Until this year, diesel engines were the element of only the heavy-duty pickups offered by GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.
General Motors Co. said it plans to offer a diesel engine option in its forthcoming medium-size pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
GM sees an opportunity to reach new customers with a diesel offering in the medium-size trucks. The new trucks, which will go on sale later this year, will be 1,100 pounds lighter than the current Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup — the top-selling pickup.
“The trucks will be “extremely fuel efficient,” said GM’s global vice president of Chevrolet, Alan Batey . The company hasn’t said what the fuel economy of the new trucks would be. The new trucks are slight smaller than the full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
Chrysler began offering a diesel on its Ram 1500 earlier this year and it already has been a hit. The Ram is rated to achieve up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway, the best rating for light-duty, full-size trucks.
Ford doesn’t have plans to put a diesel in its forthcoming, all-aluminum, 2015 F-150, which is roughly the same size as the Ram and Silverado and Sierra. Instead it has reduced the weight by 700 pounds and will offer a 2.7-liter, turbocharged V6 to attain higher mileage.
GM, though, is hoping that the combination of a slightly smaller truck, combined with a diesel engine, will appeal to a new range of buyers. Nissan Motor Co. also has pledged to put a diesel engine in its full-size pickup, the Titan.