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Replaced already? New GM 3.0L Duramax Diesel LZ0 coming

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Just a few years ago, an all-new, clean-sheet-designed 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel engine made its debut wowing journalists and consumers. Now, it seems, a new version of this engine is coming called the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel LZ0.

The current LM2 3.0-liter turbodiesel is an inline-6 with 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 RPM. This engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and has returned nearly 30 MPG with 2WD Sierra and Silverado trucks. New for 2022 is the upgraded max towing at 13,300 pounds with 1,930 pounds of max payload.

Plus, the LM2 is inherently balanced and provides a very smooth and powerful driving experience. It is one of my top five favorite engines on the market.

3.0L Duramax Diesel LZ0

3.0-liter Duramax Diesel LZ0. (Image courtesy of General Motors)

What is a Duramax Diesel LZ0?

The new engine is reportedly in the works according to GMAuthority.com. It is expected to retain the same inline-6 design while taking things up another notch. Specifically, it is expected to have more performance, better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

Exact details on this engine will be out later this year with the engine reportedly going into the 2023 GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado as well as GM full-size SUVs.

Why replace it so soon?

One of the big questions for the media and consumers is why GM would replace the LM2 after a short run of just three years.

I theorize this is likely due to a variety factors — such as the two ongoing issues with the long crank, slow start and the need to drop the transmission to access the timing belt.

These factors have long been a concern among consumers and a redo of the LM2 with a new name could put those negative concerns behind it.

Finally, the LM2 doesn’t fit in the redesigned Chevy Tahoe Z71. This off-road designed Tahoe has better ground clearance to handle the trails yet has been limited to the 5.3-liter V-8. The reason? Chevy engineers couldn’t route the cooling lines correctly for the diesel to fit into the new Z71’s curved front fascia. Maybe the LZ0 addresses that issue as well.

The bottom line on the Duramax Diesel LZ0

Let’s see. Better fuel economy, less emissions, more performance and possibly fixing the shortcomings of the LM2 engine? Yeah, I’m all in on this LZ0 if it can achieve those goals. You should be, too. It’s a great engine.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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7 Comments

  1. William D Davis April 22, 2022

    I think you
    meant oil pump belt not timing belt, l thought it had a timing chain, which doesn’t have any issues like the ram half ton diesel. The GM oil pump belt runs through the oil in the oil pan, but has to pull the tranny out to replace or for visual inspection, which is very pricey.

    Reply
  2. Rob April 22, 2022

    Tim,
    Interesting news on the 3.0 diesel. You mention the two ongoing issues. What are the redesign expectations to address the access to the timing belt?
    Also, while the max trailing package was offered for the 3.0 Duramax in 2022 – it was not offered across all product lines. Strategic or was there a shortage for the max towing package too? If so, any details?
    Thanks for your informative coverage, always.
    Rob

    Reply
  3. Livingston morrison April 23, 2022

    The l z o I love thank you guys for making
    Change now I can get the 2023 gmc.

    Reply
    1. Ml Ake April 25, 2022

      No one outside of GM even knows what the changes truly are, so how could you possibly love the new engine?

      Reply
  4. Kevin wade hedgecoth April 24, 2022

    What’s the total horse power and is it the Allison tranny!!!

    Reply
    1. Tim Esterdahl April 25, 2022

      Nothing official yet so no horsepower specs. Current 3.0L doesn’t use Allison transmission.

      Reply
  5. William D Davis June 22, 2022

    Someone mentioned max towing across all lines, the max towing only exists on 2wd quad cab 6 ft bed not in other configurations, with either the 3.0 Duramax or the 6.2 gasser or is it the 5.3, only interested if they use the new redesigned LZO motor.

    Reply

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