GM's Rumored Turbocharged Six-Cylinder Gas Engine Faces Uncertain Future

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The latest intelligence indicates the project is dead.

There's been talk that General Motors is developing a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine specifically for its immensely popular lineup of full-size trucks and SUVs like the Chevy Silverado and Tahoe, but that project's future is now in doubt.

CarBuzz contacted GM for clarification following a GM Authority report claiming the new engine's demise. "We have no comment on this," a GM spokesperson said.

At least in this case, "no comment" somewhat confirms our suspicions the project is effectively dead, and we're not in the least bit surprised. Following the automaker's January 2021 announcement that it's (supposedly) on a path to full electrification by 2035, it makes little financial sense to spend billions developing a new ICE engine instead of finding creative (and cheaper) ways to improve the current offerings.

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It's also essential to remember that GM's full-size trucks and SUVs provide significant income being reinvested into electrification-related R&D. That will not change anytime soon. Although we're speculating, it's possible GM decided against the new turbocharged six because it already has no less than six other six cylinders currently in production.

That new engine would reportedly have been a heavily modified version of the 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four currently found in the Silverado and Sierra 1500s. In its highest state of tune, the four-pot produces 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque.

The new engine was being developed to produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that's more than the LF4 twin-turbo V6 used in the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, which makes 472 hp and 445 lb-ft. So why would GM even bother developing a new twin-turbo V6, aside from possible fuel efficiency improvements?

One possible answer is the new Hurricane inline-six from Stellantis.

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Available in either Standard Output (SO) or High Output (HO) versions producing between 420 hp and 510 hp, it's already finding its way under the hood of Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer as well as future Alfa Romeo, Dodge, and Ram models.

The Ford F-150 Raptor, for additional comparison, has 450 hp and 510 lb-ft from the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost. See where we're going with this?

That new GM engine could have surpassed or met the output figures of several key competitors. But at the end of the day, that argument isn't necessarily good enough to justify the financial cost. Earlier this month, we detailed every new straight-six gasoline engine coming to market, and GM was missing from the list.

Don't expect it to be anytime soon, if ever, given the reality it may simply not be necessary.

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