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Old 05-27-2018, 12:25 PM   #1
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4 cylinder to come in full size pickup

Finally, some other manufacturer will step up to challenge Ford for power train technologies, weight savings, etc. in the pickup truck segment. It will be about 4 and 1/3 years since Ford made a major step forward in the half-ton class; General Motors is now going to make some waves.

Chevrolet recently announced that the all-new Silverado 1500 coming January 2019(number 2 selling vehicle in North America) will include a new engine. A 2.7L direct injection, turbo charged 4 cylinder, gas engine. First 4 cylinder full-size truck that will ever have been sold in the U.S. or Canada. It's peak numbers are 310 @ 5600 for horsepower and 348 peak ft-lb torque at only 1500 RPM.

Ford has continually sent shock waves in to this normally technology-lagging segment by first offering the first downsized gas-powered turbo for model year 2012. It was a 3.5L V6 twin turbo that Ford names Ecoboost. Ford then came in with an all-new F150 pickup in model 2015 (America's number 1 selling vehicle) that cut between 350-700 pounds depending on how it was configured, and also added a second downsized twin turbo V6 option to their engine linepu; this time only a 2.7L. In 2017, Ford updated the larger twin turbo and mated it to a first, ten-speed transmission in the class; adding another 10 horsepower and 50 ft-lb torque. Last Fall, Ford updated the smaller twin turbo boosting the torque up to 400 ft-lb at only 2750 RPM; updated their V8 engine for the F150 and came in with an all-new 3.3L naturally-aspired V6 as the base engine in the lineup with 290 horsepower; and mated all engines to the 10 speed except for the base 3.3L. This Spring, Ford offered their first diesel in the class; a 3.0L V6 PowerStroke and has mated it to the 10 speed. All told, F150 has jumped out way ahead in fuel economy, owning the number 1 spot with their diesel as high as 22 city, 30 highway and 25 combined. The number 3 spot and the number 1 gas-powered 1/2-ton pickup in the 2.7L twin turbo V6 Ecoboost at 20 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined; the number 4 and number two for all gas-powered 1/2 tons with their base naturally-aspirated 3.3L V6 at 19 city, 25 highway and 22 combined; the number 5 spot, and the number 3 gas-powered 1/2-ton pickup with their 3.5L Ecoboost as high as 18 city, 25 highway and 21 combined and this particular twin turbo peaks at 375 horsepower and 470 ft-lb torque at 3500 RPM. Then they also have at this time the number 1 rated V8 for mpg. Their 5.0L comes in at 17 city, 23 highway, and 19 combined and 395 peak horsepower and 400 ft-lb torque.

Ford took a commanding lead with power train advancement and weight reduction and best fuel economy in the 1/2-ton full size pickup class with little or no sacrifices compared to other brands in 2015 and increased their lead for 2018. Basically there has been no response from the other five brands who sell this class truck with respect to power trains since 2012 in so far as adding other engine types, besides one diesel from Ram, and nothing in response to weight reduction since Ford's introduction of an all-aluminum bodied truck in MY 2015. That is until just this Spring. FCA's Ram brand has just begun selling an all-new truck, but advancements are small by comparison when it comes to weight reduction and power train advancement. Nissan and Toyota have basically done nothing in these areas. Nissan came out with an all-new Titan, but only one power train choice in the 1/2-ton class, and it's a naturally-aspired big V8 with typical big V8 power and torque and fuel economy.

But even though General Motors has not physically done anything in the market yet, some of their announcements about their upcoming truck (finally) will most certainly finally challenge Ford's dominance. First; they will employ a next-generation cylinder deactivation system for their 6.0L V8 one version of their of their 5.3L V8. This new system will determine fire, no-fire decisions real time for each cylinder on every cycle instead of just blocking off half the cylinders during low load as in today's generation of this technology. It will allow as low as two cylinder firings on some cycles. Secondly and thirdly, GM will respond with a 10-speed transmission of their own for the 6.2L, and for an all-new diesel that they've announced; a 3.0 inline six. This diesel will be the first, true, all-new diesel, designed and built in the USA specifically for a 1/2-ton pickup. And now the latest news, GM will offer this new 2.7L four cylinder that is an all-new design. In sum, GM will have a 4.3L NA V6 mated to a six speed which is all a carry over from the current pickup; a 5.3L V8 with active fuel management and six speed tranny, which is also a carry over; an all-new 2.7L 4 cylinder turbo mated to an 8-speed transmission; a 5.3L V8 with the new dynamic fuel management and 8 speed transmission; a 6.2L V8 with the new dynamic fuel management and all-new 10 speed transmission; and an all-new 3.0L inline six diesel Duramax mated to an all-new 10 speed transmission. Many of these will have start-stop technology. Look for Ford mpg dominance to end; at least for a while.


