A new power option is available on the G2500 and G3500 Express Cargo Van models for 2006 with the arrival of the new Duramax 6600 turbo-diesel V-8 engine. It is the only diesel-powered engine offered, and its 460 lb.-ft. of torque is far more powerful than any of the gasoline engines available for the Express.
Originally introduced in 1965, the Chevrolet full-size van, now named Express, has filled the hauling and towing needs of customers for more than 40 years. Depending on the model chosen, Express vans can accommodate up to 15 passengers, haul a payload of up to 4,173 pounds, and tow up to 10,000 pounds. The voluminous security afforded by the van's completely enclosed structure is an advantage that pickup trucks don't offer. The Chevrolet Express is closely related to the GMC Savana.
Chevrolet offers the Express in two wheelbase configurations: regular 135-inch and extended 155-inch. Passenger vans come in 8-, 12-, or 15-passenger configurations, while Cargo vans typically seat two but also offer a solo seat option. Three series are available: 1500, 2500, and 3500. Cutaway chassis models, for commercial and RV applications, are also available. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available.
The task of providing customers who need to carry many passengers or haul a lot of cargo and tow heavy trailers gets easier for 2006 with the arrival of the Duramax 6600 turbo-diesel V-8. This potent workhorse delivers 250 hp, which is less than three of the four gasoline engines offered for the Express, but it provides that peak power at a low 3200 rpm. That is 1000 rpm lower than any of the gasoline engines. More importantly, for those who tow or haul large loads, the Duramax's unmatched 460 lb.-ft. of torque comes at a very low 1600 rpm, where it's most needed. Revisions to the cylinder block and piston design result in a quieter, smoother operating engine with fewer harmful emissions.
Express competes in the Large Van segment-a small, but important segment of the overall market-with vehicles designed to serve customers who demand higher passenger- and/or cargo-carrying capability. Many also come with high tow ratings.
The segment leader is the Ford E-Series, which sold 179,543 units in 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Express was next, with 127,585 sales during the 2005 calendar year, and was the only other real volume entry in the segment. Also competing are the GMC Savana (34,765 sales in 2005) and the Dodge Sprinter (19,662).