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Jim Fets

GMC joins the 900-pound-foot torque club with Duramax V8

It's the last of the American Big Three to join this club. But it's never too late for enough torque to alter the rotation of the Earth.

Need to bring the moon closer to Earth? This truck will help you do it.


Two of America's big three -- Ram and Ford -- have already put out engines with more than 900 lb-ft of torque. Now, General Motors joins the battle for the nation's heavy-duty truck buyers with an engine putting out similar torque figures.

GM's 2017 GMC Sierra HD features a revised version of its 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8. The engine will put out 445 horsepower and a whopping 910 pound-feet of torque. That's about 19 percent more twist than the previous motor, yet engine noise at idle is down 38 percent at the same time.

GM calls its engine revised, but it's actually barely the same. Only the bore and stroke dimensions are the same. The block and heads are new, the fuel system is new, the exhaust-gas recirculation system is new, and the turbocharger is now electrically actuated and boasts higher boost pressure.

It still produces torque along a meaty curve, though, with max twist arriving as early as 1,550 rpm and holding steady through 2,850. To keep things somewhat efficient, it's capable of running on B20 biodiesel. It remains mated to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission.

The horsepower war isn't the only automotive war in town. Heavy-duty trucks are also squaring off with torque, which is far more useful when you're towing or pulling stumps. Ford's turbodiesel puts out an astonishing 925 pound-feet of torque, and Ram's offering spits out about 900 torques on the dot.

The new 6.6-liter Duramax can be noticed by the new hood scoop atop the truck's hood. Everybody loves a hood scoop.