Ford vs. GM: Twin-Turbo Showdown

Confrontation II

It's no coincidence GM has just come out with its own all-aluminum twin-turbo V-6; after all, Ford's EcoBoost engine is the best-selling power plant choice in the half-ton class, and it makes good business sense for GM to spread the costs of engine development over the widest possible product plan rollout.

That's why we'll see the new powertrain and transmission in Cadillac first, then maybe in the Camaro or a smaller Corvette after that, then on down the food chain. But make no mistake; this engine will be dropped into the new full-size GM platform.

In the same way the engine first is put to work in a Cadillac, we fully expect the first pickup truck to grab the premium V-6 to be the GMC Sierra, possibly a new Sierra Denali 1500. Although we've heard no official confirmation from GM, there are several reasons why this is a no-brainer.

First, turbos do wonderful things for torque curves. A normally aspirated V-8 typically reaches its torque peak somewhere around 4,000 rpm, with a slow ramp up and a very fast drop off. The EcoBoost and the new GM engine behave much differently, thanks in large part to high-pressure direct injection and two small exhaust turbochargers. From our experience with the EcoBoost, we've seen as much as 90 percent of the engine's available torque start at 1,700 rpm and last clean through 5,000 rpm.

Even the test data GM provided in its Cadillac CTS press release noted the new 3.6-liter motor would have a relatively flat (we'll assume at least 90 percent) torque curve from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm. For towing performance in particular, it is a huge advantage to have that much of the available torque accessible in a lower and wider range of engine speeds. Not surprisingly, those characteristics are more in line with big-hauling, heavy-duty turbo-diesel engines like the Cummins, Power Stroke and Duramax.

Additionally, when not towing or in a heavy-hauling situation, and when feather footing the truck around town empty, the engine will behave like a basic V-6 engine, weighing quite a bit less than a comparable V-8 and providing much better around town and highway fuel economy.

Although the only fuel estimates (17/25 mpg city/highway) GM provided in the press release relies on factors that include a smaller, lighter car sedan platform, we're guessing it won't drop by much when tested inside a Silverado, which some insiders have told us could offer several lightweight platform packages. It's also possible GM will put this new Silverado twin-turbo V-6 through EPA testing procedures with regular fuel (although Cadillac specs show premium fuel will be required) and take the initial hit in power output and possibly fuel economy in order to be able to say the mainstream Silverado will run on regular fuel, just like Ford's EcoBoost. We should note Ford tells us that its power outputs improve slightly, measuring 385 horsepower and 430 pounds-feet of torque when using premium fuel, instead of the regular fuel the owner's manual recommends.

What will all this mean in a Silverado? We'd like to think the new technology means better choices for truck customers, giving them more capability with fewer tradeoffs. Technology updates such as this — powertrains that let us have our cake and eat it too — are always hugely appreciated.

3.5L-ecoboost-f150 II
2014-GM II


This new engine was developed for the new Cadillac CTS and I do not see this engine in any pickup. You people love to start rumors. Report what news is released on engines offered on pickups or change your name.

"the new 3.6-liter motor would have a relatively flat (we'll assume at least 90 percent) torque curve from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm."

Time will tell whether this is just a press release or a fact.

Too bad they haven't figured out a way to also adapt to a larger fuel tank size when the twin turbo engine hits that knee transition on the fuel/efficiency curve.

It's good to see GM finally looking the right direction. Hopefully this little engine or a similar one ends in a GM full size pickup truck.

I don't see it happening. Maybe on the Denali 1500 but that would probably be all. PUTC is using logic and GM is not known for that!

For my own needs,I will not buy a turbo gasser.I'll wait for a turbo diesel.The new Ram 1500 diesel is at the top of my very short list.

Who cares I want a small diesel in a half ton!

Hopefully they will put it the Suburban where Ford has neglected to put one in the Expedition, although I'm pretty happy with the old 5.4 Triton. Much rather have the ecoboost though. If you ask me I'd say Ford missed an opportunity to gain ground on the long in the tooth tahoe/suburban when they didn't put the F-150 engine line in the expedition/EL.

