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Until recently, the only market segment in the United States that had embraced diesel engines was heavy duty pickup trucks. While we were in Maryland this week to drive the 2011 General Motors HD pickup trucks powered by the revised 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8, we took the opportunity to ask about the now-shelved 4.5-liter diesel. Like Ford and Chrysler, GM was planning to launch diesel engines in its light-duty pickups this year until the economy – and sales – went in the tank.

Earlier this year, as General Motors was slashing spending on programs in a desperate and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stave off bankruptcy, one of the victims was the new new 4.5-liter Duramax diesel V8. The engine, which was intended to start production in early 2010 for use in GM's full-size light duty trucks, was shelved as gasoline prices dropped and sales were plummeting across the board. The program was never officially pronounced dead, merely on indefinite hold. At this point the e

People who were hoping to get a diesel-powered light duty truck in the next few years are now pretty much out of luck. In a disappointing but thoroughly unsurprising move, General Motors has confirmed that its highly anticipated 4.5-liter Duramax diesel is on indefinite hold. Employees at GM's Tonawanda, NY engine plant that had been scheduled to build the engine have been informed that the new engine has been shelved. GM Powertrain spokeswoman Susan Garavaglia told Mike Levine at PickupTrucks.c

We've written here several times about the brilliant packaging job that General Motors has done with its new upcoming 4.5L Duramax diesel V8. Beyond the basic packaging, the engineers have done a lot of fascinating work on the internals to reduce weight and improve efficiency as well. The main bearing journals that are cast into the bottom of the block are manufactured with a fracture splitting process that makes them stronger and lighter. The block itself also uses less compacted graphite iron,

Ever since General Motors announced a new 2.9L turbodiesel V6 for the European-spec Cadillac CTS there has been speculation about whether it would ever be introduced in the U.S. market. Last December, Cadillac General Manager told ABG that the company was evaluating the new engine for U.S. market. That may or may not still be a possibility although GM definitely seems to be cool on diesel in the U.S. these days. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has always been quick to throw cold water on the idea because

About a year from now, General Motors will face a very interesting conundrum. The company will already be producing a version of its full-size pick-up trucks with a Two-Mode hybrid system. For the 2010 model year, another new engine will be added, a 4.5L diesel V8 that meets Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions requirements in all 50 states. The hybrid system gives a 30 percent boost in fuel efficiency over a 5.3L V8. The diesel should also offer a similar boost. The hybrid is a very expensive system to build

We gave a pretty detailed write-up last summer on GM's new light-duty diesel V-8 that will premiere in 2009. The new engine was specifically designed to fit within the same package dimensions as the long-running small-block V-8. As such, the diesel can potentially be installed in any GM vehicle that currently carries the V-8. GM has announced that the new 4.5L engine will have output of 310hp and 520lb-ft of torque. The Duramax 4500 will also provided a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption c

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