AutoblogGreen has some more details on the new Duramax 4.5L diesel V8 that GM is working on. It sounds like the intent is to make this new engine able to fit in any of the existing GM models that have a gas small block V8. That would include the Chevy and GMC light duty trucks, as well as the Yukon and the Hummer H2. The downside is that it won’t be available until after 2009 so we’re stuck waiting until the 2010 model year (at the earliest) to get our hands on this new diesel.
PickupTruck.com has an article on the new 4.5L diesel V8 also and they reference an Automotive News article stating that the engine will get 30 mpg (7.8 L/100km) highway. That’s a pretty substantial improvement over the 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km) that the 5.3L V8 gets.
I was reading the Autoblog Green article GM announces new light duty 4.5L V-8 diesel for North America which made me a little excited. This would be a fabulous option for people like myself who would like to have a diesel pickup but not a heavy duty work horse truck. This diesel is smaller than the current 4.8L V8 gas engine (like I had in my old trucks) and produces more horsepower and way more torque. There is a reference to a 25% reduction in fuel consumption over the existing gas engines. I can only assume that this is a comparison to the 5.3L V8 that is pretty much the defacto standard engine in a GM full-sized truck.
Now, I was confused by the first comment on the article because the poster simply missed the point. They should be impressed by a 25% reduction in fuel consumption for pickup trucks. According to the sales numbers on pickuptruck.com, GM has sold a combined 350,000 pickup trucks to the end of May 2007. That will be almost 850,000 trucks by the end of the year. If the majority of those trucks can see a reduction of 25% in their fuel consumption, just think of how much less fuel will be used.
The poster may not see the use of a pickup truck but I’ll bet that a lot of their service companies, contractors, emergency services and other commercial operations do. They all drive a lot more in a year than the average family of 4. 50+ mpg makes very little difference on the whole. Yeah, it helps your own pocket a bit more but unless you’re driving a lot more than the average, you may be no better off once you take into consideration the (current) extra cost of a diesel. I’ve done the math and it almost make sense for me. I commute over 110km (almost 70 miles) a day and if I weren’t carpooling with two other guys, I’d likely have a Volkswagen TDI already, even with the extra up front expense and higher ongoing maintenance costs.
Oh, and forget the H2 being mentioned in the original article, that’s the red herring to get you to bite.
But where are the details on the diesel engine and the electric motor configuration? This is such a big tease right now! The car looks fabulous and sure, the performance is really sweet considering the 50 mpg they mention but where is the information on how I could drop the same electric motor into a car that already has a 1.9L TDI engine?
I can only assume that there would be a number of TDI owners out there that would love to hear about the specifics of how they mated the diesel engine with the electric motor. Heck, I don’t own a TDI but if I knew the details, I might just go buy a TDI to start hacking an electric motor into it.
The only semi-technical notes to be found are that the electric motor is an AC Propulsion 200hp motor (no mention of model but I’ll assume it’s the AC-150 EV Power System). The car is wired up with a regenerative braking systems. Currently it seems that the use of the diesel or electric motor has to be selected manually (manually on the fly or manually on startup?) but they want to do a computer controlled system.
I’d love for someone associated with the project to please provide more details on the mechanical side! I’m really curious and I’d be surprised if I’m the only one!