General Motors recently hosted a drag strip race against its Ford and Dodge rivals to demonstrate a new diesel and transmission powertrain. In an old airstrip up in Beiseker, Alberta, Canada, the world’s largest automaker showed off its new 6.6 litre turbodiesel V8 Duramax engine with 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque contained in a Chevrolet Silverado. The Ford truck was an F-250 with a 6.0-litre V8 pumping 325 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, while the Dodge Ram had a 5.9 litre turbodiesel engine that produced 325 hp and 610 ft-lbs. of torque. All vehicles were automatics and each hooked to an equipment float holding a 3,200-kg (over three tons) tractor.

The Silverado won the race, followed by the F-250 and the Dodge Ram. While the Chevy's extra oomph no doubt played a part in its victory, the writer rightly attributes the win to the Silverado’s new six-speed Allison transmission that kept the pickup in its powerband's sweet spot more often that its rivals with traditional four-speed autos.

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[Source: Toronto Star with picture by Howard J. Elmer]