2016 Chevrolet Colorado Baby Duramax Video

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-TurboDiesel-029 II

Although we haven't had the chance to drive the all-new — for the U.S. — turbo-diesel 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder baby Duramax yet, we did see what it will look like under the hood of a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado at the National Truck Equipment Association's 2015 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. It was obvious from the crowds surrounding the midsize pickup truck much of the time that there are many potential small truck buyers who are curious about it. We managed to push our way to the front of the truck and talk about some of the key issues that are likely to determine this engine option's success.

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I think this will be the right size diesel engine in the right size truck. it is very close to full size.

I read four reviews for the 2015 Canyon; all four of the owners went from a full-size down to the Canyon and didn't regret the move one bit.

Now lets hope your GM & GMC warranty cut back doesn't hurt you! Posted today.

Pretty sure its looks exactly like the engine in the 2015 Chevrolet Trailblazer - the one not for sale in the US/North American market - since it is the same engine, with the addition SCR and DEF emissions.

Nice to see another diesel engine make its way into a North American vehicle. Keep them coming automakers!

If going by the Fuel Economy numbers of the Global Colorado, one should expect to see about 26 to 28 MPG Combined in the US Colorado with the 6 speed 6L50.

However, I wish GM would put the AISIN TL-80SN (RPO LF3) 8 Speed Auto used in the Cadillac Twin Turbo V6, as it will bolt straight to the 2.8 Duramax. An 8 Speed Auto would help GM achieve the magical 30 MPG Combined...

I wouldn't touch a Ram Ecodiesel for a one night stand with a Japanese redhead.

I was also thinking going from full size to the Colorado as soon as I can find a Chevy Dealer worthy of my business.

I do think the US version of the Colorado will gain a few more mpg's.

You guys with your CAFE regulations tend to use a higher diff ratio, shutters and front spoilers than drag on the road (better aerodynamics).

Izuzu the global Colorado's not identical twin in body panels uses the Aisin gearbox and a 3 litre Izuzu diesel.

Transmission? I have a new Canyon and the way the transmission is setup someone thought it was going in the diesel. It does not like to down shift and acts like the V6 engine has more low end torgue than it has. Love the size not so much the way it shifts at low speeds in residential areas. Above 35 it a dream to drive.

The 2.8 diesel shouldn't add to many dollars to the price of the Colorado.

I do know here the use the 3 litre V6 diesels are expensive compared to the "trucklike" 4 cylinder diesels in many of our pickups.

The V6 diesels were designed for Euro luxury cars and not commercial vehicles.

The V6 diesel cost around $5 000 more than the 4 cylinder diesel like this engine.

I'd hope in the US it doesn't cost more than a couple of thousand dollars over the V6 gasoline engine.

I hope it isn't available only on the top trim models

Looks good. I bet low to mid 30's highway at best. No chance for 40mpg highway. Little 4 cylinder VW diesels barely get over 40mpg.

I am sure it will only be in the 45k+ model.

I've been eyeing up this truck and probably will trade up my 14 Silverado for one. Problem is, if its as efficient as they claim, they will be in high demand. So that brings the question of whether its worth paying extra in comparison to the heavy rebates the other trucks have. The gas Canyon I tested didn't really have much better fuel economy then my 5.3 so really not worth trading up for that. Ram ecodiesels are selling with pretty much the same rebates as the gas, which makes a diesel in that case a viable option...... Time will tell I guess.

The five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain coverage, in place for nearly a decade, will be reduced to five years and 60,000 miles for the 2016 models, GM said.

"We will reinvest the savings we will realize into other retail programs that our customers have told us they value more than these.”
The fact that GM expects to save money by reducing its powertrain warranty from 100k to 60k does not say much for the confidence GM management has in its powertrain. I've bought my last new vehicle. Car and truck prices are just stupidly ridiculous considering it's such a rapidly depreciating asset.

