Next-generation full-size pickup trucks from Ford and General Motors will have to balance towing and hauling capability with unprecedented frugality to meet tough new government fuel-economy standards. Here’s the latest information from our insider sources about the engines that will help them accomplish this feat.
Ford is said to be working on two all-new six-cylinder engines under a program codenamed “Nano.” The Nano mills are expected to continue Ford’s efforts to shrink engine displacement while using turbocharging to boost power levels and return superior mileage. They are said to have displacements of approximately 2.6 or 2.7 liters and 3.0 liters and are expected to find their way into the next-gen Mustang as well as the F-150. Other Ford vehicles are likely to host these engines, as well. The 3.0-liter V-6 is said to have a power target of approximately 300 to 315 horsepower, almost the same as today’s entry-level naturally aspirated 305-hp, 3.7-liter V-6. Instead of twin turbos, the Nano engines are expected to use so-called dual-stage turbocharging, where two different-sized turbos work independently or in tandem. One turbo is used at low speeds for drivability and fuel economy, while the second turbo spools up at high speeds to deliver extra power.
GM is expected to offer four significantly updated or new gasoline engines for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, in addition to the workhorse 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8. All of the new gas engines will feature direct injection. Heavy-duty trucks are said to receive an exclusive 6.2-liter V-8. Currently, a 6.2-liter V-8 is only available for the 2007-12 Silverado and Sierra 1500 half-tons. Light- and heavy-duty models would share a 6.0-liter V-8 that’s currently only available for 2007-2012 Silverado and Sierra HD pickups. In early planning for both large displacement V-8s, supercharging was considered as an option (similar to the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 concept truck) for maximum power while maintaining fuel efficiency. However, supercharging has been dropped from consideration for now. GM’s next-gen half-tons are also expected to continue offering a V-8 with 5.3 liters of displacement and a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that can compete head-to-head with Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Six-speed transmissions are expected to be the standard gearbox for all engines.