GM takes a calculated approach to bettering their bread and butter vehicles.
December 13, 2012
By: Nick Saporito
Speculation, spy shots and talking points have consistently leaked out details of GM’s next generation full-size trucks. Finally, the speculation can subside as the company has formally taken the wraps off the new trucks. The reveal sheds light on a largely evolutionary version of GM’s famous nameplates; incremental improvements to almost every aspect, with a few headlines thrown in.
Anchoring the 2014 full-size trucks is largely the same platform that the current GMT-900’s reside on. This means that, yes, the side rails of the frame remain fully boxed, and GM has actually increased the amount of the frame that is formed through expensive hydro-forming. Engineers have also taken efforts to isolate the cab from the frame to increase rigidity and quietness, which should translate to the trucks feeling more solid over harsh terrain. GM has also switched to in-laid doors on the cabins, which will also increase structural rigidity.
Resting on the revised frame will be three all-new engines, though their published displacements are very familiar. The base engine will be a 4.3-liter V-6, though it will not be the iron block, three-decade-old version in the 2013 trucks. Instead the new 4.3-liter is all new, borrowing nearly all of its technology from the new Gen V V-8 engines, including Active Fuel Management.
Leveraging the addition of a balance shaft; the 4.3-liter will be capable of operating on four of its six cylinders under specific conditions. It will also utilize direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and the same very advanced combustion system from the Gen V Small Block. With all of that, and an aluminum block, GM expects the new 4.3-liter to rival today’s 4.8-liter in terms of power and provide best-in-class V-6 torque. GM is also aiming for best in class towing with the V-6. Of course, both bragging rights are comparing to naturally aspirated V-6's only.