With the introduction of the 2015 Ford F-150 at the Detroit auto show, inevitable comparisons are being made to the current full-size competition, and naturally, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 come into the conversation.

Ford doubled down with its bet on EcoBoost, now offering two turbocharged V-6 options in the 2015 F-150, with a new 2.7-liter in addition to the current 3.5-liter engine. Ram has gone its own way in the fuel economy race with a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. For the time being, GM is relying on cylinder deactivation on its V-6 and V-8 engines to achieve fuel economy gains.

But in an interview with GM's global powertrain vice president Steve Kiefer, Automotive News suggests a diesel engine of some sort is under consideration for GM's half-ton trucks. Immediately prior to GM's 2009 bankruptcy, a 4.5-liter Duramax diesel V-8 was about to go into production, with target output specs of more than 300 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Because of financial considerations, the engine never made it into production, but most of the engineering and development had been completed.

With aggressive displacement downsizing the seeming order of the day in the full-size segment, one wonders if 4.5-liters could be considered too big in the current climate. Nissan has announced the availability of a 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 in the 2015 Titan truck, but Ram has gone significantly smaller with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.

Another possible option for GM is offering the 2.8-liter turbodiesel I-4 that will be optional on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Global specifications on that engine are currently 197 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Although the idea of a four-cylinder in a full-size truck may seem radical, Ford already has a smaller-displacement engine in the F-150 with the 2.7 EcoBoost, and upcoming nine- or 10-speed transmissions could enable use of a smaller engine with a high torque output in a larger, heavier vehicle such as a full-size pickup.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)