Video Interview: Jeff Luke, GM Executive Chief Engineer Full-Size Truck, Parts 3 & 4

2014-GMC-Sierra-front II

When you're in charge of the GM's entire lineup of full-size trucks, you can take as long as you want to brag about your products. Jeff Luke, GM's executive chief engineer of full-size trucks, discusses the lineup. We thought it would make more sense to break the full interview into four parts; here are the last two pieces. Enjoy.

Part 3

Part 4


I contacted GMC to ask them a question about vents for the rear seat when a vehicle has a bucket seats. They did not answer my question Did you have any interior photos from the rear seats looking forward with the center console? I had a 2003 Sierra and a 2006 Silverado and both had buckets with vents for the rear seat. In 2007 GM did away with that on the trucks. I could not tell from the shot when you sat in the back seat if it had them or not.


They made the front doors 2" SMALLER to get the illusion of a bigger back seat? And they made the rear seats more like a park bench with more upright backs. Awesome guys! Way to think like engineers! "Hey, lets take the smallest cab available, and mess with it so we can say it has more leg room even though it will be more difficult for front seat drivers and passengers to enter/exit, and rear passengers will be stiff as a board riding in it". SEVEN FREAKING YEARS for this.
On the bright side, I am holding out hope the new engine numbers will beat Ford and Ram in HP, TQ, and MPGs. I'm pretty certain the numbers will be good. They only have a year before Ford rolls out their all new truck with all improved engines that will leap frog us again. I'd like to be able to brag on these GM's for at least a year. Please? And if they are good enough, Ford won't be able to match us even after their upgrades in a year.

It is interesting how they created more room in the back, I thought that the cabin was 4 inches bigger overall? In reality it is the same size as the old crewcab? Am I hearing that right? How do they keep the same leg room in the front if they moved everything foreward? Deeper front footwells?

I'm interested in the engines, I doubt that we will see better mpg coupled with more HP/torque. I do suspect that the 5.3 will fall somewhere between the Ram 5.7 and the old 5.3. It probably will have more power and torque than Ford's 5.0. That engine is rated at 360 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 380 lb-ft. of torque.
The 4.3 will target Ford's 3.7 and Ram's 3.6.
The 5.3 will target the 5.0.
The 6.2 will target the Ram 5.7, and Ford 6.2.
That is how I see things developing. GMC will beat those engines in power and torque. The question is by how much?

I do like where GMC has gone with these trucks. The cheep plastic is gone, the big ugly Silverado flairs are gone, the parts bin front bumper is gone. They've ditched the drum brakes too.
They've added a 6.5 box and cleaned up the CrewCab a bit.
I'd like to see a 5.3 with some decent torque ratings.

They seem to have addressed all of the thinks that stopped me from buying one.

Good job GMC.

I think GM is playing it safe here, years down the road these trucks will have more value than Ford or Ram, no offense, simple and tested wins. Ford with its half baked egoboosts, catching on fire now in fusion and escape, you won't see that happen with these engine.

Best Interiors, No, but best ride, handling, braking and near top in fuel economy as well as crash tests, styling, not great but attractive, Ford really made the f150 ugly lately, ram best looking.

Ram woudl really have something if their quality and reliability wasn't so poor, as well as Guts, that is when you crash in a Ram, they are picking up your guts all over the highway.

GM will kick Ford and Ram's butts with these trucks, Ford's new F150 made out of my beer cans , that will go over real well haha.

one thing is always true about gm, they alway pit their larger engine against competitors smaller engines.. gm is a true believer in "no replacement for displacement.. notice their v6 is larger, mid/entry level v8 also larger n the top v8, larger also.

people what ford do so extraordinary whit is pickup the engine wow big news what about they did nothing for everything else..what about the frame the suspension,brake,wy ford dont want to use the new towing rule guest ...y give gm credit and dont forget ford upgrade 4 time the diesel engine and the gm diesel still stronger and better,,dodge ram is better compare to ford,

Being in the aftermarket business I get first hand experience with all makes and models of trucks. I have noticed all manufactures are starting to use thinner metal. We are also taking dashes and door panels apart on a regular basis and I honestly just don't see where Ford and Dodge are supposed to be so superior. They are all made very cheap to be honest and that includes Nissan and Toyota as well. As far as the back seat of the GM trucks I have always said if they would just package them different they could have a lot more room and that is exactly what they did. They have always had the thickest seat backs and most reclined angle of any of the 4 doors. All they are doing with the rear seat is what the others have already done. With a 2" increase in leg room and a 4" increase in entry they will be very competitive. DO I wish they would have gone even further with the redesign... yes I do, but from what I can tell from pictures they are easily on par with the competition.

