2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500Enlarge Photo
Proving that the threat of bankruptcy proceedings makes for the unlikeliest of bedfellows, we found out from folks at PickupTrucks.com that the Blue Oval and the Bow Tie are getting together to make a diesel love-child. Yup, the 4.5-liter Baby Duramax that site Chevrolet Reports recently reported was a victim of GM's critical ailments is going forward, with Ford being as the partner GM needed bring it into the world.
2009 Ford F-150Enlarge Photo
GM's been gestating the extremely promising oil burner for months, and though it was all but ready to drop into Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickups, massive health complications made all analysts predict this little engine would be stillborn. In stepped doctor Ford, with the stability and skill to extricate the Baby Duramax from GM's mess, and thus the PowerMax Ltd. (PowerStroke + DuraMax) joint venture has been born.
Autodeadline.com - http://autodeadline.com/Photos?source=&model=&kw=Duramax&page=1Enlarge Photo
The venture fixes problems for both companies and has been described as a "win-win" by execs from both automakers. Ford had a nasty split not long ago with Navistar, the International division with which it popped out countless PowerStroke diesels (child support battles are still raging in court). GM's big 6.6-liter Duramax, itself a joint-venture with Isuzu, has done yoeman's duty for years and is still popular with heavy-duty haulers. But it's overkill for a light-truck market that can no longer afford to pay for its considerable thirst.
We've lauded the 4.5-liter Baby Duramax for months, welcoming its brilliant engineering as signs of life within GM and excited about its promised efficiency and power (320 hp, 520 lb-ft, and huge efficiency gains over comparable gas V-8s). We're happy to report the program is back on, and rather shocked that we'll soon be able to get Chevy Power under the hood of an F-150.
Rolfie Diesel, great-grandson of Rudolf, has blessed the partnership and, along with a contingent from Robert Bosch GmBH (providing the engine's piezoelectric injectors), is flying in from Berlin with mace and an Eastern European riot squad to ensure Chevy and Ford assembly workers keep the peace when production begins at Ford's Chihuahua, Mexico engine assembly plant.