Chevy Sil­ver­ado is go­ing its own way

A four-pot in a big truck may take some sell­ing, but the tow­ing power is there

StarMetro Calgary - - DAILY LIFE - Jim Ken­zie

SCOTTS­DALE, ARIZ.—If Chevro­let had hired the Ea­gles in­stead of Bob Seger to be their “spokes-singer’’ their pickup trucks’ ad­ver­tis­ing theme song, in­stead of Seger’s “Like a Rock’’ might have gone some­thing like this:

“Sil­ver­ado, why don’t you come to your senses?

You’ve been out driv­ing FSeries for so long now...’’

The new Sil­ver­ado, launched early last year, adopted an alu­minium-ifnec­es­sary-but-not-nec­es­sar­ily-alu­minium ap­proach.

Con­trary to mar­ket leader and archri­val Ford’s all-light­metal F-Se­ries, Sil­ver­ado has made all the parts that move — doors, hood, tail­gate — out of alu­minum, along with sig­nif­i­cant chunks of the sus­pen­sion. The rest is made of a va­ri­ety of steels, as light as they could get away with de­pend­ing on the task of that par­tic­u­lar com­po­nent. But in a ve­hi­cle the size of the av­er­age house in about two-thirds of the world, there’s only so much weight you can chop out.

So, how to make a 2,500 kilo­gram ve­hi­cle more fuel-ef­fi­cient?

It’s not easy.

It has to start with more ef­fi­cient en­gines, and Chevy (and its gussied-up twin GMC) have come up with a four-cylin­der full-size pickup.

A four-pot in a big truck? That may take some sell­ing.

The 2.7 litre twin-cam di­rect in­jec­tion four banger is a very high-tech en­gine, and was de­signed ex­pressly for truck ap­pli­ca­tions. It gets vari­able valve tim­ing and a two-stage tur­bocharger. Peak out­put is 310 horse­power, with a wide and high torque band peak­ing at 348 lb.-ft. from 1,500 to 4,000 r.p.m.

We tested Sil­ver­a­dos with the bed empty and with var­i­ous sized loads.

The promised per­for­mance was there. The broad torque band makes it feel lively off the mark and in pass­ing ma­noeu­vres. And it tows well, in the brief chance I had to try that.

The gear­box shifts smoothly and helps keep the en­gine in the op­ti­mal rev range for most of the typ­i­cal driv­ing cy­cle.

The en­gine is rea­son­ably smooth and quiet, es­pe­cially for a large-dis­place­ment four, which tend to vi­brate a lot.

The truck rides and han­dles de­cently, although like all mod­ern full-size pick­ups, it feels ab­so­lutely huge, es­pe­cially when you have to clam­ber up into it.

Get the full re­view at thes­tar.com/au­tos Price: LT Dou­ble Cab, stan­dard bed, RWD — $40,900. Crew Cab, short bed, RWD — $42,600. Crew Cab, stan­dard bed, RWD — $42,900. For RST trim level, add $3,300.

En­gine: 2.7 litre four cylin­der, dou­ble over­head camshafts, four valves per cylin­der, di­rect in­jec­tion, stop/start en­gine shut-off, alu­minum block and head, tur­bocharged.

Power/torque, horse­power / lb.-ft: 310 @ 5,500 r.p.m. / 348 @ 1,500 — 4,000 r.p.m.

What’s best: Good per­for­mance; lots of high-tech, both in the en­gine and in the cabin.

What’s worst: High price for high-tech en­gine; fuel con­sump­tion num­bers aren’t great.

What’s in­ter­est­ing: Whether this is the best model to in­tro­duce this en­gine.

TORONTO STAR JIM KEN­ZIE FOR THE

The new Sil­ver­ado has a smaller turbo en­gine, but it’s not go­ing to save you much at the pump.

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