GM resumes production of its 3.0-liter turbodiesel straight-six

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General Motors temporarily stopped taking orders for trucks and SUVs equipped with the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel six-cylinder engine in August 2021 due to a supplier shortage. Reports claimed the pause would last through 2021, but the engine is already back in production.

Enthusiast website GM Authority learned from sources inside General Motors that the straight-six is once again coming off the assembly line at the Flint Engine Plant in Flint, Michigan. There's no official word on precisely what the problem was linked to and whether it was related to the on-going chip shortage that's wreaking havoc across the automotive industry. All we know is that the pause lasted for about two weeks.

Called LM2 internally, the six is available in Chevrolet's Tahoe, Suburban, and Silverado 1500 and in GMC's version of these trucks. It's also an option in the Cadillac Escalade. It develops 277 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and a V8-like 460 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm in every application, and it allows these big behemoths to post surprising fuel economy numbers. Fitted to a rear-wheel-drive Tahoe, the Duramax returns 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg in a combined cycle, figures that make it more efficient than a Blazer.

Demand for the diesel-powered trucks is relatively high. While the shortage undoubtedly took a toll on sales, the Duramax represented 8% of Suburban sales and 6% of Tahoe sales in May 2021. There are no other diesel-burning full-size SUVs available new so they have the market to themselves. On the truck side, Ram still makes the EcoDiesel available on some 1500 trims but Ford abandoned the segment.

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