What a pos !!! Raised back seat ? Wonder if it has any head room lol !!

What a roilling piece of turd !

@Johnny doe: what is really to be jealious about? They (are currently) were so far behind with all three of these engines. The 6.2 needs premium and power per inch is not great, it ony makes alot of power because it is about the biggest gasser in class.

The 5.3? Behind....what's it gonna get, maybe 350 ft pounds trq ? If you run it vs a Hemi and the Hemi has a low axle ratio like compare a 3.08 Chevy to a 3.21 Ram, the Ram will get as good a mileage, and have alot more torque doing it, with a more driveable smoother 8 speed. In the current trucks, Chevys 5.3 is geared with 3.08 and 3.42s while Rams run higher axle ratios that let them actually do some work. 3.21 3.55 and 3.92. You can get a 3.08 in a Chevy 4x4, the lowest in the pre 8 speed Rams is a 3.55 in a 4x4, there is alot of Chevys mileage. That and little tires. (While Ram puts mostly 33" tall 20" wheel and tire combos on) Big deal, you got direct injection, Ram will probably have it in 2014 and 2015 most likely. That's all they could come up with? Not one 4 valve per cylinder combo?

The 4.3? Alot are saying attaboy for that cause it may have more torque, most people don't buy a v-6 for torque. They buy it because it eats less gas. But we will have a few more shootouts whenever these trucks arrive.

Doesn't look like they worked on aero much. Both GMs look like bricks, atleast the GMS is a decent looking brick! Can't wait to see their aero numbers! So much 10 year old aerodynamics! They didn't go out on a limb anywhere, low risk...well, maybe the MDS in a V-6, but then we will see if it actually works in such a small engine, might be good around town.

This is a video of Frank getting ready to test drive a girly man F150.

It might be the night fever. LOL!

Bob, Haha, I remember back then, when this movie came out on TV. I wasn´t allowed to watch it, because I was too little. So I remember my elderly brother and sister talking with their friends about the movie and dancing on the floor to this music. I would just lay down in the sofa with my hand on my chin and watch them with a smile in my face, sometimes dancing with them too and wishing I could watch the movie. Great days.

Very well done interview. The trucks are starting to grow on me.

the backseat issue solved by moving the post, seats suck ass so fix em, done, steering wheel needs to be less sharp for quick turns. shorten leg part of front seats. ps i drive all three this is a pretty good change.

I can not agree with the grille of the Silverado. There should be no interruption in the boundary line of the upper and lower lights. If this line was uninterrupted, like the S10 South America, the appearance would be more robust, and visual identity would be preserved. That's the image she must pass. In the Sierra, it is possible to agree with the slight increase in grille size.

I can not agree with the grille of the Silverado. There should be no interruption in the grille boundary line between the upper and lower lights. If this line was uninterrupted, like the S 10 South America, the appearance would be more robust, and visual identity would be preserved. That's the image she must pass. In the Sierra, it is possible to agree with the slight increase in grille size.

Some miscalculations by a few of you, Direct injection typically only increases FE by about 2% with no real increase in power. Only real advantage is that you have less carbon deposits in the intake manifold after 100k miles.

@Robert Ryan
Caddy to become successful has to improve its build quality. People who willing to part with large sums of money for a vehicle are more discerning about quality, essentially that is what they are paying for, not just features.

If Cadalliac wants to be successful in the international market it had better look at what it's German and Japanese competitors are doing. If it doesn't it will be another failure by a US manufacturer.

If you look at BMW's that are made in the US compared to German made BMW's you can see the quality differences. Even read the reviews and the motoring journalist often comment on the quality issues with the US sourced vehicles. Its pretty bad when our sub $20k Korean and Thai sourced vehicles have better build quality.

The above paragraph goes for most foreign manufacturers in the US. They can "get away" with lower quality because the established Big 3 don't provide enough competition.

Also, platform sharing of lower spec'd vehicles used by GM for Caddy's also works against them. My nephew dropped around the other day and he has a SUV Cadalliac, (Escalade?). The build quality doesn't justify the price, a Toyota Prado has much better build quality. The same goes for us with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, build quality is its biggest drawback preventing it from much better sales.

The US manufacturers to compete worldwide have to look at their internal problems first. Then lobby their government to allow a freeing up of their market (trade barriers/regulations). Once this happens competition will increase enough to force US manufacturers to rise up and improve quality.

The US has much potential to become world leaders in vehicle exports, but they need to re-structure their industry to suit global needs.

Big Al, that's due to the UAW and their "close enough is good enough, now when can I take my break?" mentality.

