Apparently GM announced the availability of the Duramax 6600 turbo diesel engine in the 2006 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana G2500 and G3500 series commercial models. This engine actually offers more horsepower and torque than the primary competitor, but also a quieter driving experience and improved fuel economy. It can deliver 250 horsepower and 460 lb. ft. of torque and it sends the output to the wheels through the Hydra-Matic 4L85-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The turbo-charging system is revised for quieter, more efficient performance and it is used in cold weather to enhance heater warm-up.
General Motors announced today the availability of the Duramax 6600 turbodiesel engine in the 2006 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana G2500 and G3500 series commercial models. This sophisticated diesel engine offers more horsepower and torque than the primary competitor, as well as a quieter driving experience and better projected fuel economy.
The Duramax 6600 delivers 250 horsepower (186 kw) and a class-leading 460 lb.-ft. of torque (624 Nm). It is teamed with the Hydra-Matic 4L85-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, which is specially tuned for diesel-engine compatibility, giving the Express and Savana exceptional towing and grade capability.
Preliminary testing shows composite fuel economy of 20.2 mpg - an advantage of more than 2 mpg when compared against the primary competitor. That's approximately 85 fewer gallons of fuel used during 15,000 miles of travel. The Duramax 6600 also is compatible with biodiesel fuel.
"With the inherent capabilities of a diesel engine and excellent fuel economy, the Duramax 6600 is a win-win scenario for van customers," said Ray Chess, vehicle line executive. "This engine also is quiet, refined and delivers a smoothness that is unexpected in a powerful diesel-powered vehicle."
Features such as electronic throttle control, fast-heating glow plugs and easy-service items enhance the driving and ownership experience. Minimal changes to support the new powertrain were made to the vehicle structure, thereby reducing the impact of equipment changes by upfitters.
With the Duramax 6600, the Express/Savana's maximum GVWR is 12,300, with a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds - specifications that meet or exceed those of the primary competitor. A 3.73 axle ratio is standard and the RPO G80 limited-slip differential is optional.
Quietness and smoothness, particularly at idle, are traits designed into the Duramax 6600. They've been enhanced in the '06 engine, thanks to a strengthened iron cylinder block and revised piston design which reduces the compression ratio. The lower compression reduces the "clattering" sound of the engine at idle, while also helping to improve overall smoothness during driving. The lower compression also helps reduce NOx emissions.
Even the engine's turbocharging system is revised for quieter, more efficient performance. A variable-geometry turbocharger with aerodynamically-tuned impellers is used to enhance full-throttle response while also contributing to reducing emissions. Also, the variable-geometry turbocharger is used in cold weather to enhance heater warm-up (similar to GM medium-duty trucks).
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