GM’s full-size SUV line could get an infusion of diesel torque in the future.
Some four years since Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles debuted the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 in its Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models, cross-town rivals Ford and General Motors have armed themselves with new light-duty diesel engines of their own. The new mills will bring increased levels of fuel efficiency to the ever-growing F-150 and Silverado full-size pickups, but economies of scale dictate the new batch of 3.0-liter diesels need somewhere else to go if Ford and GM expect to keep them for the long run.
At General Motors, the 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel bound for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado—yet to be rated—will inevitably find its way to GM’s forthcoming, redesigned 2019 GMC Sierra. Still, General Motors will want to get as much as it can out of the new oil burner, and GM Authority questions if that will be GM’s line of full-size SUVs. It’s speculation, but solid speculation. The Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV all ride atop platforms derived from GM’s full-size pickups. Any engine bound for the Silverado and Sierra is a good candidate for GM’s full-size SUVs as well.
The picture becomes clearer when you add together those products’ need to increase fuel economy with their current lack of gasoline V6 engine options: the 3.0-liter turbodiesel appears to be a foregone conclusion for GM’s SUV line. At Ford, future applications of the F-150’s 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke turbodiesel are a bit more murky. From a platform standpoint, there is no SUV cousin to Ford’s best-selling pickup line like there is at GM. Still, it’s likely any rear- or four-wheel-drive products from Ford or Lincoln able to longitudinally house the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 could be a candidate for Ford’s new Power Stroke.
Aside from the Mustang, that leaves the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-sizers (and extended-wheelbase versions of both those models) as well as the forthcoming Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator (which are expected to use a rear-wheel-drive platform) as contenders for Ford’s new-found diesel power. The new turbodiesel will motivate the F-150 with 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Thankfully, we likely won’t need to wait long for answers at Ford; the new Explorer and Aviator are due to debut in 2019. GM’s next generation of full-size SUVs are expected to arrive sometime in 2020.