General Motors is looking to add a diesel engine option to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck.
The automaker, which offers Duramax diesel options for the midsize Colorado pickup and the heavy duty 2500 and 3500 Silverados, doesn’t sell the regular 1500 with the engine.
But Chevrolet was caught in Death Valley with a camouflaged prototype of the 2019 Silverado 1500 filling the truck with diesel fuel. The fuel door on what will be a major redesign of the pickup says, “Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Only”.
One source of the engine could be the Navistar 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel. Navistar and General Motors already are in a venture to jointly develop medium duty work trucks. GM also has a 4.5-liter diesel V6 design that it could put into production.
Another option would be to upgrade the turbocharger and injectors in the 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel in the Colorado and sibling GMC Canyon pickups for the 1500 models.
With an aluminum-intensive Silverado body on the way, a four-cylinder diesel could potentially have enough power for the 1500 model. The 2019 Silverado will use more aluminum to shed weight but is expected to retain a steel bed.
The new Silverado also will continue with refinements on the current V8 engines. A turbocharged V6 is also likely to join the lineup. A 10-speed automatic first seen in the Camaro ZL1 will find its way into at least some trucks at launch.
The new Silverado is expected to debut at dealers in late 2018 as a 2019 model.
General Motors continues to pursue the diesel market even though other manufacturers including Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are facing sanctions by regulators for violating emissions rules.
GM also is defending itself against a lawsuit alleging cheating on its diesel engine emissions,
Editor’s note: Photos and story by Brian Williams for Trucks.com.