While many auto writers focused on recent comments made by GM's Mark Reuss about the possibility of a small turbo-diesel making its way into an upcoming GM pickup truck (we guessed the new Colorado or Canyon), it seems like the automaker's archrivals have some turbo-diesel news of their own.
Ford has finally announced which turbo-diesel engine will be an option (previously announced) in the all-new-coming-next-year 2014 Ford Transit, ready to debut at the North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit.
The all-new (for North American markets) 3.2-liter inline-five turbo-diesel engine is already being used in the T6 Ford Ranger sold in other European markets. Although no EPA fuel economy or SAE-rated horsepower and torque numbers are available yet, we do know the Ranger is rated at 197 horsepower and 347 pounds-feet of torque (with 90 percent of its available torque between 1,700 and 3,000 rpm) in Europe; additionally, we have heard some chatter on a Power Stroke forum that the engine/van combination could get as much as 23 mpg in one-ton form.
The new Power Stroke uses an extremely rigid sand-cast gray iron block, an aluminum cylinder head, dual-overhead cams with four valves per cylinder, piezoelectric fuel injectors and a variable nozzle, electronically actuated turbocharger. And to keep it all clean, Ford will use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and a particulate filter, similar in theory to what is used on the Super Duty's 6.7-liter Power Stroke.
No announcements have been made about using this engine in any other models or whether or not there will be a "light-pickup" version of the Transit platform (with either the Power Stroke or EcoBoost), but we'll be asking.
This makes Ford the first truck maker to offer more than one turbo-diesel option to its customers. But if Reuss has his way, it sounds like GM might become the first to offer two different diesel engine choices for their large and small pickups. Of course, you'll remember that there were also rumors that the Ram 1500 could also get a turbo-diesel choice in the near future as well, but we've heard nothing definitive as to that engine would the VM Motori or baby Cummins. We've been hearing about the possibility of a "baby Power Stroke" from Truck Trend Magazine and TurboDieselRegistry.com for some time but it looks like they were both a little off the mark.
The new Power Stroke diesel engine will be paired with the 3.2-liter EcoBoost V-6 as Transit powertrain choices, and both will use the 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission. The engine itself will be made in South Africa and shipped to the Ford commercial van plant (currently being updated with a $1.1 billion investment) to produce the new Transit.
To read the Ford press release, click here.