GM Updates Silverado’s V8 Offerings With New Tech

The Silverado’s 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s — respectively known as the L83 and L86 — are getting updates for 2019, but they might not be the changes you were hoping for. GM recently announced that the improvements will be to the truck’s dynamic fuel management system that you may have previously known by the nomenclature Active Fuel Management or Displacement on Demand.

The update allows the truck to deactivate all of its cylinders, in 17 different firing configurations, instead of just four as with the previous EcoTec3 V8s. However, while this feature may be more of an annoyance to those of you out there who simply want to make as much power as possible, the advanced systems will allow the Silverado to meet ever increasingly stringent CAFE standards which ensures the V8’s existence moving into the future.

And though it may seem lame for your big 6.2-liter V8 to run on one or two cylinders some of the time, General Motors says that the power delivery is seamless and impossible to detect thanks in large part to the Gen V line of engine’s torque-based management strategy. This ensures cylinder reactivation is undetectable. 

“The increased variability of dynamic fuel management means the engine will operate more often with a reduced number of cylinders, which saves fuel across the board,” said Jordan Lee, Chevrolet’s chief engineer for small-block engines. “Better yet, the transitions are transparent, and because the system is torque based, you’ve always got that satisfying feeling of power on demand that comes from Chevy’s Gen V small-block V8 engines.”

GM has yet to release the final fuel mileage numbers for their new line of V8s but rest assured that it will be marginally better than the outgoing line. In fact, expect it to get better fuel economy than most competitor’s turbo V6s. Though it may be a concession to raucous horsepower, the new technology keeps the small-block in the fight, and we’ll never be unhappy about that.

After all, you can either tune it out or change the lifters on it later when you put a healthy bump stick in it — but you didn’t hear that from us.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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