CLOSER LOOK: 2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
With fanfare, food and alcohol flowing freely at NAIAS 2018 in Detroit, Chevrolet gave us a closer look at the new Silverado.
Using input from customers, Chevy developed the new Silverado to meet and exceed the expectations of truck enthusiasts. They didn’t do so by building one all-encompassing truck, but instead provided trim lines and power train options that resulted in almost 48 versions so each Chevy Silverado buyer gets exactly the features they need and want.
Many of the details revealed were about the tail end of the truck, which for many of us is the business end. After all, you bought a pick-up truck not an SUV. The forceful embossed nameplate sits below the release for the power tailgate. Touch the button and it drops down gently - great when you’ve got both hands full and you want to open the tailgate with an elbow. You can also open it using the fob or hitting a button inside the cab. The tailgate also closes at the touch of a button.
The built-in bumper step is enlarged to accommodate folks wearing a bigger boot, and this gets you into a truck bed that is now 6.5” wider, increasing the cargo volume in every truck bed length - the short box now has a volume of 63 cubic ft. And you can tie down everything you stack or drive into the bed using 12 fixed (double strength) and 9 movable tiedown points - a feature desired by truck enthusiasts.
There are some very useful electronic features including task lighting and a 120V outlet in the back to make loading and working easier. Most remarkable is the two camera ports for towing. Diagrams on the covers show you where to place the cameras on your trailer - rear and side for great views from your dash. This is in addition to the built-in back up camera and light on either side of the tailgate release.
You can also get storage boxes that fit over the wheel wells, which don’t prevent you from sliding in a 4x8 sheet of plywood, but do provide a relatively weatherproof and lockable box, large enough for fishing rods and rifles. This is not integrated into the truck body like a Ram box but an optional add-on.
But that’s not all that’s larger than before. The wheelbase is up to 100 mm (3.9 in) longer and the overall length is 41 mm (1.6 in) longer, providing not just more cargo volume but also more interior room for all cab lengths. Crew cab models now offer an extra 7.62 cm( 3 in) of rear seat legroom for a total of 111 cm (43.8 in) of rear legroom to accompany the 113 cm (44.5 in) of front legroom.
Although it is bigger, it is 204 kg (450 lbs) lighter compared 2018 crew cab V-8 models - attributed to the use of aluminum in the swing panels (everything with hinges - tailgate, doors, and hood), and different weights of steel throughout the rest of the body and frame. Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain says “It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 450 pounds lighter than the current model.”
Upfront, Dynamic Fuel Management is cylinder de-activation technology that allows both the new 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines to drop down to just one-cylinder depending on the power requirements. For those of us who want great fuel economy but also want V8 power and reliability - this is great news. Diesel fans can rejoice as Chevrolet will also offer the 3.0L inline six Duramax turbo diesel. Both the 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines are paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission and have start/ stop technology to improve fuel economy. There is a button to disable the stop/start if it’s a pet peeve of yours.
Subtle exterior design changes also improve the aerodynamics to reduce your fuel costs. Air curtains next to the bumper route air around wheel wells, and an integrated spoiler at the rear of the cab directs air to the lip on the tailgate to reduce wind drag in the bed.
I’ve always found the Chevrolet dash to be easy to use and access with intuitive well placed controls - and the 2019 is no different. There are some unique storage options including ten-litre storage compartments in the seat backs of each of the two rear seats and a larger 24-litre storage compartment underneath the rear seats.
Matthew Palmer, Director of Communications for General Motors Canada, says Canadians are going to love this truck and compares it to the ‘Truck of the Year’ the Colorado ZR2. Palmer says, “Think about all the things you love about the ZR2, it’s a functional offroad truck that’s quiet on the highway, it handles well, when you’re in the cockpit it feels like a first class vehicle.” “… what we learned from the use of DSSV in the Colorado will carry-over to the Silverado."
In total there are six engine/powertrain options and eight trim levels:
2019 Silverado 1500 Trim Levels
High Value - for customers want the capability of a full-size truck at a great value:
• Work Truck - features “CHEVROLET” graphic across grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim and 17-inch steel wheels for maximum durability. The
interior features durable cloth seats and 7-inch colour touch screen.
• Custom - features a body-colour styling theme, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, LED signature taillamps and available integrated dual exhaust.
• Custom Trailboss (new for 2019) - adds off-road equipment to the Custom, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package with a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.
High Volume - these customers represent the heart of the truck market, requiring the capability of a full-size truck as well as the creature comforts of a passenger vehicle:
• LT features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille and mirror caps, Chevrolet bowtie in the grille, LED reflector headlamps and signature daytime running lights. The interior features an 8-inch colour touch screen and available leather seating surfaces.
• RST (new for 2019) brings a streetperformance appearance to the LT, with body-colour trim, full LED lighting (foglamps, headlamps and taillamps) and up to 22-inch wheels with all-season tires.
• LT Trailboss (new for 2019) adds offroad equipment to the LT, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package, including locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.
High Feature - customers represent the fastest-growing part of the truck market and want luxury-car refinement and appointments without sacrificing capability or durability:
• LTZ features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille, mirror caps, door handles and hockey-stick beltline as well as power folding and heated outside rearview mirrors. Leather interior trim is standard equipment.
• High Country features an exclusive front grille design with two-tone chrome and bronze finish, body-colour accents plus chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. It also includes the power up/down tailgate as standard equipment
Many key specifications are still yet to be announced, including horsepower, torque, payload, towing, approach, breakover and departure angles, and of course pricing, so stay tuned.
Check our video interview with Canadian Chevy exec Matt Palmer as he talks about his top features for Canadians - https:// youtu.be/y8BP6aHXCjE.
Chevrolet’s use of aluminum is limited to the hood, doors, and tailgate. While the truck bed and body panels are made of steel.
Their mixed material strategy includes using different types of steel for the bed, body panels and cab frame.