An oil burner will happen, but when?
Despite the negative reputation diesel has received ever since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal began to unravel in September 2015, oil burners remain relatively popular for pickup trucks. Ford and Ram both offer diesels with their respective full-size offerings, and there's even a diesel option for the Chevrolet Colorado. What about the full-size Silverado 1500 and its corporate cousin, the GMC Sierra 1500?
As we previously reported, both trucks are set to be offered with a new 3.0-liter inline-six turbo diesel that General Motors promises will be the most powerful engine in its class. Leaked specs show it'll produce 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. To compare, the Ford F-150's 3.0-liter diesel V6 has 250 hp and 440 lb-ft and Ram's EcoDiesel produces 240 hp and 420 lb-ft. Unfortunately, Automotive News reports GM's new diesel has been delayed.
The apparent reason is the EPA's emissions certification process. It's taking longer than initially planned and therefore won't be done in time for the 2019 model year. Instead, GM will launch its highly popular full-size trucks with this optional diesel for the 2020 model year. Fortunately, the 2020 models for all automakers will begin arriving in dealerships in the next few months.
Production for GM's new diesel pickups has yet to get underway but is slated to begin "soon," assuming there are no further delays on the EPA's part. Dealerships who previously placed orders for these vehicles will now be canceled and will need to be resubmitted. Annoying but it happens sometimes in this business.
To GM's credit, it is offering these dealerships and customers replacement vehicles though a timeframe for delivery is not yet available. All we know is that it'll be sometime next year. GM also declined to comment on how many orders were placed for the 2019 model year that never happened. The EPA's diesel testing procedures have been reformed following Dieselgate and this is likely the reason for the delay. Production of the new diesel is still slated to take place at GM's powertrain factory in Flint, Michigan.