@Gregory J,

You are right, he did mention "REAL TRUCK OWNERS."

You never stop TROLLING, do you!

Posted by: Frank | Dec 18, 2012 5:54:26 PM

Frankie, everyone knows that you are the leader of the blog trolls. Are you still denying that you posted in the forum under the name "Frank F-250"? You trolled in there daily just like you do in here TROLL BOY.

I am only expecting modest power increases in the 5.3 and 6.2 since they were both newer motors (based on gen 4 small blocks unlike the gen 2 4.3 V-6). The corvette is only going to be about a 3-4% increase in horsepower. That would be only about 325 in the 5.3 Hopefully the power upgrade is more significant than that but I think the 365 that some are quoting is optimistic. 350 is likely more inline but the torque is supposed to increase significantly, especially at low revs. That should really help out in a truck but won't make for any sexy marketing campaigns. My gut tells me gen 5 is the last of the push rod style engines.

Big Al,

The old Caddy's are made for those over 70 who only cared to drive a land yacht. The newer models out or coming out should really help out their reputation. The only ding I read about on the new ATS is the cramped rear seats but the driving dynamics are on par with BMW although the mpg's are just a smidgen behind. They likely won't lead any of the German makes in this lifecycle but they should definitely be in the fray and ahead of Lexus and Infinity. I hope the next gen Escalade (or whatever they decide to name the SUV) will be a vast improvement because the X5, Cayenne, Q7 and GL are awesome vehicles and big money makers. GM will have to be really on top of its game to compete and the rear leaf-spring suspension will have to go in order to have the handling abilities of the competitors.


Looking forward to seeing the additional space in the crew models. I feel like GM has lost in this area vs. the F150 in recent years. With a couple kids and car seats any additional room is welcomed. Am I the only one who has had past issues with GM transmissions? I thought for sure they would have beefed them up before focusing on the rear axle. Maybe they did and I missed it?? All in, I think they put together a nice product. I'm sure this site will have side by side comparisons of the big three when they are all available, looking forward to that also.

Michigan Bob is setting a record for names he posts under in this thread! He even replies to himself!

The gooey truth about direct injection
No solution yet to problems arising from carbon buildup on the valves
April 15, 2010|By Bob Weber | Motormouth: Car care and repair

Q I am thinking about purchasing an Audi A4 Quattro 2.0T. This has FSI technology. I've seen reports in Audi forums of FSI engines getting a carbon buildup on the tops of the valves. I understand that oil vapors are recycled into the top of the block to be burnt off in the cylinders. In a non-FSI engine, the valve tops are washed with gas, so hydrocarbon builds slowly. In a FSI engine, there's nothing to wash the valve tops, so this buildup becomes a potential problem. I have heard it causes a loss of horsepower and possible reliability issues. There does not seem to be a good fix. Am I getting spooked for no reason or is this an issue?

R.K., Chicago

A You have described the problem with direct-injection engines rather concisely. The indirect style squirts fuel into the in-rushing air just in front of the intake valves, bathing them in fuel. In its infancy, indirect injection had problems, as the fuel would coke onto the valves and build up a spongy mass that absorbed more fuel and caused cold drivability problems. That is why fuels now contain extra detergent additives.

But those additives never touch the valves in direct-injection engines.

We don't know of a solution yet, but understand engineers are working on it. If drivability or emissions become an issue, it should be covered under the carmaker's or emission warranty. If you are spooked, opt for a different vehicle, if only for peace of mind.

In China the best selling "Buick" is the locally produced "Buick Sail" based on the Opel Corsa small car. The "Chevrolet" is a rebadged GM Daewoo. The other major sales success is the Wuling mini van which is made by Wuling. GM shares profits on the Van. To cut a long story short, GM makes roughly 90% of it's Global profits from Pickup sales in North America.

Hay Frank, You should be dancing.

Is that Frank dancing?


@fleetmgr, The regular cab will have its own doors, like Ram and Toyota Tundra. This is based on the mules, though.
The Front:

The Rear:

In 2009 Ford stretched the F150's crew cab and shaved the suicide doors off the regular cab to accommodate the front doors used on the extended cab...

I am 5'6" tall. I cannot take a tool box, belt or an extension cord out of the bed without climbing up and in. Pickups did not use to be these silly towering luxury vehicles. This GM rep points to the dent in the bumper and specially designed stake pocket as ease of access improvements. Seems more like a concession that nobody can get stuff out of the box but they aren't going to lower the truck. That "specially designed stake pocket" gets covered over by the base for a lumber rack any way.

The comments to this entry are closed.