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The Life Of The Small Block V6 Is Being Extinguished

2022 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Rendering
Photo copyright Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks are expected to reveal extensive upgrades this year. Everything from notable interior upgrades, to the introduction of cutting-edge Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving technology, and even the introduction of more extreme off-road variants, such as the Silverado ZR2. Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as details emerged from a recent presentation from Chevrolet.

During Chevy’s presentation during the (virtual) 2021 Work Truck Show, it was let loose that General Motors will be dropping both the LV3 4.3L V6 engine, and L82 5.3L V8 engine, as well as the six-speed automatic transmission found in its most basic work truck trims for the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500. Pickup Truck + SUV Talk was first with the news, and the video is just below:

Both the LV3 V6 and L82 V8 engines feature GM’s active fuel management system, which made their debuts on the K2-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Both were paired with the six-speed, which is also a carryover unit. These engines and transmission were found only on the current Silverado WT, Custom and Custom Trail Boss trim levels, in available body styles. The base GMC Sierra 1500 did, as well.

The 5.3L L82 V8 is not to be confused with the 5.3L L83 or newer L84 V8 found in mid- and upper-level Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks. Instead of Active Fuel Management, which variably deactivates cylinder spark and combustion from eight cylinders to four in certain driving scenarios and environments, the L83 and new L84 feature Dynamic Fuel Management, or DFM. This evolution on the previous-gen technology is able to variably deactivate spark and combustion all the way down to just one cylinder, again based on very specific driving scenarios and environments.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2 Design Sketch
Presumed 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Design Sketch. Image via GM Design.

While the tech seemed to elude to massive fuel economy gains, GM’s T1-generation trucks didn’t really see any fuel economy improvements over the K2-generation. This is largely because of their inflated stature, which increased the drag coefficient of the front area compared to the last-generation, which means that more energy is required to push the trucks through the air. It would seem they did what they could.

While logical that GM would want to phase out a redundant 5.3L V8 engine for the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, it’s disheartening that the 4.3L LV3 V6 will go out with nary a whimper. This pushrod small-block-based engine is the best “base” V6 engine of all the half-ton trucks on the market today, with an ample balance of 285 horsepower and a very stout 305 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for an all-motor engine. And considering its resemblance to the larger Gen V small block V8 family, the engine is probably pretty cost-effective to build, too.

Based on MC&T’s network of intelligence, the replacement base engine for the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 will be the 2.7L L3B turbocharged four cylinder engine, which is currently available in the base Silverado and Sierra, as well. This wound-up high-displacement inline-four delivers 310 horsepower, and 348 lb-ft of torque. An improvement over the 4.3L V6 to be sure, but a four-cylinder full-sized truck seems a bit… unappetizing.

Electric Silverado 2023 2024 EV
Image via GM Design.

Regardless, GM has big plans for this little engine. Beyond the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500, the L3B turbo-four is expected to find itself under the hood of the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks, as MC&T first reported.

If you ask us, GM completely under-utilized the LV3. This 4.3L V6 would have been the perfect motor for the current-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Instead, it gets a car engine with the LGZ V6, and a 2.8L diesel that can’t get out of its own way. And since the EPA has declared war on diesel tuning, that’s how it will stay.

While we’re at it, the 305 lb-ft from the 4.3L V6 would have been great in the Chevrolet Camaro, too.

GMC Sierra HD Denali Design
Image courtesy of GMC.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.


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  1. First off, the 2.8L diesel was designed for the Sierra and Silverado. Then Cadillac adapted it for their cars. Second, much rather have a turbo then a v6. Thirdly, the 5.3L is an old motor. They can’t keep updating it and keep reasonably good mpg’s and power. Lastly, no mention of the 6.2L. Guess I should have your job cause you missed the mark.

    • Variety is the spice of life. If Chevy has a flavor, 90 degree V pushrods are it.

      Not turbo 4’s, not dohc 6’s that fit other brand tastes.

      Just because something’s new… If SAE snobs, TedX talkers, and social media channels, synonymously said that wearing rectal plug filters was good for the world and progress, would you?… Don’t answer that.

  2. When is Chevrolet going to stop making their trucks look like as most die hard chevy guys are switching to fords on looks alone i am a die hard chevy guy and although i would never be able to afford a new one because I’m not a millionaire but if i could i’d have to wait till you change that horrible body style it’s almost as bad as the 2003 body style almost that one was horrible who designed that?

    • I bought a 19 silverado ld because the new body is terrible. I like the new dodge body but wouldn’t trust a doge to get me anywhere without major repairs..
      F150 lightning looks sharp but not much of Ford fan either..

  3. Let us count: The v-6 has 2 exhaust manifolds, 2 cats, 2 heads. If you trade all these parts in for an extra cam and a turbo you might save some money. Furthermore, the 4 cyl. can be used across most of GM’s lineup for small trucks and upmarket crossovers. Looks like a play for economies of scale in the last ICE engine that GM will ever introduce (maybe).

  4. Hey GM, how about bolting on a pair of turbos to the LV3 for your full size trucks and as suggested making the naturally-aspirated version an option in the smaller trucks? Maybe a turbo-4 in a new LUV…

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