New Silverado/Sierra Engines Leap Forward

2014 Silverado front field II
GMC Sierra front lot II

At the core of the highly anticipated and financially important all-new half-ton pickup trucks from GM — the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 — are three brand-new engines. No matter how you slice this, whether you put this in a five-, 10- or 15-year context, this is a hugely risky move.

In fact, most carmakers — and certainly pickup-truck makers — intentionally come out with just a new frame or interior upgrade or suspension option, then plan to revamp the powertrain lineup a year or two later. Ford only did the engines the last time around. The Ram 1500 got a pretty significant revamp but offered only one new engine (of just two).

To come out with a new truck and a new powertrain lineup could be seen by some as just too risky ... unless there was a huge amount to be won and gained. Certainly, Chevy and GMC dealerships would argue that last point.

Clearly, GM needed to be bold. In this segment, for anyone looking to regain as much ground as the Silverado and Sierra have lost in the past few years, you have to be bold. These engines may be the clearest message about how badly Chevy and GMC want to succeed in this segment as we've seen from them in several decades. Let's take a closer look. 

Make no mistake: This is a family of engines that use just about every form of technology at the disposal of platform engineers, and they're ready to talk about it. 

"We believe these are the most technologically advanced engines ever offered in light-duty pickups, and they 100 percent truck — specifically designed for the way customers use trucks in the real world,” said Jordan Lee, small-block chief engineer and program manager. "They have all the power and torque needed to confidently handle the tough jobs, and they seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode to increase efficiency during light-load driving.

"This is technology no other truck maker can match, and we offer it in every one of our EcoTec3 engines, for every one of our customers," Lee said. "It is not an extra-cost feature. You get our best and most sophisticated technology regardless of trim level."


EcoTec3 4.3-Liter V-6

2014 4.3L V6 LV3 II

The base engine is a 4.3-liter V-6; the midlevel small-block is a 5.3-liter V-8; and the performance engine of the three will be a new 6.2-liter V-8. We should note that GM has not announced what the target or actual fuel-economy numbers will be or how much power and torque each power plant will offer. That info will come early next year, possibly at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 

All three engines have aluminum blocks and heads, use overhead-valve technology and offer cylinder deactivation (called Active Fuel Management by GM). All use direct injection and include continuously variable valve timing. Like the new Chevy Corvette motor before them, the key to these engines is in the combustion system, where the higher-than-usual 11.0:1 compression ratio allows the computer controls to keep all the conditions within the proper parameters for the best balance of power and fuel efficiency. 

Every part inside the engine has been painstakingly reviewed and designed to offer the best results. Pistons have been cupped and sculpted, head ports have been shaped and smoothed, valve placement has been carefully considered, and even the angle and depth of the spark plug was agonized over — all to get the best and most thorough explosions inside the cylinders. 


EcoTec3 5.3-Liter V-8

2014 5.3L V8 L83 II

The new trucks make the most out of cylinder deactivation (GM's second-generation AFM system), where, during specific conditions, it will use oil pressure to deactivate the lifters on selected cylinders, shutting the valves for those cylinders. It does that for two on the V-6 and four for both V-8s. We're told the transition in either direction (turning on or off) takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually undetectable. We're also told the parameters for this new system are much more aggressive, likely to stay active 20 percent longer than the earlier version, and the computer has a learning function that will allow it to get smarter about learning the driver's speed and throttle habits. 

All three engines have oversized oil pans compared with previous same-sized engines, and the V-8s are designed to use 0W/20 oil. The oil pump itself can move more oil to different areas in the engine depending on the operating conditions, including the spraying of the underside of the pistons when too much heat builds. 

For now, that's all we know. No one has gotten a chance to drive the engines yet or compare them with what Ford, Toyota or Ram has to offer. Of course, we suspect that every GM engineer knew exactly what the targets were when working on the engine, so we'd expect each to offer quite respectable, if not segment-leading, torque, horsepower and fuel economy. Likewise, we'd expect some some very good towing and hauling numbers as well. But again, we'll have to wait and see. 


