We drive the Chevrolet Silverado 2.7 turbo
Our truck was the double cab LT trim which was perfect. The back seat is large enough to seat three people but the overall length of the truck still remains manageable in city traffic. The 4 cylinder engine is actually the standard engine in the LT. There are a host of other engines available from a 285 hp V6 to a 420 hp V8. There is also a turbo diesel option if you prefer a diesel.
As with almost every new car, the new Silverado is larger than the outgoing model in virtually every dimension. For example, the Silverado crew cab, short box has 1.2 inches more total width, 1.5 inches more total height, 1.7 inches more total length and 3.9 inches more wheelbase.
Despite the larger footprint, the Silverado is up to 450 pounds lighter than the outgoing truck (crew cab, short-bed models), due to advanced manufacturing and the use of mixed materials. The weight savings and the light weight four cylinder help give the Silverado a lighter feel that is very welcome in today’s full size truck market.
The truck race is about increasing capacities and the Silverado does not disappoint. The V6 model now offers up to 8,000 pound towing, an increase of 400 pounds. The 5.3 liter V8 raises that to 11,600 pounds. The 6.2 liter V8 with its 420 hp is the top engine for towing and maxes out at 12,200 pounds. The four cylinder can tow up to 7,200 pounds, which is plenty for the average person.
Standard on LT and RST trims, the new engine delivers 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque, for 22 percent more torque than the 4.3L V-6 it replaces. Developed specifically for truck applications, the new 2.7L turbo inline four-cylinder engine delivers peak torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm resulting in a truck that can do 0-60 in under seven seconds.
The new engine represents a clean-sheet design for Chevrolet and was developed from the outset as a truck engine. To help generate the strong low-end torque customers expect in a truck, it was designed with a long piston stroke of 102 mm. The long stroke enables improved combustion and thus a higher compression ratio. Typically, a long stroke can increase the load of the pistons against the cylinder walls, generating more friction. That’s alleviated in the engine with an offset crankshaft. It is slightly off-center of the cylinders, allowing a more upright position for the connecting rods during their movement.
To support the high cylinder pressures that come with turbocharging, the crankshaft and connecting rods are made of forged steel and the pistons are made of a tough aluminum alloy with a cast iron ring groove insert. The system’s electro-mechanical variable camshaft effectively allows the engine to operate with three different camshaft profiles, complementing the variable valve timing system to deliver optimized operating modes for different engine speeds and loads:
“It’s like having different engines for low- and high-rpm performance,” said Tom Sutter, Chief Engineer for the 2.7 liter engine. “The camshaft profile and valve timing is completely different at low and high speeds, for excellent performance across the board.”
The engine employs an advanced dual-volute turbocharger that elevates the performance and efficiency advantages of a conventional turbo, with quicker response and enhanced low-rpm torque production. Rather than a single spiral chamber (volute) feeding exhaust gas from the exhaust manifold to drive the turbine on the turbocharger, the dual volute design has a pair of separate chambers with two exhaust gas inlets and two nozzles to drive the turbine. The design allows the exhaust pulses of the engine to be leveraged for faster spool-up and subsequent boost production, particularly at low rpm, where the effect significantly enhances torque output and drivability.
With the charge-air cooler, the pressurized, heated air generated by the turbocharger is pumped through a heat exchanger before it enters the engine. That lowers the air charge temperature by about 130 degrees F (74 C), packing the combustion chambers with cooler, denser air that enhances power production. The system achieves more than 80 percent cooling efficiency with less than 2 psi flow restriction at peak power, contributing to the engine’s available torque production at low rpm.
The end result is an engine that still has a bit of turbo lag unfortunately. Step on the gas from a stop sign and the result is not much power for about half of a second. The turbo quickly spools up though and you can even hear the turbo whine. Once you have boost, the four cylinder is very powerful and this truck will blow away your old big block V8. In everyday use, the lag is barely felt and most people will never notice it.
The only negative we can report on the 2.7 is that the sound coming from under the hood at high revs is not very pleasing. On the plus side though, there are lots of benefits to have a four cylinder in the huge engine bay of a truck. The engine is tucked behind the front axle and offers better weight distribution and lots of room under the hood make repairs much easier.
With the four cylinder engine, you would expect terrific fuel economy and that really depends on what you are planning to do with it. Our four cylinder truck was rated by the EPA at 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The big 6.2 liter V8 with 420 hp is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Just 2 mpg difference on the highway does not seem like a lot but 4 mpg in the city is a big deal. In our experience, we were able to beat the 22 mpg number on the highway and frequently saw 24 mpg.
The new Silverado is certainly a terrific truck that can do the job. Ordering the four cylinder engine does not mean that it can’t do almost anything you ask of it. The Silverado is comfortable, capable and with the four cylinder engine offers better fuel economy that you would expect in a full size truck.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST 2.7T 4WD Double Cab
PRICE AS TESTED
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
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