Now for the bad news; GM has a reputation of offering their greatest engineered products only at the upper price in this segment, thereby withholding their good stuff from most of their customers; and announcements that they've made so far indicate that, unlike Ford who offers everything but the diesel down to the lowest trim and lowest configuration (the best stuff for everyone at a value price) that they will continue that limitating strategy. It seems as though the 10-speed and the 6.2L and the 3.0 inline diesel will all be held out for what they call "high feature" category of their pickup trucks; that the 2.7L and 5.3L with dynamic fuel management (the new generation of cylinder deactivation) will be limited to what they call the "high volume" category, and that the "high value" category will get the same two old engines with the same two old transmissions with the same old cylinder deactivation system; they are both naturally-aspirated. So while some of their announced engineering is exciting, that excitement is somewhat tempered by their mandate for maintaining huge profit margins on every unit sold and the fact that not all their customers will share in their technology advancements.
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:48 PM   #2
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The F150 has start/stop across the engine line up, at least the gasoline models. The consumer level diesel 4WD has some low MPG ratings(I recall 25mpg hwy), because of how Ford chose to equip it. The fleet model does better.

GM's 2.7L will also have cylinder deactivation. They currently offer eAssist as an option, and I expect that to continue. The 'high value' group of trims are mostly fleet vehicles. The people buying a pick up for a commuter are picking from the other groups. So I'm not concerned with the work trims not getting the best and newest. Most buyers there would choose the cheap and proven anyway.

As long as the diesel fans are willing to pay for the higher trims, the companies will continue to only offer them that way. This goes for cars too.

Ram may not be offering much, but having a mild hybrid system standard on the base engine is a herald of what is to come.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:55 AM   #3
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Haven't got time to read the entire post. Engines are getting smaller and more powerful in every type of vehicle now which is good. Take the Jaguar F-type for example, the difference in performance between the big V8, V6 and the recently developed 2.0 litre 4 cylinder is barely noticeable, but what is noticeable is the better handling and economy due to the downsized engine and lighter weight.

Most trucks here already have 4 cylinder engines, and almost every one is diesel too.
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Old 06-10-2018, 03:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
The F150 has start/stop across the engine line up, at least the gasoline models. The consumer level diesel 4WD has some low MPG ratings(I recall 25mpg hwy), because of how Ford chose to equip it. The fleet model does better.

GM's 2.7L will also have cylinder deactivation. They currently offer eAssist as an option, and I expect that to continue. The 'high value' group of trims are mostly fleet vehicles. The people buying a pick up for a commuter are picking from the other groups. So I'm not concerned with the work trims not getting the best and newest. Most buyers there would choose the cheap and proven anyway.

As long as the diesel fans are willing to pay for the higher trims, the companies will continue to only offer them that way. This goes for cars too.

Ram may not be offering much, but having a mild hybrid system standard on the base engine is a herald of what is to come.
I can't help but to comment whenever I run in to this attitude. The attitude being that it's totally okay for automakers to try and force all of us into their $50K versions of a $27K pickup trucks, and that the masses of people (the ones that we're now calling fleet customers) who want and deserve the latest engineered products don't really matter.


I call BS on that whole idea that regular folks who need regular duty and want a sub-$30K pickup truck do not matter. I bought an F150 with the 2.7L twin turbo the first year Ford sold it and got it in a near base model but with some nice features like cruise control and power glass and mirrors for $27.8K. That matters! It matters to the consumers in that range whether YOU are concerned or not.

Right now, Ford's very top engineered gasoline engines for F150 are the two twin turbo, dual fuel-injected engines (2.7 and 3.5) mated to a ten speed transmission. Ford Motor Company allows American consumers to purchases their best-effort and most modern power trains (at least the gas powered ones) mated to their best-effort transmission in the lowest trims and smallest configurations. Ford has not extended this same strategy to their new diesel, which is understandable due to the high cost of building and certifying them.


