Chevrolet Silverado Diesel Aims to Be the Most Fuel Efficient Truck Ever

When the Environmental Protection Agency releases its ratings soon, Automotive News reports that General Motors is optimistic that the diesel version of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado will post some seriously impressive numbers. The new Silverado, equipped with a new 3.0-liter inline-six diesel engine can allegedly achieve 30 to 40 miles per gallon while traveling in a range of 50 to 60 miles per hour.

GM’s numbers reportedly came from testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier in 2019. They should give a pretty good idea of what to expect from the EPA report. Tim Herrick, Silverado’s executive chief engineer assured, told Automotive News that he expected a fuel economy rating that would be “extremely impressive.”  

The Competition

The new Silverado has strong competition for the miles per gallon crown, one of which is the new 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. The new Ram may be able to beat Silverado’s fuel economy and lead the class according to Fiat Chrysler Automotive. So far, GM hasn’t disputed the claims. There’s also the diesel version of the 2020 Ford F-150 to consider.

All three trucks are roughly comparable in terms of power. While the Duramax is rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, Ford’s F-150 with its 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel has an output of 250 hp and 440 lb-ft. The EcoDiesel puts out 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.

Chevy’s Power Play

Last year, Ford was the first to release a light-duty full-size pickup truck that has an EPA-certified 30 mpg on the highway. FCA and GM are expected to accept that challenge and come out with dynamic trucks of their own. 

GM told Automotive News the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado achieved 30 to 40 mpg at speeds of 50 to 60 mph in internal testing. Those tests took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and GM should announce the results within the last couple of weeks. While the results came from a controlled environment, they hint at the potential of the new engine to reach more than 30 mpg on the highway, which once seemed like an unattainable goal. 

Supposedly, the diesel-equipped Silverado achieved over 40 mpg for several drivers on a 15-mile loop to show off its fuel economy. Other drives estimated getting 30 mpg. Either way, the results are solid and seem to support GM’s claim.

GM’s announcement comes on the heels of FCA announcing a redesigned EcoDiesel V6 engine that they predict will be the fuel-economy leader with 480 lb-ft FCA’s claims weren’t disputed by GM and it elected not to comment on the anticipated ratings of its line of diesel pickup trucks.

What You Can Expect This Fall

The diesel Silverado 1500, which comes with a 10-speed transmission, will start at $46,305. That’s $2,495 more than the 5.3-liter V8 and roughly $3,890 more than the 2.7-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. Pricing matches to the 6.2-liter V8 upcharge. That engine is rated at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft.

Chevrolet estimates that the diesel model will make up approximately 10 percent of Silverado sales this year. It hopes this change will boost sales and help it compete with Ram’s and Ford’s sales numbers. This comes a year after they released reconfigured versions of Silverado and the Sierra. Sales were slightly lower in May when compared to last year due to strong competition, especially from a new and improved Ram 1500 that has been outselling Silverado in recent months.

The Duramax diesel engine is slated for release in the fall in both the GMC Sierra 1500 and Silverado. 

All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.