GM Exec Hints at New Diesel for Trucks

Chevy Silverado_cdauto II

During a quick interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter (a subscription may be required) at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mark Reuss, head of GM's North American operations, said the new half-ton pickups from Chevy and GMC mark a change in direction for the segment. 

When speaking about the long-anticipated 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, he noted they would better reflect the changing desires of full-size new-truck buyers, meaning they would be more refined and not overdone. We're guessing Reuss is specifically talking about the old-school trend where truck makers made their pickups look (and drive) more like heavier-duty big rigs than family-friendly people-haulers. 

Reuss emphasized that GM's two-truck strategy -- namely, having the smaller Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon and the Silverado and Sierra -- will do a better job serving GM customers who might not need more truck then their anticipated work needs require. He went on to say that having separate truck lines that compete better against the Toyota Tacoma and the Ford F-150 will better serve their diverse customers. 

There's no question fuel economy will be a huge priority for every truck that comes to market from now on, but it's interesting that in the article, Reuss said GM is still looking at using a diesel in one of its light-duty pickups. It should be noted that the article doesn't clearly say if Reuss was speaking about the smaller Colorado/Canyon, which does offer small turbo-diesels in other global markets, or the coming Silverado/Sierra, which has not had a diesel since the late '80s and early '90s. Reuss did not offer further details about when and where such a diesel option would be decided. 

Our guess is that a new turbo-diesel would show up in the smaller pickups, since they have much of the research and development and engineering costs sunk as those vehicles (with two TDI options) are already on sale in many Southeast Asian and South American markets. In fact, Reuss said many buyers interested in the small-truck segment want 90 percent of the capability but are looking for much better fuel efficiency. A turbo-diesel Colorado or Canyon would satisfy that customer.

As for a turbo-diesel in either of the coming GM half-tons (a la the Duramax 4.5-liter V-8), we think the chances are quite slim. 

For now, all we can say is that it's nice that the GM exec is giving the idea some solid thought. More to come as we find exactly what powertrains the new GM half-tons will have on Dec. 13. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait quite a bit longer (at least six months longer) for the info to come out regarding the new Colorado and Canyon powertrains

GMCcanyon.us05.KGP II



@Mark Williams. Mark Reuss was the Chairman of Holden and in that capacity saw how effective "midsize" Diesel Pickups were. So it is no surprise he wants the introduction of diesels into the NA market.

Mark Reuss fixing an early 1950's Australian Holden Ute. It was his own "project" in Australia.

Production of Chevy Cruze diesel begins 2nd quarter, Lordstown Ohio.

2.0L DOHC turbodiesel Variable geometry turbo

Euro version 161 hp / 265 lb-ft

Unlikely they are going to bother doing two entirely different engines when the 2.0L suits a small truck application so well...

@Joookes The Cruze diesel is pretty underpowered for use in the Colorado. It works in the Cruze here but it is NO Pickup diesel.

Does Anybody Have A Gun!!!...Just Joking....


I bet the Colorado would be the choice for a diesel. As the engine(s) are available the 2.5 and 2.8 turbo diesel.

I heard that Caddy was going to put a 2.8 into one of their cars, that would be my bet.

A V8 diesel for the 1/2 ton is a no go, why use a V8 when some of the V6 diesels and soon 4cyl diesels will outperform them.

I could see them justifying a large displacement (2.5-2.8L) I4 diesel if it was shared with another vehicle line, such as the next generation delivery vans.

3.0L V6 is a good possibility as well

I would own one immediately but I'm not getting my hopes up.

It's all tease and talk with GM. I think they talk about an idea and other companies say.. that's a great idea and get to market with it while they sleep.

That Colorado in the bottom pic, with a bench front seat, a Rambox like bed rail store feature and a 2.0L TTD for $20k base in 2014 or just go away already.

Hopefully they redesigned the Suburban 2500 with the Duramax in mind. It's very annoying that you can get a diesel in Heavy Duty pickups and vans, but not in the Heavy Duty Suburban.

Yep. What Paul 810 said.

Come on GM, toss a diesel in a small pickup truck! If they do, and if its successful, hopefully it will get Ford to jump in with their global-for-the-whole-world-except-the-US Ranger

Whats the use ?