Now for some corrections and straightening out from the last comment...


Ram has cylinder deactivation, the aging block-off style cylinder deactivation is available only with the 5.7L V8 Hemi. They also have a 4.6L Penstar naturally-aspired V6. The new 2019 pickup truck is supposed to be lighter, albeit only cutting at most 225 pounds (Ford cut up to 700 back in 2015); it is supposed to be more aerodynamic, but their first released power train in this brand new truck comes in exactly the same mpg as the 2018 model with the unchanged power train. All that work with no gain; eliminating the regular cab and the customers who would want one of those in a new-designed pickup truck. What a disappointment for many Ram loyalists. Ram is supposed to be coming with eTorque mild hybrid system as standard with the 4.6L Penstar, and an option for the Hemi V8, but their fans are still waiting on anything new related to power trains.


Ford has start/stop for all F150s; 4 gas and 1 diesel. It is a traditional-type start stop using a regular 12 volt battery with little tricks that keeps hydraulic pressure going in the transmission for quick start ups and safety, etc. The MPG for the new F150 PowerStroke is 22 city, 30 highway, and 25 combined for the retail customer and 2WD. The MPG for the 4WD for retail customer is 20 city, 25 highway and 22 combined; slightly less than the 2.7L Ecoboost gas engine in 2WD. The fleet version is only 4WD, but it gets a better number at 21 city, 28 highway and 24 combined. Some of the reasons why the retail 4WD gets poorer numbers is that it has all-terrain tires and comes standard with lower gearing at 3.55 versus 3.31 for the fleet 4WD and 2WD models.


Now for the upcoming Chevy Silverado 1500. It is true that it is possible to find a mild hybrid 2018 Silverado, but I'd guess it would be a tough find, and it'd likely be in a very specific trim and configuration. It's a 5.3L Ecotec3 with eAssist. It is supposed to be available this year in all 50 states and cannot be optioned until the price point of at or about $44.4K. It's mpg numbers are 18 city, 24 highway, and 20 combined, which puts it a couple points behind two powertrains for F150 and matches their own 4.3L V6. GM has laid out all of their power train options for the upcoming 2019 and the eAssist is NOT listed as a choice.


Right now Chevy Silverado has cylinder activation in all three of their engines for Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500, which are all naturally aspired, and they are all V arranged. The largest displacement; the 6.2L is a very limited animal; available only in crew cab and only in the higher trims and cannot be had until the $47.4K mark, which means it is even more limited price wise than Ford's new PowerStroke diesel. They currently do not have start-stop in any model, but is expected in 2019. Their cylinder deactivation is just like Ram's type; the old block-off style cylinder deactivation and GM calls their version Active Fuel Management (AFM). But unlike Ford Motor Company that tends to get rid of dated technologies and inferior dated transmissions when they come out with new stuff, i.e. going to dual fuel injection across the board for 2018) and 10 speed in all but mating to the base engine, GM plans on keeping just about everything from the current generation, including the older cylinder deactivation, and the older six speed transmission and the eight speed transmission, even though they will have the new cylinder deactivation called Dynamic Fuel Management, and they'll also have a ten speed transmission. Instead of proliferating their new stuff for all their customers to benefit from, they plan on sticking those older and inferior systems back in to their brand new pickup truck for both the "high value" customers and the "high volume customers". So what ends up happening is that the "high value" customer gets little value, because he or she gets a pickup with new skin but with the old bones and the oldest transmission with the least gears; basically nothing new from 2013 on. The high volume customer gets one new engine choice but doesn't get the new cylinder deactivation and doesn't get the new 10-speed transmission choices even as an option. Only the "high feature" customer gets the 10 speed; only the "high feature" customer gets a chance at the 6.2L engine; only the high-feature customer gets the new advanced cylinder deactivation; and only the "high feature" customer gets a chance for a diesel engine. And so if you are a by-stander who is not a prospective pickup truck buyer, I don't guess this matters much to you one way or the other. Or if your are a prospective customer of a pickup truck but are interested in one that also serves as a luxury sedan including the price of a luxury sedan, then this exclusiveness of their technologies wouldn't matter to you either. In fact, in that case, you'd probably like their strategy, because then you could stand out from the crowd more, which may be the reason one would buy a $60K+ pickup truck anyway. But if you are in the market for a modern work truck, and you are GM loyal or Ram loyal, then you have to be a disappointed customer, and you may move on over to Ford Motor Company who is revolutionizing America's number one selling vehicle for everyone who wants a half-ton pickup truck; whether it's for work or to show off your wealth.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:09 AM   #5
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*sigh*
I am not saying its okay for the companies to load more desirable drive trains up with bling for increased profits, but it takes two to tango. As long as there are customers willing to pay those inflated prices, the companies will continue to do so. VW did this for decades with the TDi, and didn't start offering the engine in lower trims until they lost the fuel efficient buyers to hybrids, and then Toyota was only sticking the hybrid system in the fully loaded, non-Prius models.

