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Auto blogFri, 30 Aug 2013 13:30:00 EST
When Mark Reuss was in LA recently, he sat down to have a few words with the scribes at the Los Angeles Times. When the issue of a hybrid Corvette came up, Reuss answered with "Don't laugh." The General Motors president is a complete fan of the possibility, calling it "attractive" and "really fun," believing it would improve GM expertise and that "people would love it."
Naturally, the president being supportive of an idea doesn't give indication that a hybrid Corvette is on the way. However, with supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari giving hybrid tech a solid, if remote, place in the performance car world, the inexorable trickle-down of technology means we shouldn't be surprised if and when it does happen.
And now that we have that non-negative half-answer to a speculative question, it would be irresponsible for us not to commence rumormilling for the C8 Corvette. Taking Reuss at his word, the C8 will obviously be a hybrid with all-wheel-drive - the left side wheels driven with electric motors, the right side with the mid-mounted, four-cylinder diesel engine. With coefficient of drag of just .16, figure on a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of under 2 seconds and an all-electric range of something like 30 miles at top speed. Don't forget, folks, you read it here first.
For nine years, Diesel Power magazine has run the Diesel Power Challenge, this year's grindfest being "a week-long torture test that features seven events, nine trucks, 8,000 horsepower, and nearly 15,000 pound-feet of torque." The road to being crowned "the most powerful truck" starts with a dyno run, and then continues through the completion of a CDL-style obstacle course, an eighth-of-a-mile drag race while towing a 10,000-pound trailer, a quarter-mile drag race without a trailer, a fuel economy test in the mountains and finally a sled-pulling test through a 300-foot-long packed-mud pit.
What kind of trucks get into such a fight? Last year's winner, for instance - who upgraded his truck this year to prove he didn't "luck into the win" - drives a 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty with a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 upgraded with a custom intake, Elite Diesel triple turbos and a two-stage nitrous system. Another competitor has a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 powered by a 5.9-liter Cummins inline-six, upgraded with Garrett turbos, dual-stage nitrous, a seven-inch exhaust stack and twin fans built into the bed to cool the Sun Coast Omega transmission. The numbers on that truck: 1,255 horsepower, and 2,063 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. Naturally, as the image above might suggest, things don't always end well.
You'll find all five videos covering this years challenge below. A scene in the dyno video sums it all up perfectly: a competitor leaves his nitrous on too long and the crew is treated to some ominous poppings, he leans out the window, throws both hands up and shouts, "Amer'ca!"
General Motors has officially captured the horsepower crown for mainstream pickup trucks with its 6.2-liter V8. The big mill, available in both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, comes to market with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, handily outdoing its two cross-town competitors, Ram (5.7-liter V8, 395 ponies and 407 lb-ft) and Ford (6.2-liter V8, 411 hp and 434 lb-ft).
The new GM 6.2 will take a bit of an investment, though. Those that want the extra thrust will need to go with either the LTZ or High Country trims from the Chevy, or the SLT and Denali trims from GMC, which are the two highest trim levels for the respective vehicles. Trim levels aside, if you're in the business of towing, GM has you covered. Optioned with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Trailering Package, owners will be able to pull 12,000 pounds, a hugely impressive figure.
We still aren't certain as to what sort of economy the new engine will get, but it'll probably be a bad bet for the fuel conscious. As for availability, expect to see the 6.2-liter trucks in showrooms later in the fall.