Colorado’s 2.8L Turbo-Diesel: A Look Inside the “Baby” Duramax

2016 chevy colorado turbo diesel engine internals duramax

Many of the American consumers have been patiently waiting for a small turbo-diesel engine in a midsize pickup truck. Some have been waiting nearly 30 years since the last diesel powered small truck from GM. The wait is nearly over, as GM stated that the 2016 Chevy Colorado will be available with the 2.8L turbo-diesel four cylinder engine. It’s the “baby” Duramax, and it should go on sale at the end of calendar year 2015.


TFLtruck recently learned several more details about the powerplant. First, the previously announced specifications are: 181 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm. GM powertrain engineers tell us that the engine has been updated for the American market with a turbocharger and boost to make more torque and have it be available sooner. This engine architecture is available in other world markets and with varying engine tuning.


The four-cylinder diesel weighs a total of 236 kg (or 520.3 pounds). This is 62 kg (or 136.7 pounds) heavier than the 3.6L V6. This is not a huge weight penalty.

The engine uses a timing belt that has a 150,000 mile replacement interval. The components are designed to have a longer service life than a typical gasoline engine.


The small Duramax is backed up by the 6L50 Hynda-Matic 6-speed transmission. If you were hoping for a manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic, no luck there. We will have to wait until we drive it to see how the 6-speed matches up to the torque-rich motor.

Still, the two most important pieces of information are still unknown. They are the fuel economy estimates and the price for the new engine option. Can the Duramax Colorado and Canyon be priced competitively for the segment and the efficiency figures?

Watch this video from the 2014 LA Auto Show about the Chevy Colorado ZR2 concept truck that happens to have the 2.8-liter Duramax under its hood.