General Motors Corp. indefinitely suspends plans for a 4.5L Duramax turbocharged V-8 diesel engine for its light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra fullsize pickups.

The advanced, lightweight turbodiesel was slated as an option on the trucks in the ’10 model year, and GM had suggested it could find its way into future cross/utility vehicles, SUVs and even some cars.

Ward’s reported earlier GM was considering halting the engine program as part of an extensive product review contained in the long-term viability plan it provided to Congress last month. GM now cites the current economic climate.

“GM remains optimistic that the Duramax 4.5L V-8 diesel may be a viable option in its future portfolio,” the auto maker says in a statement.

The design would have been a market-first, and GM says it would have been class-leading in terms of horsepower and torque.

Unlike conventional diesels, there’s a reverse flow of air and exhaust gases entering and exiting the cylinder heads. Entry air flows through ports in the top of each cylinder head. The exhaust gases exit inward between the cylinder heads directly into the turbocharger.

GM spent 3.5 years developing its light-duty turbodiesel and planned to begin production at the auto maker’s Tonawanda, NY, plant later this year.

GM already offers a larger 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel in its heavy-duty pickups.