Next Chevy Silverado Just Might Get a Straight-Six Gas Engine

A twin-turbocharged six-cylinder Silverado could be even more powerful than the current V8 trucks.

byCaleb JacobsMay 31, 2022 1:48 PM
Next Chevy Silverado Just Might Get a Straight-Six Gas Engine
Caleb Jacobs / The Drive
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It's been too long since a new pickup truck was offered with a straight-six gas engine. They're smooth and torquey, especially down low in the rev range, which is exactly what you want out of a workhorse. With that in mind, a report from GM Authority indicates that Chevy could be looking to bring the beloved power plant layout back to its half-ton lineup. If it turns out to be true, the next Chevy Silverado could have a twin-turbocharged gas I6 under its hood.

Currently, the Silverado is offered with a turbo 2.7-liter four-cylinder as standard. You can also get a 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter gas V8, and if you prefer diesel, there's the 3.0-liter Duramax. Chevy dropped the naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V6 a while back, but rather than replacing that, a new inline-six with forced induction would be offered as a more powerful and premium option.

Think of it as a V8 alternative, similar to Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The Silverado's most powerful engine at present, the 6.2-liter, makes 460 pound-feet of torque; that's nearly matched by the turbo 2.7-liter, which has 420 pound-feet. Adding two more cylinders and a good deal of displacement could make a world of difference, potentially pushing it past 500 pound-feet if we're lucky.

We've already seen what Stellantis is doing with the Hurricane I6 power plant, which could very well end up in the Ram 1500. That engine makes 400 hp and 450 pound-feet in its most basic form, while the high-output version produces 510 hp and 500 pound-feet in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer L. That doesn't necessarily mean Chevy's would produce as much, but it gives a good idea of what's possible with the modern turbocharging tech that wasn't available back when gas straight-sixes were more popular in pickups.

GM Authority doesn't cite any specific sources, though I've reached out to Chevy for comment. It's good to treat reports like these with a hefty dose of skepticism, but it doesn't seem completely impossible. Not everyone saw Stellantis developing the Hurricane with electrification looming, but hey, look where we're at now.

This could be the play for Chevy and other automakers to keep internal combustion around in large vehicles as electrification takes over. We know the Silverado EV is coming for the 2024 model year, but it won't replace the ICE version right away. In the meantime, a smaller and more efficient engine could keep range-wide emissions lower while still giving people the ability to refuel in a jiffy instead of waiting on their truck to charge. Right now, that's just not an option for everyone.

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