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Auto blogWed, 03 Apr 2013 17:45:00 EST
PickupTrucks.com has gotten its hands on a few more details concerning the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2014 GMC Sierra. General Motors held a conference call on the two trucks, allowing Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for both, to answer a few questions. Luke said truck buyers are largely concerned with power and fuel economy, and as such, GM will continue to explore new methods of providing both. That may translate into any number of drivetrain permutations, including light-duty diesel engines, eight-speed transmissions or even a twin-turbocharged V6.
What's more, both the 2014 Silverado and its GMC twin will boast a tow rating of 11,500 pounds, but only when equipped with a max-trailering package. Without that special package, the rating drops to 10,200 lbs for regular cabs and 9,700 lbs for crew cabs. Buyers will no longer be able to opt for a 4.10 gear ratio.
We're also excited to hear that GM plans on making the Z71 package into something more than just a few a stickers. While Luke didn't go into details, PickupTrucks.com says "it will get significant improvements in the future." Head over to the site for a quick rundown of the call's highlights.
We record Autoblog Podcast #313 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #313
2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra introduced
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!"