Obama admin put in strict e.p.a regulations so the vehicles are all ruined now.Smart 's will be the top end model and it will go down from there ,and trucks only for construction companies.Because the price of fuel will be sky high and 400 hp trucks and their perfect current size will be shrunken down to little turds.Look at new homes in many areas they have next to no driveway,small garage they are planning for their utopia of nobody owning a vehicle,its coming..

You know if your car/truck gets 50 mpg you will not save money at the pump,because the price of gas will skyrocket.We will never have cheap driving as we do today,not with these left wing idiocies !

I know people are lost,in the clouds and think they will drive the same type of vehicle as they do now but it will get 40-60 mpg,it aint going to happen kids...And again with 55 mpg vehicles gas prices will be so high $30 or so a gallon you wont be able to drive,this is what they want,if you dont think so look around the evidence is everywhere !

I live in Columbus Indiana, I see test trucks everyday I go into town Ram 2500's-5500's they tow trailers with anything from bricks to bulldozers on them. Just drive around town pull in a parking lot write some stuff down then drive off, but I have also seen Ram 1500 test trucks which I find wired is Ram planning a diesel as well?

GM = MAJOR government bailout...

Why should we care about this LOSER company that cannot keep themselves profitable and required a political bailout from the democraps to cover their POOR decisions and management!

Why should we have to pay for their mistakes?

The new V8 suppose to get 24 highway, can't see the diesel getting much better, so it wouldn't be worth it with the hieger cost of the motor and fuel.


The Mercedes ML350 SUV with the 3.5L gas engine gets 23mpg highway.

The same Mercedes ML350 SUV with the 3.0L diesel engine gets 28mpg highway.

That's a 22% increase.

No reason we couldn't see that same increase or better in GM's light duty trucks by switching from a gas V8 to an appropriately sized diesel engine.

Here in NJ, diesel fuel currently averages 14% more per gallon than regular gas. That would be an 8% savings on each gallon with the diesel. Whether or not that's actually worth it is up for debate, but I would certainly be willing to give diesel a chance.

Personally, I think it would be great if GM gave us the option. At least then we could decide for ourselves.

GM = MAJOR government bailout...

GM'C' = GovtMoCo. NOW AND FOREVER MORE! I Still want My money back for TWO UNNECESSARY truck lines! What a Waste of Taxpayer dollars. Just a Left Wing puppet now. Those Sierra driving Obama loving Denali girls sure love it though.

@Moar Bacon, I total agree with your thoughts about GM putting a decent diesel in a midsize truck. I also share your sentiment with regards to Ford jumping into the same game with the "global" Ranger. After reading this article, it seems to me that GM completely understands the vast diversity of the entire truck market. From those buyers looking for a fuel efficient truck that will fit into the average size garage to those who demand an HD truck that will haul a 10,000 lb skid steer. Although I'm a Ford guy, I'll gladly consider a fresh new GM mid-size. My brand loyalty only goes as far as the manufacturer is willing to produce a quality vehicle that is capable, efficient and meets my needs for the right price. Ford is failing me by not making the new Ranger available. I drive a 2002 F-150 SuperCrew and I will not buy a bloated new F-150. As nice as the new F-150's are, they have grown twice in size since I bought mine new two generations ago.

@400 (and the like), You are speaking non-sense. I would love to revisit this thread in 20 years, as it would clearly prove your ignorance. The manufacturers are not only responding to stricter regulations (which by the way, they welcome despite the obvious challenges) but also to consumer demands. When gasoline went over $4 a gallon, it was a wake-up call to everyone. Who doesn't like fuel efficiency? With many of these new engine technologies, even the highest power engines are more efficient than their predecessors. It's called progress and generally thought of as a win-win for everyone including the environment. The status-quo seems to be bigger and more powerful, quite the opposite of your obvious right wing rant. And Obama isn't taking away anyone's F-350, so calm down and watch some more FOX news. As the article clearly states, there is a demand for various size trucks with many engine options to meet all of the needs of the truck market. Having the freedom of choice is a beautiful thing.

Oxi is just pissed that his and terrorists beloved Toyota wont offer a diesel option!

