Big Three Future Update

What's around the corner from Ford, Dodge Ram and GM?

Published in the April 2010 Issue April 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its next round of diesel emission regulations as part of the National Clean Diesel campaign. In short and as it relates to us, any light-duty diesel vehicle manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010, will have to have a 90 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions compared to diesels manufactured from 2007-09.

While all of these models are being referred to as 2011 model-year vehicles as opposed to using the confusing "half" tag line, they include anything manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010. These include the 2010-1/2 models.

Ford has announced an all-new 6.7L diesel engine for 2011, with a new/updated Super Duty platform to boot (see page 20 for more details on the 2011 Ford Super Duty). The new engine features a single turbo charger that has two compressors-the single-sequential charger replaces the compound turbo setup of the 6.4L Power Stroke. The new engine design also reverses the intake/exhaust system, sending exhaust out through the valley of the V8 block where the turbo sits. Charge air routes through the intercooler and into the intake ports, which are on the outer sides of the heads. Ford is also using the Diesel After treatment process to convert NOx gasses to ammonia by injecting urea (or diesel exhaust fluid) into the exhaust stream ahead of a selective catalytic reduction unit.

GM is using similar diesel exhaust fluid technology to make the 2011 Duramax 6.6L LML diesel engine compliant with the newest emissions standards. The diesel exhaust fluid is injected into the exhaust system into a selective catalytic reduction unit ahead of the diesel particulate filter. According to a report on PickupTrucks.com, the LML Duramax will also use piezo electric injectors as opposed to the solenoid injectors, bumping the fuel pressures inside the fuel rails up 3,000 psi to 29,000 psi. The LML Duramax will use the same engine block and core engine components as previous Duramax engines. GM also postponed manufacturing any Duramax diesel pickups for a four-month period to gear up for production of the LML Duramax.

Dodge Ram is betting the farm on its new 2011 Ram 2500 and 3500. The trucks feature an all-new heavy-duty platform, with body and interior designs that follow the 2009 Ram 1500. The 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 use stamped sheet metal box sides, including the dually box, for a more streamlined look. It also features a new crew cab with four full-size doors, replacing the Quad Cab. The new Ram trucks are sticking with the 6.7L inline-six Cummins diesel engine, which remains mostly unchanged from the previous year. The 6.7L Cummins was compliant with the 2010 emissions standards when it was first released in 2007. And, the Cummins accomplishes that without the use of diesel exhaust fluid. This leaves the door wide open for Dodge. It enters the year with an engine backed by a 3-year track record, where Ford and GM are starting with new technology.

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