2009 Gmc Sierra 1500 Wt Standard Cab Pickup 2-door 4.8l on 2040-cars
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Auto blogSat, 24 Aug 2013 20:00:00 EST
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!"
The recalls keep rolling in from General Motors, evidently keen to avoid repeating the mistakes of the ignition-switch debacle and clean house. This time they're all coming at once, with five separate recalls announced together covering approximately 2.7 million vehicles.
The largest of the five actions involves over 2.4 million units of the previous-generation Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura in order to fix brake light wiring harness, which have been found to be susceptible to corrosion. The recall is separate from the 56k Aura sedans which GM recently recalled over faulty shift cables, not to mention the previous massive recall of 1.3 million vehicles - some of them the same models - but appears to have resulted from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation that started with the G6 almost a year ago.
The second-largest campaign involves the 2014 Chevy Malibu, specifically those fitted with GM's 2.5-liter engine and stop/start system, approximately 140,000 examples of which has been found to have problematic brakes. The issue does not appear to be connected to the recall of 8k Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans (also involving brake woes) which we reported upon last week. Four crashes have been reported in such models, but GM admits it's not yet clear if the problem was a contributing factor in the accidents.
Think back to the launch of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. At the time, General Motors happily trumpeted that its fullsize pickup could tow up to 11,500 pounds when properly equipped - impressive stuff, no doubt. But now, revised tow rating practices have been put into place, called SAE J2807. And with these new methods of testing, GM can now officially rate both the Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin as being able to tow up to 12,000 pounds.
Of course, not all Silverado and Sierra models are capable of this feat. In fact, because of SAE J2807, most of the truck models have actually had decreases in tow ratings from the 2014 to 2015 model year. For example, a 2014 Silverado Crew Cab with the 5.3-liter V8, 5.7-foot box and 3.73 rear axle was rated at 11,200 pounds in 2014, but has since been reduced to 10,800 in 2015. Same goes for the Sierra.
But for 2015, both the Silverado and Sierra can be had with a more powerful 6.2-liter V8, as well as a Max Trailering Package that includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning, improved cooling and a new trailer brake controller. There are also four- and seven-pin, bumper-mounted connectors, a trailer hitch (duh), and a G80 locking rear differential. This configuration, with either model, is the only way you can actually tow 12,000 pounds.