The five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain coverage, in place for nearly a decade, will be reduced to five years and 60,000 miles for the 2016 models, GM said.


Where you at Bob? Ford wins again. GM fanbois just lost another talking point.

In line engines are better at producing higher torque levels.

That's why most large prime mover diesels are in line 6's. They can produce more torque than a V configured engine.

Theoretically an in line 4 cylinder should be able to develop better torque than a V6 engine.

The problem with in line engines is vibrations or as they are known harmonics. That's why you have balancing shafts in in line engines. Especially the larger ones.

My Father told me 30 years ago that in-line engines were more efficient due to longer intake manifold runners which allowed a cooler air/fuel mixture. take note of the GM 250 cu straight six cylinder...Ford straight six 300 cu and the Chrysler 225 slant six. all great efficient engines.

The small duramax will initially be popular in the US as people that want diesel in a small pickup will fill there desire. But there popularity will fade after a bit as americans seem to find performance more important then economy in there pickups. The baby duramax and where it makes torque and HP in the RPM band which isn't that much to begin with isn't going to be ideal for truck duty. The international version makes its peak HP all the way up at 3500+ rpm while its peak torque is down at 2000 rpm. This thing will be extremely boring to drive.

@ Big Al from Oz.

US EPA mpg figures tend to be tainted against Diesels. Yet, real world driving (at least in the US) proves otherwise. Also, from my experience at Driving Turbo Diesels while on vacation in Ireland, TDI's get less MPG than is claimed by the European manufacturers.

Also, at the LA Auto Show last year I questioned the GM personnel on the stand about the price of the 2.8 Turbo Diesel over the V6 Gasoline (Petrol) and was advised that it will be somewhere between $1300 and $2500 higher. If this claim holds true, it will definitely be a seller!!

I'm glad I don't have that model Ranger or BT50! I do think my one has a single plate dry. That's what the Mazda engineer told me.

Draining your engine oil is an old one. I do my own oil changes. There is no need to let an engine sit and drain. As soon as the flow stops and couple of drips form, I put the sump plug back in and put the oil in.

My biggest problem has been my gearbox which has just been replaced. It lasted 33 000km. Up until 2012 the Ford manufactured gearbox has been an issue globally.

I don't think you can really blame Ford completely. There appears to be some deficiencies in Getrags actual design.

Thanks for your help and consideration.

I wonder what max towing will be on the diesel option. I do like the idea, but hope they can get towing numbers up there enough to pull things like smaller campers without straining the engine too much.

The in line six is a nice engine.

Any engine can be nice and balanced. But try and think of Sir Isaac Newton's Laws of Physics.

A person spends lots of money to balance an engine. But what effect does it have. Think about it.

Imagine an engine as a cube, ie, it has six sides. Sir Isaac stated that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

So, rip out the valves and spark plugs and balance an engine really nicely.

What happens as soon as you start the engine? What forces come into play?

Just at idle you will each and every piston being slammed down how many times a second? What will be the outcome?

So, on a six cylinder you have a cylinder in ignition. How many degrees of the stroke is actually producing the torque? Remember this is only once every 4 strokes. It would be like a sledge hammer smashing the engine each and every stroke.

There is no opposite reaction to null the effect of the ignition. You have no other cylinders firing. so what happens down the length of the engine?

You also have connecting rods swinging from side to side. You have up to 2 degrees of crank shaft deflection under high loads.

You have the compression stroke, valve gear. All of this "stuff" spinning and moving. Along the length of an engine.

It would be similar to throwing half a dozen cats in a large cardboard box. Sh!t would be moving in all direction on six planes. Remember my identifying an engine as a box (I must do this as you tend to cut and paste each phrase to comment on it creating a false representation as you don't connect the "dot' in the composition). Dyslexic?

Laterally, top to bottom, axially. Then to top it all off you have the transmission of energy constantly changing positions on the shaft of loading and unloading, with compression and ignition.

