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First Look — 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Revealed in Detroit

Posted in News on January 14, 2018
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General Motors officially pulled the wraps off of the all-new and long awaited 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new truck, which is the fourth generation of Silverado, is longer, taller, and lighter than the outgoing model. It features more drivetrain options—six in total—and added trim levels—eight in all. Following the current trend of reducing mass, the new 2019 Silverado is 450 pounds lighter than the outgoing model when comparing crew-cab V-8s. Exactly 100 years after delivering its first truck in January of 1918, Chevrolet is confident that this new pickup will carry the torch well into its next century.

Chassis and Suspension

Underpinning the new Silverado is a new fully boxed steel frame that boasts an 88-pound weight savings while increasing torsional rigidity by 10 percent. To achieve this, 80 percent of the frame is constructed of high-strength steel, which varies in thickness between two and five millimeters. A variety of processes are used to form different sections of the frame, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping, and tailor-rolled blanking. Wheelbase has been increased 3.9 inches and overall length increases by 1.6 inches.

Mixed materials are used extensively throughout the chassis. The front suspension utilizes new forged aluminum upper control arms, replacing stamped steel pieces. This allows for a slight weight reduction while also allowing for better wheel alignment. Out back, the live axle rear suspension has also been redesigned. New carbon-composite second stage springs on LT models shave approximately 12 pounds of weight versus the steel springs they replace.

Drivetrains

While it’s been announced that the new Silverado will have six drivetrain combinations, what they all are exactly remains a mystery. Three of the six have been unveiled and we’re pretty excited thus far. The 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s return and, according to Chevy representatives, have been “significantly revised.” This includes the company’s new—and industry-first—Dynamic Fuel Management, which has the ability to disable from one to seven cylinders in many combinations to optimize fuel economy.

GM also announced what we’ve been waiting years to hear; the 2019 Silverado will be available with a 3.0L I-6 Duramax diesel engine. No power figures were provided, but GM stated “we are confident that we’ll have best performing diesel in the segment.” While we can only speculate if they refereeing to power, economy, capability, or all of the above, we’re confident that it won’t disappoint.

Both the 3.0L I-6 diesel and 6.2L V-8 will be backed by the company’s new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. Both will also be equipped with auto start/stop in a further attempt to improve fuel economy.

What’s missing from the equation is the other three drivetrains, which will be announced at later dates. If we were to speculate, we’d guess a 3.6L V-6, the return of a hybrid powertrain, and likely the option of either the 8 or 10-speed automatic behind the 5.3L V-8.

Body and Bed

Every part of the 2019 Silverado was improved, and that extends to the body and pickup box as well. We’ll address the burning question first: Yes, aluminum body panels help contribute to the 450 pounds of weight savings. Exterior swing panels, which include the doors, hood, and tailgate, are shrouded in aluminum. Fixed panels are steel, with the safety cage that surrounds occupants being constructed of seven different grades of steel. This all combines for an additional 88 pounds of weight reduction.

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The Silverado’s bold new exterior design is also quite aerodynamic. Located in the front grille are air curtains, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro, which reduce drag by routing air around the front wheel wells. A new side profile also works to enhance aerodynamics, while an integrated spoiler at the rear of cab works to direct air onto the tailgate lip to reduce wind drag from the bed. These changes result in a 7-percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency.

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Silverado’s bed has also been improved for 2019. Remaining is a roll-formed steel load floor, now built with a higher grade of steel for increased strength. The number of fixed tie down locations increases to 12, in addition to nine moveable tie points. To allow for up to 20 percent more cargo volume, the bed floor has been widened by seven inches. Chevrolet Accessories will also offer storage boxes that mount in this additional space over the wheel wells, similar to Nissan’s Titan Boxes, which will provide nearly seven cubic feet of storage while still allowing a full sheet of plywood to fit in the bed.

One of the most interesting additions is that of a power lower and lift tailgate. Operated by the key fob, from inside the cab, or by button on the handle, the new tailgate has the ability to both open and close automatically.

Interior and Technology

The interior has been redesigned with feedback from customers as the driving force. As a result, crew cab models now have three inches of additional rear seat leg room, more interior storage space, and easier to use controls. Two new storage compartments are integrated into the rear seatbacks, holding 10 liters each. A new large storage tray is now found under the rear seats as well. We haven’t seen all of the trims in person as of yet, but we can say that the new interiors are classy, comfortable, and familiar. While new, the interior isn’t a grand departure from the current model.

Silverado was the first pickup to offer 4GLTE WiFi, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and wireless charging, so it’s only fitting that it continue to lead the way when it comes to technological advancement. While new safety and convenience features will be announced later this year, we’re hopeful for the arrival of adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and a 360-degree camera.

Trim Levels

For 2019 Silverado’s trim lineup has been expanded to eight distinct models. Split into three categories, the “High Value” group includes Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss. The “High Volume” set contains LT, RST, and LT Trail Boss. Rounding out the trims are the “High Feature” LTZ and High Country.

Work Truck features a “CHEVROLET” graphic across the grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim, and 17-inch steel wheels for maximum durability. The interior gets durable vinyl or cloth seats and 7-inch color touch screen.

Custom features a body-color styling theme, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, LED signature taillamps, and available integrated dual exhaust.

Custom Trailboss 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.

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 gets an 8-inch color touch screen and available leather seating surfaces

RST brings a street-performance appearance to the LT, with body-color trim, full LED lighting (foglamps, headlamps and taillamps), and up to 22-inch wheels with all-season tires.

LT Trailboss adds off-road equipment to the LT: 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.

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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-color accents plus chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. It also includes the power up/down tailgate as standard equipment.

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, we’ve had extremely high expectations for this new generation of Silverado. While the folks at Chevy are still working out some of the details and keeping cards close to the chest for now, what we’ve seen thus far has not disappointed. We’re not surprised by the strategic use of aluminum, and are intrigued by the new Duramax diesel engine. We are excited to continue learning what all is in store for this new pickup and can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

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