I'm not sure if this engine will actually be any lighter than a comparable V8 from Ford or GM. Ford's Ecoboost reportedly weighs 449lbs. This is actually a little more than then 5.0L V8 at 444lbs.

I'd rather hear about the 2014 Cadillac 2.8L turbo diesel and how it compares to the 3.0L VM Motori.

GM would never put this into their pickups until they have their own 8 speed automatic.
GM would never launch new pickups, and then replace the 6 speed automatic with an 8 speed automatic in year 2.
So 2016 model year at the earliest.
If this engine goes into the pickups, then GM would probably dump the 4.3 for the 3.6.
So for '16:
300hp 3.6 V6 naturally aspirated
400hp 3.6 V6 twin-turbo
500hp 6.8 V8 (stroker of Corvette)
all on regular fuel, and most stringent emissions standards.

Ford most current ecoboost is the 1.0l 3 banger making 123hp and 170lbs tq. the 3.5l v6 has been around for almost 5 years now only thing that has changed was turbos and TI-VVT. when ford build the latest ecoboost 2.3l 4-c and 2.7l v6 just do the math the (the engine are even lighter and less internal friction)
2.3l 4 banger will make 282hp and 391lbs. tq.
2.7l v6 will make 332hp and 459lbs tq.
i think truck drivers will be excited about the almost 400 tq. from the four banger engine

even if dodge or GM make a diesel for 5-8,000 dollars fords 1,000 dollar ecoboost will do almost as well at the pump

diesel weight more and ecoboost are the lightest engines on the market for power (weight of a truck determines MPG)

in the states that do tax diesel at the same rate of gas you will notice diesel is more so any efficiency gain is then lost and you will never make back the 5,000 +++ cost of diesel

not just that i have a diesel i have never place the wrong fuel in it ever but that does not stop the oil companies from doing so i have got from different gas stations about 4 times bad diesel fuel. never ever go to Hess ever again twice at two different stations. when the truck was at ford dealership there was 10 other trucks there for the same thing had to have it towed.

once you get bad diesel fuel you loss 50hp and 100lbstq for life

and 1 MPG forgot the worst part

I'm so over diesel.
Its high time for plug in hybrids.

I don't even care if its more expensive in the long run, I just don't want to be anally raped anymore by the oil cartels.

I'm holding out hope Nissan is going to be the innovator here.

" the new 3.6-liter motor"

Is it electric? No? Then it's not a "motor." If it runs on internal combustion then it's an "engine," not a "motor."

@unclebud - I agree that Ford should of transferred its engine lineup to the Explorer.

@Greg - GMC will most likely put the TT V6 in a truck. That rumour has been floating around the Internet since Ford said they would put the EB 3.6 in a truck.

@GeorgeC - why would GMC bother building a new V6 4.3 just to dump it for this engine? The most likely scenario is for GMC to position this engine above the 5.3 and offer 4 engine choices.

I think that GM will watch Ram's take rate on the VM 3.0 and see how well their new (2014's) sell. Using the Caddi engine as an alternative to a diesel like Ford with the EB would be their cheapest and quickest market response.

Well, it looks like the Silverado will finally get something to compete with Ford. And guess what? It has TWO TURBOS on it. What would Bob say?

@Bob's personal trainer - funny you mention that. . Kind of like those heated steering wheels and man steps that Howie used to ridicule.

Offer diesel GM, don't put cars enignes in trucks like Ford does.

When I went to work yesterday the price of diesel was 2 cents less than gas: $3.67-diesel vs $3.69-gas. How long will that last..........? This is in St Louis, Mo. In Illinois where I live it is: $3.65-gas vs $3.99-diesel. Go figure!
Gas or diesel, twin-turbo or no turbo's I like lots of choices and so should every consumer.
Bring on anything and everything Ford. GM, Chrysler. The consumer will buy what they figure they need.

@johnny doe - On the subject of car engines in trucks, which vehicle did the small block Chevy first appear in?

The Vortec line is just a more modern version of that SBC.

Well soon we will be getting information on which V8s are going to be dropped.

I can see the 5.0 Coyote left for Ford. The 6.4 Hemi for Fiat/Chrysler and GM will be left with the 6.0. That would be my guess. Some of the V8s will need to "modernise" as well.