No matter what you do you will not remove these loads.

A six will be a "smoother" engine. But what about the other loads that are placed on the longer engine, due to the transfer of the torque energy along it's length.

Imagine the vibrations from all of these parts moving at even a modest 4 500rpm?

Have a look at this beautiful exploded isometric projection of the 2.7 EcoBoost.

What do you notice when you look at it? Not much, eh?

Have a look at the block. Look at it's design. Study where the forces of the engine will be transmitted and the loads on the engne.

You can see how the loads on the engine are transmitted, just by the block design. It's a clever design, which will hopefully work.

Remember older blocks had the main bearing journals supported by webbing the block skirts The 2.7 EcoBoost doesn't accommodate this feature.

The aluminium walls that form the secondary block don't provide strength like older block designs.


Look at this image and look at the structural strength advantage it has over the 2.7 Ecoboost. Pay particular attention to how the main bearing journals are webbed to the block skirt.


See the significant difference in the construction between the two engines?

The advantage of the 2.7 EcoBoost is weight savings.

Remember the power and particularly the torque this engine produces. What could possibly go wrong?

Ford engineers would have designed a good block. But how well will they be produced is another story. There is far less room for error.

I'll learn you eventually, little Padawan.

I'm sure this motor will sell well, though locally diesel is .78 a gal more than gas. No way to make an economic argument for this motor over the V-6. This is likely to be an emotional selling point and GM will be happy to satisfy it's customers needs in that regard.

Mark is 100% right when he said the transmission programming will make or break this truck. Small diesels are awesome, torquey and fun to drive.... but they really run out of breath if you rev them too high, especially a 4cylinder. GM has done an excellent job with the Duramax Allison combo so one can hope that they know what they are doing..

The dual clutch DSG in my VW Jetta TDI was clearly taken straight out of the turbo gasoline version, as in sport mode it will let the engine rev way out of the power band and then sit there for a full 1-2 count before upshifting when at full throttle. This ironically makes the regular D (economy) mode feel very sporty in the diesel, but annoying that they couldn't be bothered to do a specific programming for the diesel as I wish I could still have the clutch engagement settings from sport mode as they are far more aggressive than the standard D mode when taking off from a dead stop and gear changes while driving.

Anyone interested in reading about engine balance here is a good link:

@Big Al - stop talking down to people. You undermine any credibility you have and any vestiges of it are currently tenuous at best.

The only time an engine is in balance is if it is "free wheeling".

Once you you start to an engine the the engine is not in balance. You have many forces acting on it.

A V12 would probably be the best balanced of and engine.

Good link by the way. It actually describes the torsional vibrations that tend to be larger in in line engines.

Also, It mentions all of the loads placed on an engine through on each axis.

A debadged VM Motori Engine (Fiat) , same 2.8 liters Found in Europe, sorry not a Duramax!


It's great you realise that vehicle can be "pushed" outside of their designed operating limits.

This is not unusual in any vehicle that is operated in such a way.

As well as your cut and paste on dual mass fly wheels, did you know most every little 4 cylinder car with a manual runs a dual mass flywheel? Dual mass flywheels were not designed primarily for diesels as you are alluding to.

Also, your inferences towards "utes" and ESC is a bit over the top.

Your comments pertain to ANY vehicle with those systems.

Believe it or not there is very little difference between the construction and systems operations of most modern vehicles.

It's not as if the US full size pickup is any different in most cases.

Thanks for your effort in your response. It does hold some useful information for all operators of a modern gasoline powered vehicle.

By the way, my BT50 has a single dry plate clutch. The example you furnished previously was a Mazda based ute, not Ford based vehicle that is the current model.

Also, how many cylinders does my vehicle have? Harmonics are a bigger issue with an in line 4, especially the larger capacity engines.

Sorry, I can't find any reference stating that the 2011 on 3.2 BT50 has a dual mass clutch.

