GM's Flint Plant Will Build the Baby Duramax

Engine flint engine South 16[1] II

GM has announced it will build the all-new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder at the Flint Engine Operations plant in Michigan.

During media days at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM revealed that the baby Duramax, as the engine is called, will be mated to the all-new 10-speed transmission co-developed with Ford. It will be one of six engine-and-transmission powertrain combinations available for new GM half-ton pickup trucks.

Although GM has not released powertrain specs or performance numbers for the baby Duramax, Executive Vice President of Global Product Development Mark Reuss did say in Detroit that the new powertrain will offer more power than anything in its class. We take that to mean somewhere less than 300 horsepower and more than 450 pounds-feet of torque.

GM's Flint plant currently produces the 1.4-liter inline-four-cylinder engine for the Chevrolet Cruze sedan Equinox SUV and Volt electric vehicle, but it is in the process of undergoing a huge upgrade.

Neither the EcoDiesel-equipped Ram 1500 or the new baby Power Stroke-equipped Ford F-150 are likely to make up more than 10 percent of their respective half-ton sales for 2018. In fact, Ford is predicting new diesel sales will be closer to 5 percent. We expect something similar with the new baby Duramax when the full powertrain lineup is available for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 later this year.

Manufacturer images


Engine Flint Oper sign front 2 II



So, is this an actual Isuzu design, or is it based off of the VM Motori 2.8L that is currently found in the Canyon/Colorado (and currently referred to as Baby Duramax by owners).

RAM claims their reworked EcoDiesel will maintain class-leading numbers. They may be waiting for GM to release their numbers before they bring the EcoDiesel back.

How many "baby Duramax" engines does GM have? First it was the 4.5, then it was the 2.8, now it's the 3.0.

May not start production until 2019.

I have owned 3 inline 6 Cummins. I think it's the best design for this configuration.

This should be a pretty nice diesel product. The inline 6 approach has a very successful history. I don't think the market is huge for these small diesels, but they're pretty dang awesome.

Good idea,,
straight six would be perfect for half ton..

Is this diesel a Duramax???? I thought it was a in house designed gm diesel instead of an Isuzu diesel like duramax

@ Longboat - can't find any information on this engine. Chevy has a design studio in Turin Italy that was part of a partnership with Fiat. That is where this engine is being designed.

The fact that there isn't any specs or release date indicates that this is engine is still bits of code in a computer somewhere.

Isuzu has a 2.0 inline-4 RZ4E-TC. Maybe GM designed a diesel engine based on it, with two additional cylinders. The Duramax has been pretty good in the last few generations and the L5P is looking like a great engine so far, so I have a little more faith in their ability to build this engine right. It's the only half-ton diesel engine I have interest in at this point. The EcoDiesel just has too many issues with main bearing failures and other problems. And I don't want anything to do with a Ford diesel F-150 after the money I lost on their Powerstrokes in the past. Granted, their 3.0 is a Peugot so it has a better chance, but Ford always seems to do something to mess it up.

I would definitely prefer an Isuzu-based design over a VM Motori one. I haven't heard of many problems with GM's 2.8 VM Motori "baby" Duramax, but I have heard of the problems with the 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel. My coworker just had his Ecodiesel replaced under warranty a couple weeks ago. He had to wait in line to get his installed as there was a truck already in the service bay getting their ED replaced. The coworker's failure seems to be emissions system related. Seems to be a problem with the new engine oil FCA switched to as a result of all the crank bearing failures.

I'm curious about this inline-6 but I'm not sure if its the right choice for me. I guess it depends on the availability of the 6.2 engine option and if dynamic skip fire is as good as some people claim. Hopefully there's a way to disable it and the start/stop. I disabled AFM on my 2014 Silverado as soon as I rolled off the dealer lot. The direct injection 5.3/6.2 are so fuel efficient already that AFM doesn't make much difference in hilly areas.

Can't wait to watch this new GM engine blow them shi%%y Fords away! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait to watch this new GM engine blow itself up HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: johnny doe | Jan 18, 2018 4:47:12 PM

You’re a toxic person.



How many "baby Duramax" engines does GM have? First it was the 4.5, then it was the 2.8, now it's the 3.0.

Posted by: Robert | Jan 18, 2018 1:44:53 PM

Baby Duramax isn't referring to any specific size. The baby is used as an expression as in, ITS GOT A DURAMAX, BABY!

The Little engine that Can and Will

Regardless of the design origin and or partnerships, I am pleased to see American jobs in the production.