EcoTec3 6.2-Liter V-8

2014 6.2L V8 L86 II
 To download the full press release from General Motors, click here.



It will be interesting to see power numbers, especially for the 4.3 ...

ok i must be missing something....How have they leaped forward. All the new improvements have been in use by other manufacturers already. The only thing stated new on their engines is comp ratio, VVT and direct injection. I dont see anything significantly changed or advanced. their engines are all the same size too. I mean why throw all that money changing the 4.3 when you have a great 3.6 v6 motor in your lineup that is fuel efficient and powerful like ford did with the 3.7.
just my 2 cents, does anyone else feel the same way?

Daniel, Thinking there's more to the multiple of millions spent on developing and the engineering effort than just adding a couple of technologies. They haven't released any details of power, fuel economy. So before you write it off may want to stick around for the details that matter.

This article seemed to have a lot of fluff to try and build up these engines. My Hemi has cylinder deactivation. It doesn't do much. I get about 16 mpg on average with very little actual city driving (mostly country roads 45-55 mph with stops every few miles). So far I'm not impressed and a little concerned about these new engines. They might have the power, but I'm doubtful this "ecotec" technology is going to do much for fuel economy. Other than that the trucks look pretty much the same on the outside. I'm afraid the engines alone aren't going to do what it did for ford. I was hoping for a small diesel or atleast a turbo or two.

Im ready to watch the 4.3L stomp mud in the eco boost's face lol

what is that second pully on the bottom of the motor, it's not the compressor like the old ones because the compressor is on the regular belt. just my 2 cents worth buy i only want one accessory drive belt. how come they call there V8s ecotec like the 4 cylinders. i was hoping the 4.3 and an ohv v6 would not make it considering the 3.6 and what ram and ford have done. honda's v6 can shut down 2 or 3 cylinders in deactivation. oh wait, the accessory belt is different on the V6, and the compressor is on it, looks aggrivating to change. oil changes are still going to be messy, especially with a cheap ac delco filter that has been over tighten.

I have an '11 Chevy pickup with a 6.2 and am glad to see that the new generation has it, and surprised it wasnt put it earlier. Just looking at the information available so far I hope GM's blend of horsepower & fuel economy is class leading. The 4.3 & 5.3 with 190 & 315 hp have embarrassing for years. The 5.3 in most trucks vs the 5.7 of dodge & ecoboost ford is underpowered and gives little more in fuel savings. As a GM truck fan Id like to see 300/300, 360/380, & 425/450 hp/tq numbers out of these engines, 20-25 highway mileage & 11,000 towing. Just have to wait & see til next year.

What engine is the new 4.3 based upon? Is this another 90 degree V-6, carved from one of the V-8, like the old Vortecs?

Please don't tell me GM did that again.

Wonder what the output figures will look like. That 5.3L looks nothing like 5.3 in my Silverado.
These will be great engines. I'm happy Chevy is sticking with V8 as standard.
Great job GM!

Whats the hp/torque ?

My only real complaint to this is the fact that they're all-aluminum engines. While I'll grant I got 160,000 miles on an aluminum 3.8L V6 in a '96 Camaro, once the head gasket blew, the block was toast; the engine seized less than a year later due to 'rust'.

But that may be beside the point here. I don't know whether to be impressed or concerned that they've made the V6 bigger at 4.3Litre or 262cid which almost matches the smallest V8 of the '80s which means some pretty big cans either in diameter, stroke or both. I could maybe see where this could offer more torque or horsepower, but those can sizes almost imply a diesel block rather than a gasser. I can't imagine how effective they would be for horsepower or at higher operating revs.

My guess is that these engines are designed for slower revs for fuel savings while offering significant torque increases for getting a load moving. Better bet on lower top-end revs using more gears to give higher-speed cruise.

notice the first time gm has used a 20 weight oil in a vehicle that i have ever seen. the 4.3 is based off the the V8s, look at the picture. V8s are not standard, a giant oversized V6 is. the variable displacement oil pump has been used in the cruze first. all motors are going to all aluminum, so what's the beef?

