GM pins diesel redemption on meaty 2016 Chevrolet Colorado

GM arguably stuck a knife in diesel's chances in the US back in the 70s, and now the company is hoping to make amends with its latest Colorado truck. The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax diesel packs a 2.8-liter turbocharged engine and the promise of better economy than its gas-powered brethren. However, it's likely to be the lashings of torque that Chevy convinces American truck drivers with.

In fact, with 369 lb-ft of torque at just 2,000 rpm, the diesel Colorado has more power than both the 2.4 liter four-cylinder and 3.6 liter V6 gas engines Chevrolet already offers. They muster just 191 lb-ft and 269 lb-ft respectively, and you'll need to wind their engines up to higher speeds in order to see those maximum numbers.

Still, horsepower is down – 181 HP from the turbodiesel, in fact – but it's torque you probably want for serious trailer-tugging. The new Colorado will pull up to 7,700 pounds in the case of the 2WD models and 7,600 pounds for the 4WD versions.

In contrast, the V6 4WD Colorado tops out at 7,000 pounds.

Nonetheless it'll take more than some extra lugging ability to oust the memory of rattly, dirty, woefully-underpowered 70s diesels from GM brands like Oldsmobile from potential drivers, and so Chevrolet is putting an emphasis on minimizing the powertrain's intrusion into the on-road experience.

That includes a so-called Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter of the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission, which uses dampening masses that help iron out the torsional vibrations of the engine. Effectively, it counteracts those vibrations by moving its weights in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, there are ceramic glow plugs to make start-up swifter, and the Colorado diesel even sucks a little of its hot exhaust back into the engine, improving combustion rates.

What GM isn't saying yet is quite how well that all works in terms of actual economy numbers: instead of actual MPG figures, all we have is the promise that it's the company's cleanest diesel truck engine, and that it "meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards."

Both LT and Z71 Crew Cab models will be offered when the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado 2.8L Duramax Turbo Diesel hits dealerships this fall, with a roughly $3,730 premium over the similarly-equipped V6 Colorado (which comes in from around $26,500).