You would think it would be relatively easy to find. I can't find any product that I can use in my particular model vehicle. Older BT50s there are plenty of aftermarket options.

My model must have a good clutch if there is no aftermarket units available yet.

Thanks for your interest. I'll keep that in mind and keep an eye out for aftermarket clutch providers.

I can only find that pre 2011 BT 50s have dual mass clutches.

Pre 2011 BT 50's were a different vehicle and used a Mazda engine. They were the same vehicles as the Ford Rangers back then.

There has been a switch with the current model Rangers and BT 50s as they are Ford based and use Ford engines.

I do know most manual 4 cylinders run a dual mass clutch nowadays. The 4.0 litre V6 Hilux has a dual mass clutch.

They seem to work okay. But with any manual, if you don't know how to operate and use the clutch and transmission you can burn out clutches.

In Australia, like the US we have many who don't know how to operate and use manual transmissions.

If you are unsure of how to operate a manual transmission, I'd advise you not to buy one.

Maybe you might have to look a little harder and find me a link for a replacement clutch. Here's the information; 2012 BT50, 3.2 diesel, 6spd manual. When you find a replacement just paste the link here on PUTC and I'll save it. I might need a clutch in 5-10 years from now.

I did have a meeting with Mazda Australia's BT50 engineer and asked him that particular question regarding what clutch the 3.2 ran. He stated a single plate dry.

Thanks again for your concern and helpful advice.

Thanks for your input.

Especially about Siberia. I haven't read about that.

Also, if you migrate to Australia you'll probably have to learn how to use a manual with proficiency.

If you get stuck I can give you instruction on how to off road with a manual (or just off road) and how to use a clutch.

I will return your interest you've shown in our Australian utes.

I read somewhere that the 2.8l baby Duramax will be fitted with timing belt and not a timing chain. Could anyone explain what would be the differences / benefits of choosing one over the other? Simple common sense tells me a chain will be better but my common sense works well in electronics and wireless industry, not much in engines ...:)

I do think my BT50 was butt ugly, but I knew I would be fitting a bull bar/driving lights, so this hide the front end. The rear taillights still look like they should be fitted to a Lincoln pickup that's sold to Mexicans.

I also don't buy just on looks to be the coolest dude on the block. I bought because I thought the pickup would do what I expected and it really hasn't disappointed overall.

I've had diesels before. But I do really like the Ford 3.2 diesel. It's not the most powerful or quickest. It does work very well with very little effort. A VW Amarok is actually quicker from 0-100kph. But put a few thousand pounds behind it and I'd bet it will slow it down more than my engine.

When I took the Amarok for a test drive the engine needed to be worked harder than the 3.2 Ford diesel. The Ford diesel is a very lazy, low reving torquey engine.

As I stated my biggest issue I had with my manual gearbox is when it failed after this Christmas. It was a design and manufacturing error from the Ford camp. I really don't hold that against Ford. The new box seems to shift much better.

I do like the BT50 overall.

The article regarding gearboxes and rear suspension is quite good. It appears the people don't know how to load trailers. If a vehicle that will carry a load of 1 100-1 300kg can't handle a 350kg drawbar load, then obviously the person loading the trailer is putting most of the weight onto the drawbar.

I did replace my front and rear suspension. I have towed with the original suspension and never encountered the problems one of the BT 50 owners had.

As for auto vs manual. It's up to the individual. I don't see any advantage towing with an auto. As for winding out 6th gear in top as the guy mentioned his views are similar to those who object to immunization. It's all hearsay or he read something on the net.

The guy mentioned using a cooler with a manual???? That sort of gives away his credibility.

If you don't realise the capability of your vehicle like the guy who is scared to tow in 6th, then he obviously doesn't have a clue towing.

Thanks for the links, it shows that we have clueless Aussies towing as well. Over the recent past we have what are called "Grey Nomads" people who in retirement tour around the country for years on end. Many of them must of owned Corolla's and such, then buy a pickup and tow around a 7 000lb camper. This equals trouble.

