Redesigned Chevy Silverado pickup loses weight, gains size

Mae Love
January 14, 2018

Chevrolet is mixing things up with the 2019 Silverado.

GM said it would release the price closer to when the new truck arrives in showrooms.

Special to the Tribune Chronicle / Steve Fecht for Chevrolet The Chevrolet exhibit was under constructed last week for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The high value models include the base Work Truck, the Custom, which adds 20-inch wheels, LED taillights and dual exhaust. V-8 offerings will include significantly revised 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines, which will including dynamic fuel offerings which can shut-off up to seven cylinders at a time to conserve fuel. The combination of lower weight and a refinement in aerodynamics adds up to a better performing truck on the road, according to Mark Reuss EVP of global product development at Chevrolet, but should also improve on economy, too.

Chevy saved weight by using light materials in targeted applications, including aluminum for the doors hood and tailgate. The 80 percent high-strength steel frame is also lighter.

Despite being larger and more spacious, the '19 Silverado has still managed to drop 450 pounds when comparing crew-cab V8 models. A spoiler on the back of the cab helps with airflow, boosting aerodynamics and efficiency.

The 2019 Silverado's bed starts with a foundation of the roll-formed steel Chevrolet has touted in commercials for years, now upgraded for double strength. "The result is a truck that's bigger, bolder, but a lot more functional and efficient".

Three different bed lengths will be available, all with more cargo volume. Twelve of them are fixed and can handle 500 pounds each - twice the maximum capacity of the tie-downs in the outgoing Silverado. The 2019 Silverado will be available with a power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand.

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Inside, Chevy leaders say they focused on comfort, storage and easy-to-use controls. The Silverado clearly doesn't lack storage, with two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks as well as a large 24-liter storage tray under the second-row seat.

The Silverado is already available with in-vehicle wi-fi, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Pricing has not been announced, but we can expect more details soon.

The Silverado is critical to Chevrolet's business.

Light trucks accounted for 63.2 percent of US new vehicle sales in 2017, up from 59.5 percent in 2016.

Analysts and company executives say the Silverado and the similar GMC Sierra are among the highest-profit models for the company, generating a significant share of its $9 billion in North American pretax earnings for the first nine months of 2017.

General Motors, for instance, will show off the full Silverado lineup as part of its Chevy Truck Centential celebration.

The public NAIAS show allows visitors and auto enthusiasts the opportunity to see up-close the vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape, ranging from muscle and electric cars, to high-performance supercars and full-size trucks.

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