Back in December at a Texas event celebrating Chevrolet’s 100 years of pickups, we got our first clear look at Chevy’s all-new Silverado. And it’s a major departure from the squared-off and safe design that has defined Chevy’s full-size pickups for decades.
The all-new Silverado, which will be offered in eight configurations, was shown in the new LT Trailboss trim which includes a 2-inch suspension lift and aggressive Goodyear Wrangler 275/65R18 tires. It looked tough to be sure. But what engines will the new Silverado use and what other models will be offered?
Tonight, at an event ahead of the 2018 Detroit auto show, Chevrolet gave us a closer look. The model line is comprehensive to put it mildly. Work Truck, Custom and LT occupy the bottom end of the equipment line. The RST is new and could be considered the sport truck trim. The LTZ and High Country, like today’s Silverado, represent the more luxurious end of the spectrum. The LT Trail Boss and lower priced Trail Boss Custom are the off-road models.
2019 Chevy Silverado interior
GM is using a mixed material approach on the Silverado. The doors, tailgate and hood are aluminum, while the fixed panels are all steel. Eighty percent of the all-new fully boxed steel frame is made from high-strength steel. It’s also 88 pounds lighter than the old one and has 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. And despite a wheelbase up to 3.9-inches longer on some models, when you compare the old Crew Cab shortbox to the new 2019 Crew Cab shortbox, the new model is 450 pounds lighter. One thing that’s noticeable right away is that the huge rear doors on these new Crew Cab models will open to a ton of room in the back seat: Chevy confirmed rear-seat passengers will have 43.8-inches of legroom, up 3 inches over today’s truck. In fact, Chevy says the interior will be the roomiest of all full-size trucks. A power-operated tailgate will also be offered on some trim levels.
Under that aluminum hood are six powertrain combinations that include revised versions of the 5.3 and 6.2-liter V8s as well as a new 3.0-liter Duramax diesel I6. Both V8s will use a new technology called Dynamic Fuel Management which can shut down any number of cylinders between one and seven. The 6.2-liter and diesel come paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission that’s shared with Ford. Chevy didn’t mention any horsepower or torque figures but did hint that its diesel would not be overshadowed by any other light-duty diesel (like, say, Ford’s new Power Stroke V6) in terms of output.
The suspension at both ends of the Silverado has been redesigned with new forged upper control arms in the independent front suspension. Out back, there are new live axles and a revised leaf-spring suspension design. Some models receive a carbon composite second stage rear spring borrowing a little from the Corvette’s playbook. And those springs save 12 pounds per side.
The beds of the new Silverados are deeper and wider with 63 cu-ft of cargo volume, which Chevy says is about 20 percent better than the competition. They are also made from a higher-grade steel than before. The bed floor has been widened by seven inches and there are new lockable cargo boxes on some models. In other words, the beds are bigger, tougher and more useful. And to keep those heavy loads in place, there are now 12 tie downs.
There’s still more to learn about the all-new 2019 Silverado. But we know enough to know these trucks will provide some stiff competition for Ford and Ram, and it’s definitely time to stage our own battle of the light-duty diesels.
UPDATED: An original version of this story stated the new Duramax diesel was a V6; it’s an inline 6.