@Mileage Man
Your initial post is incorrect.
The BSFC of Chrysler's 3.0 V6 is going to be less than the 2.8 'baby duramax'. The bore area is ~17% greater, which means more heat loss. More cylinders means more piston ring drag.
The number of main bearing doesn't adequately describe the drag: you need to know the width & diameter.
Generalizations about engine configurations are just that, not based on details which overrule baseless conjecture.

Now the power/torque depends on whether GM wants to use the 6L50 or 6L80. If they use the 6L50, they will have to artificially cap torque to ~332ft-lbs from 1500-3000, and as compensation push power to ~220hp@4000rpm.
If they use 6L80, then no torque cap is needed. 369ft-lbs@2000rpm, and 200hp@3500rpm.

The Ram has a mileage advantage from the ZF 8 speed, but has substantially more mass. So GM's little pickup trucks will post the best milage, but 26/36 for a 4x2 would be about the best your going to get; and 24/32 for 4x4.

The Holden Colorado with the same engine gets 8.1l/100km average. That's 29mpg combined, highway should be way over 30mpg - not bad at all.

I am very much looking forward to driving this truck with this engine. This engine is very popular in the South African Chevy Trailblazer. It's slightly louder than my Jeep Ecodiesel, but very torquey. To all of the Jeep/Ram Ecodiesel haters, this baby Duramax is also a V Motori design like the Ecodiesel, and so is the 2.0 in the Cruze. Fact check!

Don't expect to get anywhere near 40mpg. Not even mid 30s. It actually won't have a substantial improvement in fuel economy over the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. It is a cheaper engine though, with less power and torque. I am pretty sure it's the same VM Motori engine that was in the export Jeep Liberty (aka Cherokee) and JK Wrangler.

With this engine, the Colorado could well replace a lot of current full-sized pickups, especially in fleet use. I doubt this would qualify as anyone's play-truck engine but for a real working, albeit light-duty truck, it may excel. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does once it hits the dealerships.

@Big Al: "The only time an engine is in balance is if it is "free wheeling".
Once you you start to an engine the the engine is not in balance. You have many forces acting on it.
A V12 would probably be the best balanced of and engine."

While technically you may be correct with this and a followup comment about I-6s, I suggest you look at the engines used in railroad locomotives and cruise ships, which are typically I-12s today. While cruise ships use massive gyros to stabilize them on the open sea, a railroad locomotive is a near-10-foot-wide, 18-foot-tall vehicle running on a 4-foot, 8.5-inch wheelbase. Now, having just been aboard an older switching locomotive and hearing the rattles when it is idling, it was amazing how much those rattles died down when you started loading the engine. Newer locomotives by comparison are much, much quieter when it comes to vibration.

Are you absolutely certain that an inline engine is inherently unbalanced?

Actually an inline six should be very tame at idle. That is it's sweetest spot. Unless the idle was down very low in the large locomotive engine.

The vibration you felt was the actual ignition of the cylinder on the power stroke. As I described.

As you increase rpm the frequency of the pulsing of ignitions speeds up. Remember a 6 cylinder has its ignition every 120 degrees.

Out of that 120 degrees maybe in a diesel you will apply pressure for 40 degrees or so producing torque. This leaves an 80 degree time lapse between actual ignition.

So, at idle the reduced frequency of ignition and a larger time lapse between ignition allowed the engine to move a greater distance before the next cylinder ignited.

As you rev the engine up the cylinders are firing at a much more rapid rate, in effect cancelling out some of the vibration.

But, that sudden stop in vibration must go somewhere. The energy to stop the vibration is added stress. Also, using one of Sir Isaac Newton's famous theories. To every action there must be an opposite and equal reaction.