No Turbos??? Snore......

i see why gm used the stupid 4.3 again, costs less to make so they want to be cheap to truck owners, 4.3 is ohv which is based off of the V8s so they can use active fuel management from the V8s instead of trying to make the 3.6 with it or not using it at all. therefore, all gm trucks make the same highway mpg, because they are all running on 4 cylinders! still that is embarassing to have a giant V6 that is still cam in block and getting the same fuel economy as a V8 when it should be getting better. i would bet that ford and chrysler v6s will have the same or better fuel economy, even without the afm.

I'm tired of all the "eco" this "eco" that... Get off the greenie slang, these aren't economy vehicles by any means so stop trying to market them as such.

No turbos, no diesel ! You failed GM ! You had an opportunity to lead the competition, failed ! too shy GM !
But nice improvements, just improvements no news !

@Nick The reason why Ram and GM aint useing turbo's is here! LOL the best part is the one video with a Ford rep. on the phone telling him the eco boost isn't made for towing LOL!

I am fine with push-rods and shared components between V-6 and V-8s. There are a few advantages to cam-in-block designs - compactness is a major one.

My previous question is related to the angle between cylinder banks. If the new V-6 is based upon the new V-8s, and the V-6 bank angle is 90 degrees, then it will be inherently unbalanced - just exactly the same way the old Vortec 4.3 was.

Now, I had a 89 GMC with the old 4.3 and drove it over 200,000 miles. It was adequate in power (for me) and economy. But because it was a 90-degree V-6, it had high levels of noise, vibration, and harshness.

If this new motor is designed like the old one, will it also have a balance shaft, to cover up the NVH, like the old 4.3 eventually did?

And when they shut off cylinders for better economy, will the engine get even rougher?

HP and Torque figures aside, this would hardly seem to be a "leap forward" in design.

Is that all?

The Sierra looks okay, but the Sliverado looks f'ken retarded. LMFAO!

Is that all?

The Sierra looks okay, but the Sliverado looks f'ken retarded. LMFAO!

Posted by: Frank | Dec 13, 2012 11:21:13 AM

Sort of like the Super Duty with F'ken ugly arsed snout, eh Frankie TROLL? LMAO. Nice try TROLL!

there motors will b*&h slap ford and ram into next week just watch!

daniel: " i think I must have missed something here" what you missed was the talk about these being "truck" engines" and that is what the 4.3 is a truck engine, and the 3.6 is NOT a truck engine, I have to comend GM for having the insite, and not trying another car engine in a truck! I have seen a lot of 4.3 with well over 200K on them! granted they did not have big hp #'s but they did have decent tq#'s

What oil does the 4.3 use? 5w-30, does that mean GM expects it to be the rental beater?
There is no way that this new 4.3 V6 is odd-firing, because 2 cylinder idling on an odd-firing 90 degree V6 would be atrocious.

If these engines in there ohv design can get good fuel economy, hp and torque numbers comparable to the competition then what difference does it make if its not ohc with ti-vct?

GM is taking a smart approach here. Evolutionary is the status quo when rolling out new-gen trucks- look at RAM and Ford. The motor approach does make sense from packaging, performance, reliablility, and efficiency standpoints. Cam in block may not be high tech but it is space efficient and reliable. Forced induction? Let Ford run with it and sell a ton of eco-boost rucks. If the technology pans out, it will be implemented across the board like electric steering and bluetooth. Styling? That's all opinion and doesn't matter a great deal. In the mean time, show me the power/towing/fuel numbers that DO matter.

The new 4.3 V6 will be class-leading amongst the naturally aspirated V6's. You can mark that down...Its going to have the most torque (prolly a decent amount more too) and the same or better FE than what the other V6's are putting out...It will also easily be the most "purpose" built V6 in the segment. Its no jacked-up car V6 like the competition has.

The 6.2 is going to be a beast as thinking around 400-425 HP with class leading FE. I just hope GM lets other trims levels beside the LTZ get it.

