The waters in the heavy-duty segment are starting to boil. According some of our sources, the next-generation Duramax from GM is likely to be a 2016/2017 model and will get several improvements to provide more horsepower and more torque. Improvements in both of those areas will put GM's HDs much closer to the Ram HDs' 400 hp/850 pounds-feet of torque and the 2015 Ford Super Duty's 440 hp/860 pounds-feet of torque.
We're hearing the new turbo-diesel engine slated for the Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 models will use the same 6.6-liter Duramax block but offer a smarter injector system and a more sophisticated electronic control module. Preliminary reports indicate 440 hp and 850 pounds-feet of torque.
GM has made no official announcement about the Duramax changes, but we're guessing the powertrain team went into high gear when Ram Truck pushed the high-output 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six-cylinder ratings on the 2013 models. And with the current 2015 Super Duty Power Stroke delivering the highest hp and torque numbers around, some kind of GM response was inevitable.
PickupTrucks.com is deep into the planning stages of another Heavy-Duty Challenge (remember our "2011 Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker" test?) in which we'll compete the best and strongest 2014/2015 diesel one-tons and gas-engine three-quarter-ton pickups the three big truckmakers have to offer. We'll have more details as we get closer to our late July publishing date, but you can expect all the HD tests we can think up for this one. More to come.