Redesigned Duramax Diesel Boosts Towing Power for Heavy-Duty Chevrolet Trucks
Power and dependability are two major factors that go into the decision-making process for contractors of all kinds when they are looking for a new pickup truck to carry them, their gear and their crews to and from job sites.
For heavy-duty pickups, that need is usually filled through the use of a diesel engine, which provides plenty of horsepower along with the torque that many owners need to tow trailers, equipment and the other tools of their trade.
Chevrolet truck fans have known for years that they had that dependable, powerful engine available to them in the Duramax diesel. For 2017, the popular Duramax engine has been upgraded to provide higher horsepower and torque than ever before for those buyers that need confidence in their truck’s hauling and towing capability.
According to Chevrolet, the newly redesigned Duramax 6.6-litre V-8 turbo diesel boasts an SAE-certified 445 horsepower and 910 ft.-lbs. of torque – a significant increase over the engine’s previous models. For a package that’s been around for some 15 years and more than two million units sold, the Duramax has advanced steadily in terms of increased power and strength.
“Nearly everything about the Duramax is new, designed to produce more torque at lower rpm and more confidence when trailering or hauling,” said Gary Arvan, chief engineer. “You’ll also notice the refinement improvements the moment you start the engine, and appreciate them as you cruise quietly down the highway – with or without a trailer.”
The redesigned Duramax shares the bore and stroke dimensions of the existing engine, and incorporates a new GM-developed control system. The engine provides a 19-percent increase in maximum torque over the existing motor. Torque is a signature of the Duramax, and the new model will offer 90 percent of peak torque at a low 1,550 rpm, sustaining it through 2,850 rpm.
Much of the engine’s foundation itself has been updated for strength and reduced weight, all of which contribute to durability and reliability along with reduced heating concerns at higher engine loads.
A new air intake system – outwardly displayed on the Silverado HD with a bold new hood scoop – draws cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and lower engine temperatures in difficult conditions such as trailering on steep grades.
To ensure all that Duramax power gets put into play every time, the engine is paired with the proven Allison 1000, six-speed automatic transmission. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter. Technically advanced control features in the Allison 1000, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, are still included. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
Duramax diesel power is available in the 2017 Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD models, which boast a number of upgrades that can be beneficial to contractors and heavy-duty users. A wide range of styles are available, with regular, double cab and crew cab options. Regular cab models have an 8-foot box, while double and crew cabs are available with 6-foot, 6-inch or 8-foot box choices. Dual rear-wheel configurations are available.
Nearly two-thirds of the cab structure is composed of high-strength steel. A strong, versatile cargo box features two-tier loading capability, integrated tie-downs and accessibility via Chevrolet’s CornerStep rear bumper as well as the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate.
Trim packages range from Work Truck through the High Country model, Chevrolet’s premium heavy-duty pickup.
Silverados come standard with Stabilitrak, a stability control system that provides rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill start assist. A driver alert package is available as well; this package includes lane departure warning, forward collision alert, safety alert seat, and front and rear park assist. Added safety comes from a rear vision camera system available or included on most models.