We have the V8 purists as well and in one of our newpapers yesterday there was an article (speculative) that this Caddy engine will also end up in Holden Commodores.

Looking at the torque bands of these new V6 turbos you can see the writing on the wall for V8s. Fuel figures will very slowly improve for these engines as well.

All we need now is the pickup manufacturers to let it be known what diesels they are going to use.

The Ford will have to use the 3.2 Baby Powerstroke (Duratorque). Looking at GM I would think the 2.8 out of our Colorado will be used. You guy will essentially have our midsizer diesels.

Toyota is the hard one. I would like to see the Tundra with the V8 diesel. It would then place itself as a midsize HD (sort of). A lot of people would have interest in it.

I think this is great. New and better engines.

@johnny doe
They are all car engines fitted to your 1/2 ton pickups. Just because its a pickup doesn't mean a V8 is a truck engine.

When the diesels come on board then pickups will be fitted with commercial engines. These little diesels are commercial engines, not car engines.

Lou: the answer is the 1955 Chevy BelAir! and the 1955 Corvette and it had 265 C.i.d. was used till 1957 and was rated at 162-240hp, then in 1957 it was inlarged to 283c.i.d. and had from 195-315hp, and the rest is history! of the most important small block V-8 in history!

In my honest opinion, I thnk GM should just concentrate on the 4.3, and if need be, use some form of forced induction, wether it is an engine driven blower, or an exhaust driven turbo, all they would have to do is beef up the engine a modest amount from what it is at now, and then use a low amount of boost, just enough to raise and flaten the tq curve out, and they would have a good truck engine, and if all aluminum, would not have much weight to worry about, with just a little boost say 6-8lbs, and the larger displacement of the 4.3 over the 3.6, the combo would make a better lower rpm high and flat tq truck engine, they already have s fairly succesfull history with one (Syclone Typhoone), I believe that engine only had one turbo and look at what they were able to do with that! my cousin stll owns his, and after 120K kinda hard miles, it is still running strong! he has had NO problems with that truck, although he had never used it as a "work " truck, mostly a toy, but still the way that truck, come out of the hole........>>>>>>>>rabbit rabbit!!!!!that and he is not aloud to run at the local autocross anymore! it was laughable, the way he would make the others look silly

GM lets see the 2.8 Dmax as base engine in the Silverado forget this twin turbo car engine. 20mpg city with and 30 highway with the 4cyl diesel. The engine is already in the parts bin. It will serve the needs of 80% of truck buyers. Keep the big displacement v8 for the guys who want the towing capability or v8 purists.

The 2.8 I've heard is being developed even further for the CTS Caddy. This is a strong rumour.

If the power gains are as good as I've heard it should be competitive against the 3.0 VM diesel going into the Ram.

The 2.8 fitted to a pickup will tow as good as the V8.

But, looking at the power and torque of this V6 turbo it should not have to many problems towing either.

@Sandman4x4 - correct.

I'm puzzled about the whole "trucks need truck engines" nonsense. The carriage than an engine is placed into does not care what powers it and vise versa. If an engine is built well enough, it can tow 10K all day long or pack a family of 6 all day long. Universal automotive components are the wave of the future. Companies want to cut costs and maximize profits so we will see shared components. The only negative is the fact that shared components make large recalls a more common occurrence.
Another point of note - how many 1/2 ton pickups out their actually get worked hard?
As Big Al pointed out, some of the new diesels are commercial engines first and foremost. The no replacement for displacement types will be sorely disappointed as truly big V8's are going the way of the dinosaur. The 7.0 Corvette engine is as big as it gets and when compared to European performance engines of smaller displacement, is lacking in performance. The Hemi 6.4 at 391 ci isn't huge by 60's and 70's standards either. The smaller displacement engines currently in existence easily outperform those big engines of years gone by in every conceivable performance metric.

I don't care which type of vehicle you drive or what brand is your favorite, you've got to know things HAVE to change and they have to change soon. For all that the oil companies are trying to say we have enough oil for the foreseeable future, their foresight is very, very short. If they were right, they wouldn't be scrounging for oil in natural tar pits or trying to suck oil out of solid shale rock. What the companies are calling "record reserves" costs almost as much now to produce as they're charging for it.

