The answer is simple: a diesel option is unnecessary.
The chief engineer for the Chevrolet Colorado and its related GMC Canyon corporate cousin, Nick Katcherian, has revealed why you can no longer have a diesel engine. Earlier this year, Chevrolet announced that the 2023 Colorado and Canyon would drop the diesel powertrain option.
The diesel had the most impressive tow rating at 7,700 pounds, so it was only natural that some people were upset. But there is an excellent reason why the diesel has been axed, as Katcherian recently explained to Muscle Cars & Trucks.
The new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is so good that a diesel option is no longer required. "It really has to deal with the fact that this powertrain has all the torque that you need," explained the engineer. "You get it faster, and so when you look at the advantages that the diesel offered in the past, and you compare it against this engine, this engine does a much better job at all of that."
The 2.7-liter engine, borrowed from the Cadillac CT4-V, is available in three outputs. The base version produces 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, while the mid-spec engine dials it up to 310 hp and 390 lb-ft. The High-Output engine also produces 310 hp, but the torque increases to 430 lb-ft.
The diesel engine was only good for 181 hp and 369 lb-ft. Even the torque delivery is better on the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Diesel powertrains are well-known for low-down torque, and the now-defunct diesel produced all of its torque from just 2,000 rpm.
The new turbocharged petrol also produces maximum torque at 2,000 rpm and, as a result, comes with a 7,7000 lbs tow rating. The previous generation naturally aspirated 2.5 four-pot and 3.6-liter V6 were dropped for the same reason. GM's new turbocharged engine is more capable and efficient in all three configurations.
Only offering one engine makes the manufacturing process a lot easier. All three engines are essentially the same, though the entry-level model is the most complex to manufacture due to less robust internals. The mid-level and high-output powertrains are the same; the only difference is a basic ECU tune. That's good news for mid-level owners. Once the warranty expires, you can take that bad boy up to the higher output.
"When you look at underhood packaging and all the stuff we house around it, we can do a lot of the same configurations, so if you look at our engine line at the plant, that part that builds off the harness and stuff before it gets dropped into the truck... that allows us to have a very similar build process for both engines," said Katcherian.
The above likely played a significant role in Chevrolet's ability to keep the Colorado's cost low. While we don't have pricing for the full range, we know pricing starts at $25,735. That's just $535 more than the current 2022 entry-level Colorado with its wheezy NA four-pot.