General Motors has announced that it is putting a hold on a plan to bring a new 4.5-liter V8 diesel engine to market. The new engine would have been used in the light-duty Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks and estimates have it rated at anywhere from the mid-20s to the high-20s in miles per gallon. This would even be a significant improvement over GM’s current Silverado and Sierra hybrids, which get 21 mpg city and 22 highway.
The move is just one of many tough choices GM has had to make to cut costs ahead of a U.S. government decision to see if the struggling automaker will get an additional $16.6 billion in bailout funds.
What makes this pill even harder to swallow is that the new engine is just a year away from being ready for production – which would take place at GM’s Tonawanda, N.Y. plant.
As for the engine itself, it has a unique cylinder head design that eliminates intake and exhaust manifolds. The lightweight block also has “advanced castings” for the crankshaft-bearing journals and oil system.
GM secured several new patents in the design of the 4.5-liter diesel engine and it apparently is both as smooth and as quiet as a gasoline engine. With most of the ground-work already complete, General Motors has stated that it would be willing to work with another company on bringing the new diesel V8 to market if there were any reasonable offers.