Chevrolet says power claims on paper aren’t everything. And to prove it, GM’s bow tie brand has issued a challenge to Ford to a high-altitude, heavy-duty towing and brake test in the Colorado Rockies.
Ford currently has the most powerful diesel engine available in the HD segment. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 was recently boosted to an incredible 400 horsepower and 800 pounds-feet of torque, taking the title away from GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax V-8, which is rated at 397 hp and 765 pounds-feet.
But Chevy still says the Duramax will outperform the Power Stroke in an apples-to-apples towing comparison.
"Numbers on paper are fine. Let's go work these trucks in the mountains, and may the best truck win," Chevrolet Silverado Marketing Manager Tony Truelove said.
Truelove and Rick Spina, vehicle line executive for GM full-size trucks, want identically configured trucks to tackle a multiple-mile ascent in the Rocky Mountains to find out which truck will finish the lengthy climb first pulling a heavy trailer. Then, they want to turn around and measure which truck has the superior exhaust brake by measuring the amount of foot brake application required by the driver to slow the truck down.
An exhaust brake saves on brake and transmission wear by creating back pressure to engine brake the truck. It also reduces the potential for brake fade during long descents, increasing both downhill safety while towing as well as overall wheel brake life.
But Ford is declining this challenge.
"We challenge our trucks against the competition in grueling prove-out tests continually, and the customer gives us the results -- sales leadership year after year," Ford Trucks spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said.
Chevrolet is moving forward with a Chevrolet Silverado HD vs. Ford Super Duty showdown and has asked PickupTrucks.com to oversee the comparison along with the guys from Diesel Power Magazine. The Chevy truck team intends to obtain the Super Duty trucks from a third party, and we’ll be there as an impartial judge to verify the configurations and measure truck performance up and down the grades.
"We encourage independent testing of our vehicles as it helps truck customers learn more about each manufacturer's products," said Spina. "It also helps us understand how our trucks stack up and get a full perspective on the truck landscape —to learn who's doing what and why they're doing it. We see competition as making us stronger!"
The final details are still coming together. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news about this challenge.