A look at the instrument cluster of the Ford F-150 Diesel. Credit: MIKE LEVINE VIA TWITTER

While fuel economy is less important to most consumers during this time of cheap fuel prices, at least one buyer segment still considers it crucial: pick-up drivers. General Motors, Ford and Ram know that, and they have not withdrawn on fuel efficiency improvements in the new or revised versions of the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.

While it may not be a fuel economy race Among the diesel versions of the F-150 and Silverado and the hybrid Ram 1500, the marketer of every company would have the predestination for the best fuel efficiency of their class, because every claim on the super competitive pickup market Distance between the competitors creates. And the fuel consumption is at the top when towing and towing.

Since many, if not most, pickups are purchased and put into service, the less efficient a truck is, the less time it takes for the tank to stop. Even fuel-efficient trucks increase the range between refueling stops. Ford has said it is aiming for 30 mpg with the F-150 Diesel. And it is becoming apparent that Ford is on track to reach and probably surpass that goal. Ford's tireless PR man, Mike Levine, posted a photo and video on his Twitter account showing the instrument cluster of an early F-150 diesel. The cluster provides some interesting information.

A graph showing the truck's fuel economy in the previous 30 minutes of driving showed a high of 35 mpg, a low of like 15 mpg and an average of 24.9 lbs. The distance to emptying in one of the tweets showed an impressive 648 miles. The F-150 diesel has a tank capacity of 26 gallons. It is unclear from the video when the tank was full but reaches 648 miles to drive from Manhattan to Detroit without a refueling stop.

As for the upcoming Silverado Diesel, a friend at GM Chevrolet says "does not worry" Ford's 30 mpg target for the F-150. The Silverado from 2019 receives a new inline six-cylinder turbo diesel with weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements and the same 10-speed automatic as the F-150 diesel.

GM and Ford, you'll recall, has developed the 10-speed engine together, counting on pushing their trucks to and probably over 30 mpg. Officially, GM was vague about its fuel consumption goals for the Silverado diesel. Mark Reuss, GM's Product Development Manager, said the truck will be "the most efficient" in this segment.

As for the last 1500 Ram in a few weeks, it looks as though the City Force Corolla might be within reach. All V-6 models receive a standard eTorque hybrid drive with stop-start. As you know, hybrids are characterized by efficiency in city driving, while diesel engines drive down the street at a constant speed. I hear through the Detroit grapevine that the Ram 1500 from 2019 could publish an eye-catching EPA city fuel economy rating.

Levine notes that Ford is not in a fuel economy race, but is focusing on a fuel-efficient, diesel-powered, light commercial vehicle responding to a need from a segment of F-150 buyers: they want a truck that has amazing fuel efficiency or first-class towing ability. Although GM was the first vendor on the market A truck with an EPA-certified 30 mpg highway rating with the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, no one has deducted that with a full-size truck. That should change this summer with the F-150 diesel, which arrives before the Silverado diesel and will probably brag at least initially.

But the question will not be which full-size truck will come out at 30 mpg first, but that exceeds 30 mpg at most. The true price is the leadership of the fuel economy. I'm going to screw it up and say that Chevrolet has the best chance of releasing the highest EPA certified highway number.

That's the reason: GM's straight-six diesel is a new engine, benefiting from lightweight design and friction reduction enhancements, and it will have the latest technologies. Dan Nicholson, GM Powertrain Manager, told me that the engine was developed for a purpose: driving a light truck.

Ford's V-6 diesel is excellent and has won Kudos, since Ford and Peugeot the original version, a 2.7-liter, in 2004. In 2009, the engine was stretched to 3.0 liters. It became popular in Land Rover vehicles. The version used in the F-150 has been extensively redesigned, says Dave Filipe, vice president of powertrain for Ford.

The age of the Ford engine is the only part of the daylight that separates the fuel efficiency of the F – 150 and Silverado Diesel. The trucks are lightweight and aerodynamically optimized, and they have the same 10-speed gearbox and the same engine.

In my view, investing in improving the fuel economy of a pickup is a profitable bet, regardless of policy and fuel prices. With the F-150, Silverado and Ram, Detroit automakers have stepped up. When will Toyota and Nissan seriously grapple with their big trucks and start lifting heavy loads to make them competitive in all areas, including fuel consumption?



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