One of the things that would have a huge effect on the use of what oil we have left is to flat put governors on every single vehicle by Federal and global mandate; no privately owned vehicle capable of exceeding 60mph. Sure, this will upset nearly every gear head in the world, but you would also see cars and trucks currently rated at a mere 20-25mpg achieving perhaps 25%-30% better. When you can take a high-performance Camaro that's rated for 28mpg and consistently get 33mpg out of it just by moderating your speed, it becomes quite obvious that by moderating that speed you WILL save money and burn less gas.

But no, too many people have to have that heavy horsepower just so they can say, "I have the fastest truck around!" You don't need to haul that travel trailer at 80mph; heck, it's not even safe! Slow down and LIVE! Better yet, take the train and just watch out the windows. That big diesel engine up front gets far better gas mileage than your little truck at over 400 ton-miles per gallon!

If GM ever decides to make an AWD Sport truck this motor would make sense in that it would command premium money because of it's exclusivity. Having 3 new motors ready to roll what would GM do with this one too? No way this becomes a non-limited edition motor anytime in the next 5 years.

GM is too cash deficient to play that game.

GM already have made AWD sports trucks and with Chev V8s in them.

GM isn't going to put this into their trucks.
They will take their 4.3/5.3/6.2 V8s and upgrade from VCT to cam-in-cam VVT.
Going from 270hp, 345hp, 420hp to 300hp, 375hp, 450hp

Prognostications will have to wait until GM release detailed specs on the '14 trucks.

@ dsklfjja : Ford's turbo 1.0 I3 engine only makes 125ft-lbs, and 148ft-lbs under overboost conditions.

Why wouldn't GM use it in a truck?

Remember, there is a movement to reduce the number of available engines globally. This will reduce costs.

If it is the replace a V8 in a sedan, then it can replace a V8 in a pickup.

The Cyclone engines from Ford and the Phoenix from Damlier/Chrysler started out the same way.

If there is talk of droppinng them into a GMH, then it would be cost effective to drop into a pickup.

The details of the release of the engine is all about marketing. Even the 2.8 GM diesel was spoken of first to be used in a Caddy.

The same as the Cyclone and Pentastar (Phoenix) this will be the basis of GMs future V6s.

Forget gas engines Its All about diesels now!
My dodge cummins 3/4 ton makes around 900 ftlb of torque with simple mods and has 37 in tires with just 4 inch lift and still gets 22 mpg highway! Now beat that with a gasser! I'm waiting for that new vm RAM it will blow away the eb.

GM made a big deal of mocking Ford and Chrysler for putting what they considered inferior "passenger car engines" into trucks.

GM won't bring this to the Silverado/Sierra twins.
They'll keep that oversized V6 in the trucks, hold its potential back and continue marketing a V8 as the only "real", viable engine choice for truck buyers.

DWFields: you out of your mind? Lets just restrict everybody to 60 mph? No answer required, mr "I would want to disable my seat/side curtain airbags, as they are only there for people that don't wear seat belts" Your words, not mine. What cha smoking, ol man?

We don't need you slowing the traffic down anymore. You must have a crapload of time on your hands?

As for me, since you will probably insist I am a hod rodder all the time, I tow 65-70 MPH on interstates, and 55-60 on local roads. Slower when the speed limit is less.

The current speed limits are fine, most of us can hope there is no politician with a mind like yours that wants total control. You might see a 70 mph limit. As somebody that has putzed through the highly speed limited state of Illinois, I can tell you your day will take forever, and you will be making longer hours of driving to get anywhere. While driving too fast can wear a person out, driving so slow would also have people strecting how far they drive, and truck drivers would be getting alot less miles. As if there isn't enough drivers stretching hours on their log books.

Next, you would probably want to tax people per engine size as Illinois did. I know your kind.

But if they came up with more dumbass rules like only 60 mph, it would another reason not to buy new.

LOL, 33 MPG from a Camaro, @ what, 55 on flat ground with 5 psi more in the tires?

