Chevy gave us the basic facts of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s engine lineup when the truck debuted in Detroit earlier this year, but the automaker kept specs and other technical details close to the vest. Now, GM has given us a lot more info on the new pickup’s drivetrain options, including a complete download on an all-new turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder—the 2019 Silverado’s surprise fifth engine choice.
Back in January, we quizzed GM’s head of global product development Mark Reuss on the possibility of the Silverado getting a four-cylinder engine. He declined to comment, but at the time we posited that a four-cylinder could be part of a new hybrid option. There’s no electrification here, but the new turbocharged 2.7-liter I-4 is still very high-tech. The turbo 2.7-liter was designed from the ground up as a truck engine, according to GM. As such, the gas-fed four-banger has a long stroke to deliver optimal low-end torque. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head to reduce turbo lag, and the turbo itself uses a twin-scroll design for quicker spooling and better response down low. In addition, the new engine gets a trick variable valve lift system with three different camshaft profiles to choose from depending on the situation. The result is a four-cylinder that produces 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, with that torque peaking from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. GM expects the 2.7-liter to offer payload capacity comparable to the Ford F-150 XLT’s 3.3-liter V-6 and the Ram 1500 Big Horn’s 3.6-liter V-6. The 2.7-liter I-4 will replace the 4.3-liter V-6 in the Silverado LT and is the standard engine on the new Silverado RST. The engine also gets cylinder shut-off and stop/start tech.
GM announcing it will offer a four-cylinder engine in a full-size truck is the big news of the day, but we also learn much more about the 2019 Silverado’s other engines. The 4.3-liter V-6 will continue to be offered as the base engine in the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss, making the same 285 hp and 305 lb-ft as last year. Power ratings also remain the same on the 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8, at 355 hp/383 lb-ft and 420 hp/460 lb-ft, respectively, but the engines are updated with stop/start tech and GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system that can shut off as many as seven cylinders. Sadly, GM doesn’t give us any more details on its new 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-six, which is due next year.
The 5.3-liter V-8 will be the optional engine on the Work Truck and Custom models, a group Chevy calls its “high-value family.” Both the V-6 and the 5.3-liter V-8 will come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. In the LT and RST, the standard 2.7-liter turbo engine will come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, as will the optional 5.3-liter V-8. The 5.3 and eight-speed combo will be standard on the LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country, with the latter two trims having the option of a 6.2-liter V-8 mated to the 10-speed automatic jointly developed by Ford and GM. The turbodiesel straight-six will be available on the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country with a 10-speed auto.
When it launches in the third quarter of this year, the 2019 Silverado will be available in crew cab V-8 form. Regular and double cab models will arrive by the fourth quarter, along with the V-6 and turbo 2.7-liter I-4. Bringing up the rear will be the Duramax diesel in Early 2019. GM says EPA fuel economy estimates and payload and towing capacities will be announced closer to launch.