Chevy Silverado is going its own way
A four-pot in a big truck may take some selling, but the towing power is there
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.
The new Silverado has a smaller turbo engine, but it’s not going to save you much at the pump.