LOL @ the folks who really think little 2.3 L and 2.8 4 bangers with turbos making mid to upper 300s ft pounds torque will actually last. You want throwaway crap?

@dsklfjja: Have you ever heard of gas companies putting diesel in the gas tanks? It happens as well. I wonder if the people like my friend that had it happen to her think like you and think their engine will never be the same? Either happens both ways.

^I meant to say making those numbers with gassers that are that small, and expecting them to last.

Diesel isn't everything, for those that do a shorter commute and are in cold weather alot, you won't warm up a diesel too well, and you'll have issues.

Diesel can work for those that haul heavy. The noose is getting tighter on diesels because of pollution, and what you see in one country might not work in another, cause of lower pollution standards.

Oh, DWFields, you think trains are everwhere? Lol, I don't even think we have passenger trains in Arkansas, we sure had them in Illinois, they work there if you want to take the train into Chicago, or take the L around once you get there!

I agree with Greg.(The very first comment) He said it all.

@TRX4 Tom They, Passenger trains are pretty common in the rest of the world but not so much in the US. Must admit I liked the 150mph Eurostar and Thalys in Europe. The European Intercity trains do over 100mph. Nice way to go through Europe.

Nice try....but from my sources the

Ford's Nano Eco-boost 2.7l v6 will make 300hp and 330lbs tq. on release and is the direct replacement for the 3.7 liter.
Planned to be used on heavier vehicles.

The 2.3l 4cyl will make 265hp and 290lbs tq. and is the direct replacement for the 3.5 liter.

This article is ridiculous. Only several months ago GM announced that it would be replacing the current v6 with a highly updated 4.3l v6. GM is not going to put all that money into updating the 4.3 and then throw it away after a year or to. I really wish that you guys can start reporting on facts and stop spreading rumors.

That doesn't even address the issue that a turbo v6 is not an optimal engine for a truck. Gas engines with turbos are performance engines, not work engines. I will be laughing 5-10 years from now when ecoboost buyers have to replace both of the twin turbos at $2000+ each

first thing is every engine the mustang has ever gotten except for one has gone in the f-150 (it was the SVO turbo engine back in lick the 80-90's alot less power)

mustang 2.0l 4 banger is confirmed for Europe
unconfirmed 2.3l for america for mustang.
confirmed news right now is america ford mustang will not get 2.0l.

math is a bitch take 2.0l 240hp 270lbs tq and make it 0.7l higher the 2.7l should make at least 310hp and 364.5lbs tq. and the 2.0l is not a nano engine
the 1.0l is the only indication of the direction fords newest nano ecoboost will make 1.0l 123hp 170lbstq and there is no over boost the numbers come from Europe focus not the under rated fiesta 148lbs tq PS europe has had it on the market for a year now. only the ST models have over boost

take 1.0l 123hp 170lbs and times it by 2 to make it a 2.0l
2.0l 246hp 340lbs. tq.
not the current older 2.0l in production 230hp 270lbs tq.
so times the numbers by 2.3 and you come up with
2.3l 282.9hp and 391lbs tq

mackintire "Nice try....but from my sources the"
Math its a BITCH cant lie only wrong information can
not some source but "Nice try" lol

It's great to see an Aussie connection in this engine.

The LFX GM V6 was jointly developed by Holden and Cadillac. This turbo V6 is an extension of the original engine which came out in 2004. The engine is capable of a 4 litre capacity.

From what I've read it is highly probable that Holden and Cadillac worked to develop this engine.

It is based on the LFX engine which we use in our Commodores. I would like to think it will go into our Commodore as well.

Saab did use a 2.8 litre version of the LFX in 2009. I would hazard to guess that alot of data was gathered for this engine as it was built in Australia.


The HFV6 was first designed, tested and produced in a joint team by Cadillac and Holden. A majority of design into the new alloy construction, transmission pairing and first use in production were all undertaken in Detroit (and manufactured in St. Catharines). Holden had the job of developing smaller engines (Holden 3.2, LP1 and LP9 Turbo) as well as their own Holden 3.6 HFV6 (called the Alloytec V6) for local models.