MoparMadness, your money back??? Taxes are not optional, and no, you wouldn't pay less taxes if GM and Chrysler wouldn't get bailed out.

FORD- Major bank bailout before the financial meltdown. Ford was in trouble two years before the meltdown that brought down GM and Chrysler. The Ford family was considering selling all their shares of Ford and bailing out. This is a fact!

Greg, A bank fund is called capitalism. A taxpayer funded bailout is socialism. Lik oxi I'm tired of GM making bad decisions. All of this hint crap is just talk. They have been hinting for years.

Mark Reuss was just talking in circles. Consider, "They will be no-nonsense trucks, but they will compete with Toyota and Ford" Or, "Fuel economy is important for every new truck, but buy the little one if your concerned about gas milleage".

Sounds like he was blowing smoke trying to cover the fact that, once again, they slapped these trucks together in a hurry without any real plan.

GM = MAJOR government bailout...

GM'C' = GovtMoCo. NOW AND FOREVER MORE! I Still want My money back for TWO UNNECESSARY truck lines! What a Waste of Taxpayer dollars. Just a Left Wing puppet now. Those Sierra driving Obama loving Denali girls sure love it though.

Posted by: MoparMadness | Nov 30, 2012 9:29:00 AM

What about your precious Chrysler's bailout? Hell were bailed out twice by the gov't. I guess you have a short term memory.

"Chances are quite slim" that I'll be buying a new GM.

No Duramax 4.5-liter V-8) = no sale!

Midsize truck (aka 2000MY Full size truck) with a small diesel! I don't care who builds it. I'd consider that or the new Transit Vans in 2014. I would need a Crew Cab at a minimum (yes, I go camping with the family and co-workers to the work site). I need a practical vehicle that can carry an ATV/dirt bikes, tools of the trade (including going to XXX building supply store for sheet rock, etc.) and tow my 26' boat (7500 lbs) occationally. Oh, and for the record, my 1998 Dakota Club Cab barely fit in my garage (front bumber touching the wall). House was built in 1999. So full size is out of the questions for me!

As we reported many months ago (June), the 2014 Colorado will have a diesel engine.

Wow, "as you reported in June."

It's not a report if you put a ? in the title! It's not much of anything if you say it will happen sometime after the 1st generation. That is at least 6 years away. Nothing to see at TundraHQ as usual...

I agree with oxi...

Why should we care about a welfare recipient who won't even have this truck up for sale until 2015...

I'll believe it when I see it!

I suspect that since GMC is the only NA based company planning to offer a smaller truck, they are doing so because the next gen 1/2 tons are no longer going to be fuel economy leaders. They do say they are going to "soften" the style? What does that mean?
This statement from Mark Reuss shows to me that they have doubts as to whether or not they can compete with Ford and Ram in the MPG arena:
"Mr. Reuss said GM's new smaller trucks should outdo the EcoBoost, and give GM a truck it can use to compete with Toyota's popular Tacoma model, which appeals to people who want a "lifestyle" truck for play rather than work."

Please note "should". He isn't saying "will" or other famous catch phrases like "industry leading", "class leading" etc. Small trucks NEED to be superior in mpg. Would, should, or could means that small trucks will continue to be a dying segment if as Mark Reuss also said "These customers "want 90% of the duty cycle, and 120% of the fuel economy" of a large pickup such as the Silverado, Mr. Reuss said."

Will they deliver?
and they seem to be playing the same game that everyone else plays. The initial Ford Ecoboost mpg advantage commercials bragged up a storm but those gains were based on comparing it to the 5.4. Reading the fine print can be a real eye opener.
Both Ford and Ram have trucks in the 22-25 mpg range.

The Colorado/Canyon trucks should be 30 mpg minimum if Ruess follows what customers want:

A 20% fuel economy advantage over full sized.

I am looking foreward to seing the next gen GM trucks.