The problem with a piston engine it isn't possible to create an exact opposite reaction to counter the firing of the piston. It must be opposite. Not down a row off cylinders.

Harmonic shafts probably offer the best method of reducing vibrations. They can be placed directly in line with the cylinders. But, they are off laterally, not the best position.

You would of needed an accelerometer to measure the rate of vibrations. In the US it is measure in inches per second.

You will never have a piston engine without lots of vibrations.

I've actually done some work regarding harmonics.

The best job I had was when I first started out. I had to assist a physicist. I was my first ever fantastic and interesting job in engineering.

We had a particular bearing that was failing and from our end we couldn't determine the cause.

They first considered an off axis load, ie, shafting not exactly concentric, then harmonics and came to dead ends.

The input shaft used had an advanced CV joint, using a system of bellows to allow for deflection. So, my job was to get a flanged solid shaft fabricated and measure the deflection in the bearing assembly. The bearing proved good.

We then also looked at harmoics. Got the gears sized, number of teeth and type of gear tooth. We worked out harmonics couldn't be causing the failure. I had accelerometers stuck everywhere on the gearbox. I tried all different configuration of accelerometer placement.

In the end the problem came down to simple physics. Leverage. The distance from the input gear to the bearing within the gearbox multiplied the load by a large factor. Overtime this caused the bearing failure. The bearing would of sufficed if it was located further from the input gear.

Most of the vibration data I use now is from turbine engines. They can vibrate over one inch per second. Yet touching the engine it feels smooth as.

You'll find harmonics just don't become more pronounced as rpm's increase on an engine. They will peak and fall, some of the amplitudes will spike and fall. This is due to the cancelling out of wave forms. The same can occur when at certain frequencies the waveform can meet and create spikes and such.


Belts vs Chains (...vs Gears?)

all have their advantages for transferring power.

Rubber belts are used in cars and industry quite well and they're cheap to make, require little attention, and quietly go about their business. Gears and chains are excellent too, but they are a little noisier and they cost more to make and fit to the work needing to be done.

So, belts are cheap and quiet. They all work well. Each has its advantages.

@Big Al: I was about to say you'd ignored harmonics--until I saw your second reply to me. However, your anecdote--while giving lots of good, technical information--essentially ignores the everyday language. In essence, different items resonate at different frequencies and when the locomotive's engine started taking the load, all the harmonics shifted to make the overall vehicle quieter inside. But again, I was also riding in a 70-year-old locomotive.

As I understand it, the newer models are much, much quieter and carry two different engines--one multi-thousand horsepower I-12 and a smaller 350-700hp I-6 for handling secondary systems. They also carry massive computing power that handles every aspect of the drivetrain to the point that it uses exactly as much power as needed to get a load moving and not one ounce more. This includes controlling multi-unit (MU) lashups of even six full-sized road locomotives or 'cow and calf' (mother and slug) operations where the second unit doesn't even have an engine in it.

Such technologies could make OTR trucking more efficient as well and probably realize far better efficiency. Now imagine what that could do for a car or pickup truck.

I do find it amusing that people are pointing out that the 2.8 litre Duramax was built by Vm Motori.

You do have to remember that GM used to own 1/2... one half of the company.

The correct way to state the facts is that yes the Duramax 2.8 litre was a VM/GM design and so is the VM 3.0 Ecodiesel in the Ram. The ecodiesel was actually designed and meant for Cadillac.

The 2.8 litre was meant as a truck engine from the start. The 3.0 was meant to be a car/SUV engine.

I am interested to see the tow/haul specs on the 2.8 litre Duramax Colorado.

If one looks at the FCA 1500 specs. The V6 Pentastar and V6 Ecodiesel have very similar ratings with a slight nod to the gasser.

If that holds true with the Colorado V6 gasser versus I4 diesel we should see similar ratings.

You can see in the video that it has a timing belt instead of a chain. That's a non starter for me. I wouldn't buy it even if it was a zero cost option.

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