Cadillac and Holden both tested variations of these engines in US and Australia. North America and Australia remain the only two places that manufacture the HFV6.

A 2.8 L (2792 cc) LP1 variant was introduced in the 2005 Cadillac CTS. It has a 3.50 in (89.0 mm) bore, a 2.94 in (74.8 mm) stroke, and a 10.0:1 compression ratio. The LP1 was built in Saint Catharines, Ontario.


Cadillac CTS

210 hp (157 kW) @ 6500 rpm

194 lb·ft (263 N·m) @ 3300 rpm

LP9 Turbo

2.8 L turbo V6 in a 2006 Saab 9-3
The LP9 is a 2.8 L turbocharged version used for the Saab 9-3 and other GM vehicles. It has the same bore and stroke as the naturally aspirated LP1, however the compression ratio is reduced to 9.5:1. GM Powertrain Sweden (Saab Automobile Powertrain) was responsible for turbocharging the engine and it is built in Port Melbourne, Australia. Note that 'global' versions use the same horsepower rating for both metric and imperial markets (using imperial horsepowers) while Europe only versions are rated in metric horsepowers. Max torque are without torque limits used in some versions.

I forgot to mention this is a strengthened Commodore V6. With a little head work, piston crown redesign etc.

This engine this is based on has problems.

GM "Customer Satisfaction Program" Recall of 3.6L V6 Engine -

I just got a "Customer Satisfaction Program" letter from GM stating that GM's 3.6 liter V6 (the engine used in the Camaro, Saturn Outlook, LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS, and several other cars) is showing premature wear of the timing chain. A quick check of the web turns up that many who own this engine are experiencing troubles all the way up to the engine fragging.

GM is offering to "change the calibration of the engine control module, including the engine oil life monitor, which in most cases will recommed more frequent oil changes".

Note that this language is intentionally vague, it only says that the changes include the oil life monitor, it doesn't say what other changes they will make. I'm concerned that they might, for example, reduce the max RPM, or they might reduce the peak HP. So I've now written to GM twice asking them to list all changes that they will make. So far, almost a month later, GM has not responded to either one of my letters. - See more at:

Stretched Timing Chairns-3.6 V6

I'm reading a lot about the 2007 version of GM 3.6 V6 and premature timing chain stretching. Replaced both cam and crank shaft with no luck and now additional engine messages. Replacement is quite high and car is 3 months out of warranty with just 52,000. Have used sythentic oil last 3 years and changed oil reg. Does anyone know what is causing this problem? Are replacement chains different/better or is this an engineering defect? Mechanic suggested getting rid of car, but in mint shape other than this problem and really like the car. Thought chains were good for at least 100,000

Read more:

The 3.6 with the Holden connection who operates out of Australia is known to have issues.

There are tons of info out there about it...just bing or google the subject.

This is a thread in another forum about this problem:

I heard from my Dad (who heard from an Opel dealer he had been talking to) that they had been having a number of the 3.6l engines come in for the valve timing chain stretching over time and throwing off the timing and sometimes resulting in failure at higher speeds (autobahn). My parents have a 2008 outlook with the 3.6l (that thing is massive for those roads, but that ain't here nor there).

Anyways, they asked if I had heard anything about it. All I found was a 2006 service bulletin for the same issue, but I would imagine the 2008 model would already include the fix. Anyone heard anything about this? Or is it maybe a bigger problem on the higher speeds of the autobahn? Fairly ubiquitous engine, I hope it isn't going to fail a 30,000 miles!

Yes, It appears that there is a problem...I google searched, and came up with several links....


So I guess the great GM that builds perfect motors all the time has a serious defect.

Read more:

One more thing for the GM builds perfect engines people. GM's had timing chain issues in the past as well. They used nylon timing gears on the old 3.1 V6's and the teeth would start breaking off at about 110k miles.

There is much information on the engine.

I'm wondering why GM is going to pursue the use of the older V6 in pickups. I read a police report on the engine and they seemed happy with it over the previous PPV Impala V6's.

I hope they fixed the timing chain issue, it wouldn't be a hard problem to solve from an engineering perspective.

Impala's also run this engine as does some Opels.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this engine.

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