Sorry but a 2000MY fullsize is not the same a a current midsize truck. I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from but here are some comparisons from MSN autos:

Exterior Dimensions & Weight

1996 F-150 Special SuperCab Short Bed 2WD

2012 F-150 FX2 SuperCrew 5.5-ft. Bed 4X2

2012 Tacoma Double Cab Auto 4X2

'96 Ford '12 Ford '12 Tacoma
Wheelbase (in.) 138.80 144.50 127.40
Length (in.) 219.10 231.90 208.10
Width (in.) 79.00 79.20 74.60
Height (in.) 71.80 75.00 66.10

The 2012 Tacoma is still shorter in wheelbase and overall length than the '96 F150. And the '96 and '12 F150's are just about equal in width. I dont understand why everyone feels that older fullsize trucks are just as big as the current midsize trucks. In actuality, they are just as big as the current fullsize trucks, with the current trucks being a little longer.

The previously planned V8 diesels are out- The 4500 Duramax, 4.4L Lion V8 and V8 Cummins are just not fuel efficient enough to bother with.
Whatever engine GM might use in a light truck (or even HD Van) will almost certainly come from VM.
The 2L diesel in the Cruze and 2.5 and 2.8L engines in the Colorado are from the same engine family from VM. While the 2L might not be up to "truck" jobs in some sense, VW is managing with a 2L. Combined with an automatic, it works fine.
While the 2.5 and 2.8 lite are mechanically integrated and are great performers, neither of them are currently up to the required emissions levels, so additional engineering ($$$) is needed.
The 3.0L V6 is the other option. It would suit the Silverado nicely and is already federalized for use in Chrysler products. it has as much torque as any gas engine Gm currently uses and should easily give some excellent fuel econ w/o ever feeling underpowered.

Can't wait till Dec 13th to see the full size next gen GM trucks and info they will tell us.

Doesnt matter if they put a diesel under the hood....still a butt ugly, outdated looking truck.

@Mr Knowitall

" While the 2L might not be up to "truck" jobs in some sense, VW is managing with a 2L. Combined with an automatic, it works fine."

Not quite, the 2 Litre in the Amarok is basically a two stage mode Turbo, that is not as effective as the 3 Litre units in other makers Pickups. The Amarok is great Off Road but tows as much as e Hilux, which is not a great tower.

@RR- there are only two 3L diesels available, one being the Hilux, the other the horrendously overpriced Nissan. 10 grand extra for the bigger motor is ridiculous.
Midsize trucks in America are for personal use. No one in their right mind buys one to pull big trailers on a regular basis. That's why we have full-size trucks available for the same money.

Why is it that every time there is an article the pin heads have to spout off about bailouts and how Ford is the greatest, Dodge is or GM is?
How about we keep it to the article and shut up abut the BS. Some of us like to read peoples opinion, who have a brain.

Doesnt matter if they put a diesel under the hood....still a butt ugly, outdated looking truck.

Posted by: AlrightyThen | Nov 30, 2012 3:01:24 PM

@Mr Knowitall
"@RR- there are only two 3L diesels available, one being the Hilux, the other the horrendously overpriced Nissan. 10 grand extra for the bigger motor is ridiculous."

Actually quite a few more: The Ford Ranger, same engine in the Mazda BT-50; the Isuzu D-max, The Mitsu Triton. The Colorado is a 2.8.

Yes the Nissan is over priced. We use the "midsizers " for want of a better word much more as "work trucks" than you would ever consider doing to a 1/2 ton in the US. As well they are also used as "Lifestyle vehicles" as in the US i.e Tacoma.

@Robert Ryan- the Mitsu, Ford and Nissan Aren't 3L's. I forgot about the Isuzu (how long are they going to hang on with one vehicle?)
You'd be shocked what people will "consider" doing with a half-ton.

The 2.0 from the Cruze will be fine for a truck!

The similarly sized Tacoma has the 2.4l gas 4cyl that is ~170hp and torque. They sell that in 4x4 Access Cab and 2WD Crew cab configurations and they sell just fine for people that want fuel economy and don't care about drag racing. Add an extra 100 ftlbs of torque down low in the rev range and it will be just fine in a truck. My old 2.3l Ranger had 143hp and was slow as dirt but it was a beater pickup, there is no reason for it to be fast.

Have any of you bitching that the 2.0 is too small ever driven a real truck? Even unloaded they are not fast vehicles.

