooling. This not only helps the engine warm up quickly, but also maintains an ideal temperature for performance and minimizes fuel consumption. The system controls the coolant in new ways.

“Once warmed, it is able to pinpoint temperature levels at different locations in the engine to have optimum combustion. For instance, we can control the engine block and the engine head separately to maximize the effectiveness of the cooling system,” Barta explains.

“Also, new to the Duramax diesel engine family, the 3.0L uses a variable intake valve, we call it the swirl valve, to tumble or swirl the air at low rmp to get better combustion and power with less fuel.”

An electrically controlled, variable-geometry turbocharger moves the turbo blades to the desired position quickly, helping to enable responsive acceleration. In addition, a water charge air cooler cools the air from the turbo to increase air density and improve combustion and power.

MADE FOR ADVENTURE

The 3.0L Duramax delivers its impressive torque at low rpm, perfectly suiting the engine for off-road use in the Sierra AT4.

“The 3.0L generates 95% of its torque at only 1250 rpm and full torque at 1500 rpm," Barta tells us. “Paired with our 10-speed transmission, it provides great control without having to rev the engine to get over the rocks and out of the valleys. While climbing around on those rocks, the fuel consumption will be better. This will help allow longer treks and reduce the amount of fuel you need to carry.”

Whether it’s an AT4, or another Sierra equipped with the new engine, Barta encourages people to get behind the wheel.

“Notice how fun it is to drive while being efficient," he said. "The low-end torque and broad torque band give you a satisfying punch that speaks to power and capability while doing it at low noise levels and offering a combined average fuel economy in the mid-20s."

“Only a few years ago, this would not have been possible!” 

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  • Requires available 3.0L Turbo Diesel engine. EPA est. 23 city/30 hwy mpg (2WD).

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Class is half-ton pickup segment.

  • 7,700-lb rating requires a properly equipped 2WD Canyon Elevation Crew Cab short bed model with available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine and Trailering Package (late availability). Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires 4WD Double Cab with available 6.2L V8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • SLE models only.

  • 7,550-lb rating requires a properly equipped 4WD Canyon Denali model with available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine (late availability). Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options oraccessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab DRW Long Box 4WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 9,600-lb rating requires a 2500 or 3500 Regular wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo’s 10,000-lb rating requires  the available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package.  Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.  The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 8,940-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7700-lb rating requires 2WD Crew Cab model with available Duramax 2.8L I-4 Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Crew Cab DRW equipped with 6.6L Duramax Diesel and fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch. Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Starting at price for base Sierra HD. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Available. Requires 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine.

  • Terrain's 3,500-lb rating requires available 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine and available trailering equipment. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires available 3.6L V6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Yukon’s 8,500-lb rating requires short wheelbase 2wd with 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine and HD Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 9,006-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

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