Junk junk junk junk junk junk !!!!!!!!!!



Posted by: papajim | Jan 18, 2018 5:22:12 PM


Funny how GM fanboys always lived by two rules.

1. Trucks need V8s.
2. Never buy a truck with an unproven power train.

“This new in-line six is the best thing ever!!!!”

Haha no seriously, GM finally has an engine in a half ton that O can get excited about. But I just wanted to mock the fanboys, because that’s always fun.

Junk junk junk junk junk junk !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chingon | Jan 18, 2018 8:41:54 PM

What a interesting mentality of ford folks, This is a new engine that no one knows any info about but that it's 3.0, I6 and will have more power then competition. But this guys will bash it in it's oven. Does it make you feel better?? It really explains your IQ and how you chose ford.

Is DSP5 available for it yet? 😂

Well that's good news for Flint and the US as long as GM can stay in business without welfare.

Glad they didn't call it "Eco Duramax"

The manufacturer that sells the most diesel half tons, will be the one (if any) that allow the buyer to purchase the diesel option in lower or base models. The “King Ranch” and “Big Horn” option requirements, push’s most buyers out of the diesel half ton market.

Hopefully they don come with CP4 Pumps!!! Feeling like i just got robed by GM😠

The “King Ranch” and “Big Horn” option requirements, push’s most buyers out of the diesel half ton market...Posted by: Mike | Jan 19, 2018 9:02:28 AM


that orphan has many fathers. In addition to diesels being more expensive to build, the marketers at the Big 3 don't want to lose sales to the competition so they tend to package engine upgrades with trim upgrades---the assumption being that guys who won't check the box for leather interiors, won't buy engine upgrades either. Dumb.

Hopefully they don come with CP4 Pumps!!! Feeling like i just got robed by GM😠
Posted by: Joey | Jan 19, 2018 9:07:43 AM

The L5P uses a Denso pump. The 2.8 Duramax uses a Denso pump.

I would say it came from Turin. VM MOTORI is well known for doing small diesels with a lot of power, Isuzu no.

The Cp4 pumps are a thing of the past for GM. The new Duramax engines, both 6.6L and 2.8L use a complete Denso system that is proving to be great. The injectors are more durable as well.
I hope the 3.0L inline 6 Dmax has as good an introduction as the 2.8L that has been the most trouble free diesel 1st gen release that I can remember. Very durable and well liked by the guys I have been talking with that own them.

Can we do away with the whole "baby Duramax" thing? It's a line of engines under a brand name, just like the PowerStrokes Ford has. Nobody refers to the PowerStroke 3.2 Inline-5 as a "baby PowerStroke".

@Mike Ram already does this. You can get the EcoDiesel in the Tradesman HFE trucks. That's not the absolute cheapest Ram they offer, but adding the diesel in the first place would put the most basic Ram over the $30k mark, and the Ram HFE is in the $30s

I'm not happy with this 3.0L crap, but it works well in the Asian markets when they keep the size to .5L and less. A proper size diesel for a 1500 would be roughly the 4.5L that they had designed originally. The inline idea for the engine is based on the NVH issues. Inline engines are smoother running which is the reason that the best small diesel made is also an inline 3.0L. The BMW inline 6 at 3.0L is by far the best diesel make currently for the 5.0L and smaller size range. Hopefully GM used that engine as a base to learn from for design on this one. BMW has figured out how to make more power than anyone else in that size range with low NVH and impressive reliability.


I can relate regarding the 3.0L size of the new GM inline diesel. I'm thinking that a larger engine would be a better choice as well.

That said, let's wait and see how it performs. General Motors has built a few diesel engines down through the years (some good, some not) and I'm feeling confident that their development team will do a good job.

With the RV industry experiencing explosive growth at this time, the 1/2 ton + diesel pickup truck platform should prove to be an attractive option for those buyers who wish to pull a "smaller" RV.

The problem with both the current Titan XD Cummins and Ram Eco Diesel trucks is that their low GVWR and heavy vehicle weight yields disappointingly low payload capacity; 1300 lb and 859 lb plus or minus, respectively. So even if they offer decent trailer towing capacity, you are limited by pitifully anemic payload capacity and pin weight, if pulling a fifth wheel.

I hope the Ford and GM diesel 1/2 ton offerings offer better payload, since both automakers have made efforts to reduce vehicle weight with advanced metallurgy.

I see RV enthusiasts as a viable market for the 1/2 ton diesel, who want to pull a smaller trailer and enjoy better fuel economy.

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