General Motors explores diesel

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General Motors is to invest $100m in its Tonawanda, New York engine plant to produce a new diesel engine.

General Motors

(GM) has announced that it will invest $100m in its Tonawanda, New York engine plant to produce a new diesel engine for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickup trucks and the Hummer H2.

The new 4.5l V-8 Duramax high-output engine is said to be more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. Compared with gasoline engines, GM claims that the new engine is 25 per cent more efficient and produces 13 per cent less CO2. It also claims that it produces 90 per cent fewer particulates and less nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared with other diesel vehicles.

According to GM, the engine owes its eco-friendliness to features such as a catalytic reduction NOx after-treatment system and a diesel particulate filter. The engine is expected to be able to deliver at least 310 horsepower and 520lb/ft of torque.

‘GM is transforming its product portfolio to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and the 4.5-litre V-8 diesel is an integral part of that transformation, as well as a component of GM’s strategy to diversify vehicle energy sources,’ said John Buttermore, GM Powertrain vice-president of global manufacturing.

The investment will enable the renovation of a 60,960m2 factory the purchase of new machinery and equipment to produce the new engine. GM will also invest an additional $41m at other sites to support the Tonawanda operations.

Construction is timetabled to start later this year, and production of the engine at the end of 2009.