New things cost more. Always have; they got that R&D bill to pay off. People may not be willing to pay for GM's latest cylinder deactivation and transmission on a bare bones truck. They might want the fancy gizmoos and doodads instead for the price. Offering a truck combination that doesn't sell is a loss. Even if you never build one, because you spent resources designing the assembly line, and training the workforce to build it.

Then if a company can still make money still selling older technology, they will continue. The Toyota Yaris still has a 4 speed auto in the US, and it wasn't that long ago that the Corolla did too. The 3.3L in the F150 only comes with a 6 speed. The Fusion will linger on as long as Ford sees value in doing so. The first Taurus was still built for fleet sales after the Five Hundred arrived. The Crown Vic lasted to 2005 in fleet sales. GM slapped Limited onto the previous generation Malibus and Cruzes, and sold them for at least a year along side the new models.

Rental agencies and businesses are different customers than individuals. GM was only going to offer a V6 in one of their sedans. They insisted on having a 4cylinder option. "The customer is always right", so GM did so. The car was a dog and got worse fuel economy with the 4 cylinder, but fleet customers still bought it because it was cheaper. The new GM trucks with old running gear are for them.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:24 PM   #6
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Sure wouldn't want to pull a boat out of the water (think slippery boat ramp) with that 4 banger
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:53 PM   #7
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Sure wouldn't want to pull a boat out of the water (think slippery boat ramp) with that 4 banger
They have done that, here in the UK, for years. Not the QE2, but as big a boat as it is legal to tow on the open road. Virtually all our trucks are 4 pot and 2.7 litres is a big engine here.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:05 PM   #8
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Sure wouldn't want to pull a boat out of the water (think slippery boat ramp) with that 4 banger
Having less cylinders doesn't mean less power, nor does a smaller engine. We've towed various boats and trailers in the past, always in a mid sized 2WD family car, with zero issues.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:27 AM   #9
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Sure wouldn't want to pull a boat out of the water (think slippery boat ramp) with that 4 banger
A slippery boat ramp is where I'd want less power, so it would be easier to get the power to the ground. A turbo four kind of shoves that aside, though.

When towing, you're looking for big power to get over inclines at speed. A turbo offers greater advantages at altitude, think Loveland Pass, Colorado. I doubt the turbo will make up for the V8's intrinsic advantage, but nevertheless something to think about. If you are going to tow, deceleration is also a thought, and a V8 will offer far more engine braking. I'm a trucker and believe me, engine braking is a must-have, and things like suspension/frame capacity, load distribution, and mechanical braking are more important than sheer power.

All that said, I want a V8, because V8. The turbo four is good for probably 90% of users, and I'd be included in the ideal category for that engine. I won't offer much of an attempt at logic on why the V8 is better, or better for me. I just...like it.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:23 AM   #10
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It will be hard for me to go back to whatever engines car makers make now from the naturally aspirated V-8 that I have. V-8 engines are very nice; regardless of what car or truck I drove in my life the ones with the V-8 always felt better.

The new Mercedes CLS 53 has an inline-6 engine with a supercharger, and Mercedes put an electrical motor along the shaft of the supercharger to eliminate any lag. The start/stop technology for that car is seamless as well. It's the first mass produced car that has the engine technology from F1. Maybe I will get one in 5 years time (used) for quarter of the price.
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