The 5.3 for me right now is the wild-card...GM says they want this engine to be their Ecoboost fighter but idk how I feel about that...GM would really have had to do some major enginering to get the 5.3 to produce over 400 torque...And thats what it is going to have to do if it wants to compete with the turbo V6.

for the 5.3 I am thinking around 350-360 HP with 380-400 Torque. Those numbers aren't going to blow anyone away but if those numbers come with class-leading FE... .thats a pretty damn good option.

the powertrains are going to be a huge factor in if these trucks are going to be a success and I have f aith that GM did a pretty good job in that department.

Is it me or do these new engines look like they have 3 belts?

Im quite certain that these engines will get hp and tq numbers comparable to the competition. Im just wondering at what RPM they will have to turn to get it.

A 4.3 liter V6 is not huge when it's only equivalent to a 5.7 liter V8 on a per-cylinder basis. And with direct injection and VVT it should have enough power and torque for many buyers more interested in fuel economy than pulling a heavy trailer. It may not be for everyone but it's a nice option nonetheless.

Food for thought: I posted this last week or so, that in last mo. Trucking mag the took a 5.3 from the bone yard with 180K on it, just to see what it would take to blow it up! they stripped the motor to the block and cleaned up the pistons, and checked the bottom end to see what condition it was in, and supprize! it was still within fac. specs. so they installed the org. pistons w/new rings, then put on some aftermarket hy-po heads with bigger valves, and a bigger a/m intake man. and bigger inj and fuel rail, high lift cam, and tubed headers,to dyno test stand, and got 425hp410ftlbs! then hook up one turbo and at 10psi got 600hp/580, then at 15psi got 750/700, then they put another turbo on and at 20psi got 990/900! at 6800! then brought it up to 25psi and got 1300hp and 1200lbft!!!! and ran it at 6000rpm till something went bang! and it took 22hrs!!!! and all that happend was a collapsed lifter! next mo. hey are going to fix it and upgrade the valve trin more and see how far and long they can go again! So the moral of the story is there is a lot of power to be found in the 5.3!!! and the people that built it said that the engines have been very robust in tha past for hot-rodders, and this was a motor with 180K!! on the bottom end!!! iron block with the 4bolt set up with cross bolt main carriers as from the factory, so these engines are not so bad after all! and with Direct Injection there is power with clean exhaust to boot! and if they are talking 11:1 compression, who knows what can be done!

When Gm announces the numbers on these engines I hope they set new standards.
Then Ford and Ram will have to play one-up-man-ship again.
We all win as a consumer!!!
As others have stated, I hope we see a diesel in a 1/2 ton soon.

Like what I see, particularly the all new Gen. V LS based 4.3L V-6. Can't really judge them against the competition until we know what the output is though.

Engine output doesn't mean crap if you put a crappy transmission behind it, best example is the Cummins, great engine, terrible transmission, that sums up every generation of Dodge truck, the engines are OK, but the transmission can't get the power to the wheels, then they break.

GM must have really liked EcoBoost. Now GM names EVERY engine an Eco... LOL.


if dodges transmissions are so bad tell me why my 94 ram with a 46rh, 01 ram with 46re, 03 with 545rfe, and 07 with 545rfe never broke down, never had any problems and i drive hard. but on the other hand, my 98 z71 had a new 4L60E under it found the transmission waranty in the truck once i bought it. oh yeah, my dads gmc sierra z71 with 4L60E went out 2 days ago. no joke it is sitting outside right now.

Ecotec - WTF? Looks Bob and the other GM fanboi's will have to stop making fun of the ecoboost name. LMAO.

Okay, where is the sizzle to go with that steak?

GMC releasing these engines without numbers or design specs is potentially a bad move.
They all sound like the OLD engines.
Some will say, okay all new? wait and see.
To the guy who doesn't care or doesn't pays much attention they'll say " more of the same old, same old. A warmed over body design with warmed over engines".

I'm willing to wait.

