2015 GMC Canyon Delivers Segment-Best Performance

Advanced technologies deliver class-leading HP, enable class-leading trailering


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DETROIT – It’s a fact: the all-new, 2015 GMC Canyon delivers the most horsepower in the segment and the best V-6 efficiency, allowing owners to haul and tow more while using less fuel than competitors’ midsize trucks.

A 2.5L I-4 is standard and SAE-certified at 200 horsepower (149 kW) and 191 lb-ft of torque (259 Nm), with approximately 90 percent of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm.

Canyon also offers a 3.6L V-6 certified at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 Nm) – and an EPA-estimated 26 mpg on the highway (2WD), when properly equipped.

Let’s compare all those numbers: Canyon’s 2.5L engine delivers 31 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque than Nissan Frontier’s I-4 (152 hp/171 lb-ft). It also makes 25 percent more horsepower and 6 percent more torque than Toyota Tacoma’s I-4 (159 hp/180 lb-ft).

When it comes to Canyon’s 3.6L V-6, it produces 16 percent more horsepower than the Frontier’s V-6 (262 hp/281 lb.-ft.), while delivering 18 percent greater efficiency than its EPA-estimated 22 mpg highway. It also produces 29 percent more horsepower than Tacoma’s V-6 (236 hp/266 lb.-ft.) and nearly 24 percent greater highway efficiency (21 mpg).

Canyon’s 305 horses and 269 lb-ft of torque are even more than the 3.7L V-6 offered in the larger, full-size 2015 Ford F-150. It’s rated at only 283 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque.

The Canyon’s available class-leading horsepower allows effortless performance on the highway, even when hauling or trailering, while its torque advantage – the engine’s pulling power – contributes to a more confident feeling of power on demand at lower speeds and when starting off with a trailer. With the available 3.6L V-6 engine, Canyon offers the maximum trailering rating of 7,000 pounds, which tops the max ratings for Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.

Both engines incorporate features that enhance smoothness and quietness, contributing to the new truck’s exceptional refinement; and each is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available with the 2.5L engine in base extended cab/2WD models.

Advanced technologies tuned for truck performance

Both of Canyon’s engines are based on award-winning engine families and tuned to deliver the low-rpm torque customers depend on for hauling and towing.

Advanced technologies including direct injection and continuously variable valve timing improve power and efficiency, while an aluminum block, forged-steel crankshaft, dual-overhead camshafts and jet-spray piston cooling are additional traits shared by the engines.

2.5L details: A cast aluminum cylinder block with cast-in iron liners serves as the foundation for the 2.5L. It features cast iron bearing cap inserts and a strong, forged steel crankshaft to help reduce noise and vibrations and improve durability.

The engine also features a variable-displacement oil pump that enhances efficiency. Rather than the linear operation of a conventional fixed-flow pump, a crankshaft-driven oil pump matches the oil supply to the engine load. The engine’s variable-flow pump changes its capacity based on the engine’s demand for oil. The flow volume of the oil pump is designed to support the engine’s oiling requirements, including piston cooling and camshaft phasing.

At the top of the engine, a unique, lightweight composite intake manifold helps the 2.5L deliver more of its torque at lower rpm, giving the Canyon a stronger feel at launch and during on-demand maneuvers, such as passing or accelerating on a freeway entrance ramp.

When it comes to refinement, the 2.5L features:

  • Balance shafts located in a module with an integrated oil pump in the oil pan, to reduce noise and vibration
  • The strong, stiff forged-steel crankshaft enables quieter and smoother engine operation at high rpm
  • Inverted-tooth chains driving the camshaft and balance shaft deliver quieter operation   
  • A unique two-piece oil pan design, with an aluminum upper section to provide structural support and a stamped steel lower section to dampen overall noise
  • A cast aluminum bedplate with cast iron bearing cap inserts helps increase dynamic stiffness and reduce noise and vibration.

3.6L details: The Canyon’s 3.6L V-6 is a version of the proven, powerful engine that delivers great performance and efficiency through continuous refinements to an already well-balanced package.

The 3.6L also uses lightweight components that contribute to efficiency and performance. An integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design, for example, saves about 13 pounds compared to a non-integrated design, while a composite intake manifold saves about 5.5 pounds vs. an aluminum intake. Additionally, a lightweight structural front cover and high-strength connecting rods save additional weight.

The cylinder head design also has an intake port design that enhances airflow to the combustion chambers. Large valves that stay open longer allow more of the air to be pulled into the combustion chamber for a more powerful combustion. The integrated exhaust manifold not only saves weight, but reduces complexity and promotes a quicker light off of the catalytic converter for reduced emissions.

Additional elements that contribute to the 3.6L’s strength, durability and efficiency include:

  • Sand-cast aluminum block that features strong cast-in iron bore liners, six-bolt main caps and inter-bay breather vents.
  • A stiff cast aluminum oil pan enhances powertrain rigidity and helps reduce vehicle vibration.
  • Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods made of powdered metal with a higher ratio of copper, which makes them stronger and lighter
  • The pistons are made of lightweight cast aluminum and feature a friction-reducing polymer coating on the skirts, as well as fully floating wrist pins, which also reduce friction.

Less weight in the pistons means less reciprocating mass in the engine, resulting in less inertia and greater operating efficiency.

Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission
The Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission is offered with both of the Canyon’s engines. It is part of GM’s family of efficiency-enhancing six-speed transmissions that enables reduced engine speed on the highway. Reduced engine speed also enhances quietness.

Optimized gear ratios and comparatively small steps between the gears help the engines operate in the sweet spots of their respective power bands, for a confident feeling of acceleration in all driving conditions – especially with a full cargo load or when trailering.

Models equipped with the 3.6L V-6 feature a tow/haul mode to minimize the frequent up- and down-shifting often experienced during trailering, especially in stop-and-go driving, or on steeper grades. When activated by a button on the lower instrument panel, upshift points are raised to use more of the engine’s available power for acceleration. Downshift points are raised to help slow the vehicle by via engine braking.

Auto grade braking is another convenience feature on the 6L50. When engaged, the transmission automatically downshifts during deceleration, thereby using engine compression to assist in braking. In addition to slowing the vehicle more efficiently, auto grade braking can reduce brake rotor temperatures by up to 212 degrees F (100 C) by minimizing brake applications, which can prolong rotor and brake pad life. 

The feature works in and out of Tow/Haul mode. The driver induces auto grade braking by applying the brakes slightly. If desired, the disable/enable function can be accomplished through push-and-hold cycling of the tow/haul button. The system defaults to enable when the vehicle is restarted.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

2015 GMC Canyon 3.6L V-6 VVT Engine

The Canyon’s 3.6L V-6 is a version of the proven, powerful engine that delivers great performance and efficiency through continuous refinements to an already well-balanced package.

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Fast Facts

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