Though there was a day when the phrase “four cylinder in a truck” meant a pickup prone to huffing and wheezing under even the lightest of loads, manufacturers are making the most of today’s modern turbocharge technology to produce more power from ever smaller packages. How much power? Try 310 horsepower and 348 lb.-ft. of torque from the all new 2.7-liter turbo four cylinder available in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, which will be available on dealer lots this fall. It’s the first four-cylinder engine available in a full-size Chevrolet pickup in over 75 years.   

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For a little perspective on the amazing power output of the 2.7-liter four, consider that back in 1990, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 SS 454 -- a truck with 7.4 liters and twice the number of cylinders under the hood -- produced just 230 horsepower, which was considered high output for its day.

Chevrolet recently released details about the mechanical and engineering magic used to create so much horsepower and torque from only 2.7 liters. The power and torque numbers should quiet the concerns of anybody who just furrowed their brow at the idea of a puny four-cylinder in a full-size truck, with the engine producing 22 percent more torque than the 4.3-liter naturally-aspirated V6 it replaces for the 2019 model year, while producing peak torque between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm -- the sweet spot for towing and hauling. The 2019 Silverado equipped with the 2.7 turbo four will reportedly turn 0-to-60 times in under seven seconds.

The engine features Chevy’s first use of Active Fuel Management on a four cylinder engine, enabling the 2.7 turbo four to run on as few as two cylinders when power and torque demands are low. Continuously variable valve timing allows for high and low valve lift profiles, also depending on demand, for customizable power profiles.

A modern marvel, the engine features cutting edge manufacturing techniques such as exhaust manifolds that are integrated into the cylinder heads, for faster engine warm ups on cold mornings and quicker turbo response. To generate gobs of low-end torque, the engine features a 4-inch piston stroke, high compression, and an offset crankshaft that’s slightly off-center from the cylinders; an arrangement that helps guard against increased friction and wear. To support the higher compression and higher cylinder pressures produced by the turbocharger, most of the internal parts in the 2.7-liter turbo engine, including the crankshaft and connecting rods, are made of forged steel, while the pistons are forged aluminum with a cast-iron ring groove insert for durability. The block and cylinder head are both made of high strength aluminum. The 2.7 liter Turbo’s twin-cam valve train is the first in the industry to incorporate variable lift, allowing the camshafts to lift the intake  valves high off their seats full torque and power, or lower for efficiency, with the system utilizing electro-mechanical camshafts to allow the engine to operate equally well in all different modes. Dual overhead cams help the 2.7-liter four produce high output power while maintaining the smoothness that’s hard to achieve in four-cylinder engines. Each cam works independently, allowing the intake and exhaust valves to be phased at different rates, allowing the engine management system to custom-tailor the power and torque output depending on power demands without sacrificing power or driveability.


Also unique to the 2.7-liter Turbo is the use of an advanced, dual-volute turbocharger, which features two spiral vanes -- the volutes -- driving the turbocharger instead of just one. In addition to the twin volutes, the turbo features two separate chambers fed by two exhaust gas inlets to drive the turbo, for faster revving and quicker torque on demand. The engine also features a variable-pressure oiling system with a variable-displacement vane oil pump that can increase oil pressure when torque and power demands are high. The engine also features an electric water pump, another first for Chevrolet trucks.


Backing up the 2.7-liter Turbo in the new 2019 Silverado is a new HydraMatic eight speed automatic transmission, which features improved shift quality as well as a new centrifugal pendulum torque converter to better fight vibration.

Click here to read Chevrolet’s full press release on the 2.7-liter turbo four in the all-new 2019 Silverado, which will be available on dealer lots this fall.


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