I'd like to see the numbers on the 4.3. I had a Safari with one. It wasn't very fuel efficient and as a few others have pointed out, not the smoothest running mill around.
Will it be a torque monster?
I am amused by the guys saying other V6's are car engines. Back in the day, performance engines were "borrowed" from trucks. A well built engine doesn't notice that it is moving a 6k pickup or SUV. It just does what it is designed to do. The Pentastar isn't going to go, " Oh f--k, I'm no longer in a Jeep so I'll commit suicide and blow myself up".

At least the engines look promising.

The rest of the trucks......ehhh.

@Josh I have a 1988 Dodge Power Ram with a crappy 318 engine and 3 speed auto, the transmission had to be rebuilt almost as soon as it left the dealer lot, along with every other truck of that generation I have only seen one truck from that generation of trucks without a rebuilt tranny and it was babied it entire life. I hate that trucks reliability, it looks great, runs like crap. I have a friend that has a 1995 Ram truck, torque converter went out, it barely had 100,000 miles on it. A retired trucker I know has a 2004 Chevy 2500 HD with a 6.0L engine and 4 speed auto, 200,000 miles on it, no problems with the transmission or the engine, in fact he was still running original spark plugs.

"what is that second pully on the bottom of the motor, it's not the compressor like the old ones because the compressor is on the regular belt. just my 2 cents worth buy i only want one accessory drive belt. how come they call there V8s ecotec like the 4 cylinders. i was hoping the 4.3 and an ohv v6 would not make it considering the 3.6 and what ram and ford have done. honda's v6 can shut down 2 or 3 cylinders in deactivation. oh wait, the accessory belt is different on the V6, and the compressor is on it, looks aggrivating to change. oil changes are still going to be messy, especially with a cheap ac delco filter that has been over tighten.

Posted by: Josh | Dec 13, 2012 9:37:01 AM"

Josh the new engines have a divorced water pump on the lower drivers side of the engine.

I don't think the horsepower numbers will be that far off from what is offered now but the to torque numbers from the DI and 11 to 1 compresion should be really good.

Look at what there task is moving a 5000-9000 pound truck empty plus the intended payload.

TNT get real;

That 3 speed was the A727 torqueflight. Well know for its durablitly. The A727 Torqueflites became — and remain — wildly popular for drag racing, off roading, and monster truck applications because of their controllability, reliability, ease/cheapness of repair and strength.

Too many car guys here not grasping that specific output has nothing to do with real work. In fact, it's outright worthless since it's tied to RPM more than anything else. Let's compare specific output at 1500-2800 RPM. Now how do your exotic revvers fare? Extremely poorly.
I know well the '01-'06 GM V8s, and I daily-drive ( abuse ) an '06 4.3, re-geared. I'm not interested in HP, 195 is all you really need. Any more is want, not need. Want proof? Look at the guys still managing to tow 30,000-pound trailers with '90s-era Cummins Rams.
Looking at the V8s for those who want to tow at 80 MPH, the recent 6.2 GM has sacrificed a huge, dramatically noticeable chunk of torque, all the way up to 4000 RPM, before showing any HP advantage over the superior "cathedral-port" heads used on the recent 5.3L.
Again, useless. Gotta run more axle ratio to make up the difference. Proof? The best '12 1500 5.3 is rated to tow 0,000 pounds with a 3.42;1 gear. The 6.2L gets the exact same rating despite an extra 80 HP! And even giving the thirsty 6.2 a better axle ratio for towing only ups the rating by a lazy 700 pounds!
Haul over rated capacity 12 hours every day ( normal farm life ) and you'll learn that it isn't about gasoline HP, and there are jobs where turbo-diesel torque isn't any more desirable. Especially when half your miles logged on the odometer is just wheelspin in the mud.

@ Scrooge McDuck:

Good post. I have two trucks, same unloaded weight around 6000 lbs. One has a 300 hp V8, the other a 140 hp 4-cylinder diesel. The 140 hp truck has a 2800 rpm redline vs 5600 for the V8. The diesel is making more HP from 1500 - 2800 rpm than the V8 is, so it is nicer to drive loaded despite 1/2 the power - I have to rev the V8 to 3500+ for it to really out-pull the diesel.