I would happily buy a 4x4 2.0 Diesel Colorado if it comes with a clutch pedal. Because that 165hp 265ftlb will soon be ~190-200hp with 300ftlb with an air filter and a tune.

@Mr Knowitall
"@Robert Ryan- the Mitsu, Ford and Nissan Aren't 3L's."

Yes just above in capacity, but still fall in the 3 Litre Diesel category.

"You'd be shocked what people will "consider" doing with a half-ton."

Not really,but people would be horrified at what we do with 3 litre diesel units here in NA.

I think you would get "You cannot do that" with this. GCVWR is 9.900lbs

@Mr Knowitall
Nissan is over charging the price of the Navara with the Renault 3.0 V6 diesel.

I have a 3.2 litre 5 cylinder diesel (200hp-350ftlb) in my Mazda BT50. It doesn't have the horsepower or torque of the 3.0 litre V6's, but it is more than adequate to move my BT50 at quite a reasonable pace, and still return over 30mpg. You don't have any pickup that would come close in the fuel economy stakes at the moment, not even a 2.7 Taco.

There are also other 3.0 litre V6's we have the Ford Lion 3.0 litre V6 diesel and on paper this is the most powerful, 180kw and 600nm of torque or 240-250hp and about 440ftlb of torque. Even the 2.7 V6 Lion diesel performs well enough for a half ton pickup.

Fiat will not allow Chev to run a 3.0 litre VM Motori V6 either so Chev will have to find an alterante engine. A 2.8 will work in a Chev 1/2 ton pickup.

Nissan did have a Titan test vehicle fitted with the 2.8 Cummins, I haven't heard much more on that. The engine is the same engine we are getting in the new Chinese Foton ute.

I do think Fiat will beat the US pickup manufactures to the line with a small diesel half ton pickup.

It will be the 3.0 VM fitted to Fiat's Ram. I think this for a couple of reasons. Sergio will ensure the "Euro" content is increased in his product lineup, and it will keep the Fiat Ram on a roll for selling.

A diesel Fiat Ram will be the only way that it can outsell the Chev 1/2 ton.

Lastly, from a towing perspective, I hear more on this site about the use of your 1/2 tons towing then I have ever witnessed while in the US.

As Robert Ryan pointed out we do use our utes more for work and towing than you guys will ever use your 1/2 tons.

I think your fuel economy figures for the Mercedes is a little inaccurate. It's getting well over 32mpg and that's mixed driving conditions or well over 36mpg highway.

That is giving V8 performance. That engine would be prohibitive cost wise in any pickup.

But that is what to expect in a few years as a "normal" diesel performance.

@Big Al

Nope, my numbers are accurate. At least by American EPA standards. The gasser is rated at 23mpg, while the diesel is rated at 28mpg.

@Big Al from Oz, I do believe that Paul810 is accurate. One must consider the fact that different countries use different testing methods. The new V6 Ram Pentastar is rated at 25 mpg (US gallon) by USA test standards and 30 MPG (US gallon) using Canadian test standards. Unless the hotter air in the USA gives lower mpg ratings ;)

@Lou Hot air or eco air heads? lol All jokes aside Canada might use the older US EPA mpg testing style. It would be nice if there was one standerd testing style for all countrys in mpg to compair too.

I have read that diesels that the EPA in the States is has a different method of measuring diesel fuel economy vs gas testing. I'll see if I can find any information on testing methods for the US.

Here is a 3.6 Pentastar Grand Cherokee with our Australian rated 20.4mpg combined cycle. I'll find what the US has rated it at.

Here is a US government site for fuel economy of the 3.6 Pentastar Grand Cherokee, very similar to our one and it is getting only 1mpg less in the US than in Australia.

So there might be a difference in testing methodology between the two countries with diesel more so than gas.

@ John Pringle,

Because some of us are not sleeping idiots like you!

Where does it state bailout in the Constitution?

We should never forget the BS political bailout dictator obama did with GM and why NOBODY should buy their socialist products!

They failed because they made bad decisions, why should the taxpayers have to pay for that?

Proper protocol is bankruptcy court like Hostess just went through not dictator bailout to win votes for elections!

When are you going to wake up?

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