When they are unveiled later this year, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD DuraMax powered pickup trucks will feature a new functional air-intake scoop in the hood, above the front grille.

The new intake shown in photos teased by Chevrolet today, is part of a patented air intake system that separates water mist, spray, and rain drops from the intake charge before it gets to the filter box.

Chevrolet says the new intake system provides 60% of the air to the diesel engine from the hood scoop and the other 40% comes from behind the fender – making the net intake charge near ambient temperature.

It’s well known that cooler air helps the engine run better under load, maintaining full power and vehicle speed when towing and working hard. We’re also told the hood scoop has a ram-air effect that can force more air into the engine.

“The 2017 Silverado HD was engineered to provide maximum utility for our customers in even the most extreme situations,” said Eric Stanczak, chief engineer, Silverado HD. “While developing this all-new induction system, we considered our customers towing a maximum-weight trailer through the Eisenhower Tunnel on a hot, rainy summer day.”

The plays into the tease that GM has started this week about the new 2017 DuraMax powered HD trucks from both Chevrolet and GMC. The 6.6 liter DuraMax turbodiesel V8 is expected to get a significant power bump, up from its current 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque.

Specifications haven’t been announced for the new engine or the truck’s towing capacity, but they are talking details about the new intake system. To wit, the hood scoop has a specially designed air and water separator to ensure only dry air makes it to the engine.

The housing has an expansion chamber with a sharp, 180-degree turn that creates a velocity change. This causes water to be condensed into larger droplets which are flung centrifugally against the outside of the housing. It then drains through a valve.

Photos given us by Chevrolet show their testing in the rain booth to make sure it does its job. And note that because the scoop feeds only 60% of the air to the engine, it can still breath if for some reason the scoop gets blocked with debris.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD series pickup trucks along with the GMC Sierra HD are expected to be unveiled late this summer or early fall, the latest at the Texas State Fair in September. By then we will have more information on engine specs and towing capabilities.

GM is clearly tired of being third runner-up in the pickup truck towing wars and seems to be working to beat or at least match what Ford and RAM have to offer in this arena.