The point about torque and wheelspin in the mud is a good one recently that for the huge mining dump trucks, mechanical drive is preferable to electric in muddy operating conditions for the same reason.

11:1 compression will increase power more so than torque. The reason is the crank angle of the conrod on ignition is nearest to TDC. When the crank is halfway between TDC and BDC there is no significant cylinder pressure gain to increase torque as much as the power gain.

What governs torque more than anything is how the heads are ported, valve size and timing (lead, lag and overlap) and exhaust tuning.

The oil is lighter because the valve and cam assembly is hydraulically actuated when de-activation occurs. Lighter oil tends to react faster than a heavier oil.

I don't know what weight oil the previous GM engines used but if a lighter oil is used the engines will be required to be built to finer tolerances. I hope GM is capable of that.

As for the name Ecotec, GM Holden has been using that over here for quite some time. I hope it isn't an Australian word, I do apologise if it is.

Somehow I don't think this engine is going to beat the Pentastar in the economy stakes even with de-activation.

This is gasoline technology becoming more expensive.

@ScroogeMcduck - right on the cards.
A lot of guys on this site wank themselves over horsepower and torque figures, they haven't got a clue.

A lot call these things "trucks" when in fact they are very basic muscle cars ie full chassis, poor suspension etc. Or SUVs and daily drivers.

If most used their pickups as trucks for work they would want engines that can work and work cheaply.

Also, due to the compression ratio, I hope GMs engineers and physists have designed a way to run the engine on a low octane fuel, if the design isn't right there will be problems. Direct injection will help because it is the best way to deliver fuel closest to TDC.

From an engineering perspective it will be interesting to see how this V6 pans out. Will there be teething problems?

The engines will be fine. The 4.3 surprises me but a big displacement V6 with new tech will be a great option.

If there's one thing pretty much any car/truck guy can agree on it's GM's ability to build a good engine.

And for those who keep complaining about the bailout you should be happy about the amount saved by using existing infrastructure.

The 6.2 has pushed 400HP+ since 2009. I'm sure the new one will be a beast with reasonable economy to boot.

I can't hit 20mpg with my 12' Hemi and don't expect to either. Make it 425+HP with the same mileage and it's a winner in my book.

@Big Al from Oz - the USA automakers realized a long time ago that pickup trucks made "the traditional way" for the "traditional truck market" was a limited dead end market. Only a small number of guys need trucks to tow heavy, haul heavy, and work the snot out of them.
They first came to this realization when the started adding extended cab trucks to the mix. The more "soft edged" they made trucks the better they sold.
I do agree than most of our pickup trucks are "poor man's muscle cars". Where else can you get a 400 hp V8 for a cheep price. That fact sells pickups too.
Truck guys bemoan the loss of a manual transmission but that was just a tiny part of the market. Offering automatics also increased truck sales.
Shortening the pickup box also ramped up truck sales. I was totally amazed a while back when I read a GM press release that refered to the shorter 6.5 box in the HD's as the standard box. WTF? That statement would of been considered blasphemy 30 years ago.
The pickup as an SUV with an open bed has kept the auto industry alive and sells tons of pickups.
One cannot deny the verstility of the current crop of pickups and their market appeal.
Every vehicle purchase has its compromises, I find that I had to make less of them by purchasing a pickup.
That is another factor that sells trucks too.

The new 4.3 is fully based on the GEN V engines and is not the old 4.3. I think having the 4.3 is an advantage, because it will probably make 310 to 320 ft lbs of torque. Neither the Ford or Dodge make that much torque which is a definite advantage for GM.


To you guys that know more than me, is there any reason that GM would not be able to offer both 2 and 4 cylinder deactivation on their 6.2? I love the 6.2 in my Denali but when I'm travelling down the highway on cruise it'd be nice for my new truck (which I intend to order as soon as it's possible) could be a little more economical

Great improvements all, but still pushrods. Nope, I won't be trading my 2009 Tundra 5.7 for a 2014 GM truck.

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