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GMC Celebrates the Diesel Engine’s Birthday With “Most Diesel Photo” Lineup

Celebrating the diesel engine's 121st birthday, GM took a torquey picture of its diesel trucks.

On this date 121 years ago, the first-ever patent for the diesel engine was granted. The owner of that patent, Rudolf Diesel, forever cemented his name and his engine into the history books by creating the first underpinnings of engines that would literally power the world. While this week has been a bit rough for diesel news, with Nissan killing its Cummins diesel truck and the class-action lawsuit against General Motors, the engine itself should be celebrated.

Diesel engines in passenger trucks were once just limited to the heavy-duty offerings; Ford had its Power Stroke, Ram its Cummins, and General Motors with its Duramax. But now, diesel engines proliferated and are available in every single Big 3 half-ton truck, too.

Yet, only one manufacturer has a full lineup of diesel truck engines for consumers; General Motors. The Michigan giant has, on the GMC side, diesel is offered on the Canyon, Sierra, and Sierra HD. The same is true for their Chevrolet counterparts, with a diesel offering in the Colorado, Silverado, and Silverado HD.

As for the celebration, GMC is touting its diesel offerings by taking “the most diesel picture ever.” How much diesel goodness can you put into one photo? Apparently, quite a bit.

The least amount of torque in this three-way photo is the 369 pound-feet made by the GMC Canyon. The next comes from the new 3.0-liter diesel in the Sierra half-ton which makes 460 pound-feet. Then there’s the big dog, the new Sierra HD. From its 6.6-liter V8 comes a ludicrous 910 pound-feet of torque. The combined numbers of just these three trucks is 1,739 lb-ft of it. That’s, well, a lot. 

Sitting next to the two brand-new trucks, the Canyon is starting to look a bit dated. It’s a fine little truck, but it’s in need of a technological refresh, especially compared to its bigger siblings suite of tech and features. Plus, the Canyon still rocks last-generation design language. Hopefully we’ll see a refreshed one soon.

The photo is a solid celebration to an engine that’s powered much of the world for the over a century. The only question we have for you is, what would you tow given the chance to use one of these bad-ass machines?