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2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ (General Motors)
2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ (General Motors)

Auto makers in a fierce battle over fuel economy Add to ...

Ford enjoyed great success with the EcoBoost V-6 engines in its F-150 pickups and that has General Motors working overtime to buff the image of its new V-6 in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra – as well claims about the fuel economy of the new 5.3-litre V-8 in GM’s new rigs.

Consumers, meanwhile, are being bombarded with claims and counter-claims not just between GM and Ford, but also from Chrysler’s Ram brand and even the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.

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GM, for its part, says crew cab versions of its new 2014 pickups powered by the 5.3-litre V-8 and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission are better than the base V-8 pickups of Ford and Chrysler. The 5.3-litre V-8 isn’t GM’s most fuel-thrifty engine in the new 2014 pickups, but it’s a V-8 and, in the world of pickups, many buyers still care about the number of cylinders and displacement. Winning on V-8 fuel economy still matters. A lot.

“These are the trucks that most customers actually buy and drive,” says Jeff Luke, the chief engineer of GM’s pickups.

Except, of course, Ford sells more V-6 pickups now than V-8s. EcoBoost has done that for Ford. And people say their Ram V-6 is a gem and their V-8 is a horse. And on and on.

We know this: pickups deliver profits that drive Detroit’s auto makers forward. No one will give any ground, at least not without a fierce fight. And the punches are flying now, with many more hay-makers to come.

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