The 2017 Chevy Silverado HD Diesel is getting a new scoop hood thanks to a new air-intake system that does more than look fancy.
The new ram-air hood is designed to help feed cool, dry air into the 6.6-liter V-8 Duramax. It doesn’t deliver more power (at least GM isn’t giving us any numbers to indicate it does), but it allows the engine to give its maximum output in more conditions than before.
The intake feeds 60-percent of outside, cooler air to the cylinders. It also provides a ram-air “supercharging” effect at highway speeds, when it packs more air into the engine which is good for combustion. The air filter housing also draws 40 percent additional air from one of the front fenders.
You don’t just need cooler air to get better engine output, you also need dry air. So the system also has a patented way of removing moisture from the charge air as it’s drawn from outside into the engine.
The air charge comes in through the hood intake, then shoots through an expansion chamber with a sharp, 180-degree turn on its way to the air filter housing. The velocity it creates causes humidity or mist to form larger, heavier droplets that are flung centrifugally against the outside wall of the housing. In other words, water is forcefully separated out of the air.
Water drains out through a valve, while the dry air continues on its merry way to the engine.
Would you believe downpours don’t necessarily pose the biggest challenge? Chevy says it’s because big raindrops are “relatively easy to eliminate from air.” Mist-like spray like the kind generated by semis on wet highways is more challenging because very fine water droplets are harder to separate from the air.
Chevy also tested the intake system in extreme conditions including powdery snow, wind-driven ice pellets, desert dust and arctic cold.
The V-8 Duramax churns out 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque and can tow as much as 18,000 pounds.
Related Video: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado Efficiency and Power
Photo Credit: Chevrolet