Chevrolet introduced the next-generation Silverado on January 13, exactly 100 years after the brand delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918. According to the company, the all-new Silverado sets the course for the next century of Chevy Trucks with the most functional bed of any full-size truck, weighs up to 450 pounds less for increased performance, and offers a broad range of trims and engine/transmission combinations to help each customer find their ideal truck.
"With the all-new Silverado, we've taken the best truck on the road and made it even better," said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 450 pounds lighter than the current model."
Larger, more functional and more capable bed
"Truck customers value capability and functionality above all else," said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of Full-Size Trucks. "Every truck – including the luxurious High Country – is a work truck with a job to do. As such, we set out to create the best tool for the job at hand, one that makes work more productive and more enjoyable, no matter how what they call ‘work.'''
To improve upon bed strength, the 2019 Silverado 1500 bed features:
• Best-in-class cargo volume: the company says that the 2019 Silverado offers the most cargo volume in every bed length, with the short-box offering 63 cubic feet of volume – up to 20 percent more than a competitor's short-box. Most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly seven inches. Chevrolet Accessories will offer storage bins that fit over the wheel wells, offering nearly seven cubic feet of lockable cargo space for short box-models, while easily accommodating a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood flat on the cargo floor.
• Higher-strength steel floor: As before, the Silverado has a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor. For 2019 a higher-grade steel is used, with yield strength increased from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure for optimal strength and mass.
• More and stronger tie-downs: Silverado now has 12 fixed tie-downs, and their strength has doubled to 500 pounds of force before bending. Silverado also has nine moveable tie points for even more cargo flexibility.
• More features: Silverado will be available with a class-exclusive power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand. Other changes include available task lighting, a 120-volt power outlet and larger cutouts in the class-exclusive CornerStep bumpers to better accommodate steel-toed boots.
Larger, lighter and more agile
The 2019 Silverado is larger than before, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9 inches (100 mm) longer and an overall length that is 1.6 inches (41 mm) longer, enabling both more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths. Remarkably, it's also lighter, weighing 450 pounds (204 kg) less than today's truck when comparing crew cab V-8 models.
The weight savings comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the next-gen truck. This allowed Chevrolet to use the right material for the application and optimize every component for mass, durability, safety and functionality to meet our customers' needs.
For example, the body is 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than before due to mixed materials use. All exterior swing panels (doors, hood and tailgate) are made of aluminum while fixed panels (fenders, roof and bed) are made of steel. The underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application.
The fully boxed steel frame is also 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. Eighty percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel varying from 2 to 5 millimetres in thickness, and every millimetre is optimized for performance using a variety of processes, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping and tailor-rolled blanking. As a result, frame sections, gauges, grades, processes and materials strategically vary to maximize strength, durability and stiffness without adding unnecessary mass.
Mixed materials also play a part in the all-new suspension. The front independent short/long arm suspension features new forged-aluminum upper control arms that are lighter and provide better wheel alignment than the stamped component they replace. The live-axle rear suspension is also redesigned, including new carbon-composite second-stage springs on LT models that save about 12 pounds (5 kg) per side over the steel springs they replaced.
The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations, giving customers more combinations of performance, efficiency and value to best fit their priorities. This includes new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on immediate needs to optimize fuel economy.
The Silverado will also be available with an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel.
Both the 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines are paired with a new Hydra-Matic10-speed automatic transmission as well as start/stop technology to improve fuel economy for optimum performance and efficiency.
No "one size fits most" trucks
"Truck customers told us they want the perfect truck for them and not a ‘one size fits most' truck, compromised for the masses," said Mike Simcoe, vice president, Global Design, General Motors. "That insight shaped our design strategy with eight distinct models, each with a unique personality to fit different customers, from the affordable Work Truck to the luxurious High Country."
All models introduce a modern, powerful design with a strong dose of Chevy Truck DNA. For example, the "CHEVROLET" name stamped on the tailgate recalls iconic Chevy trucks of the 1950s and ‘60s, while the integrated dual exhausts and up to 33-inch tires reflect modern customer preferences.
The Silverado's bold, modern design is also surprisingly aerodynamic. Key elements of the front grille are functional air curtains, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro, that reduce aerodynamic drag by routing air around the front wheel wells. The powerful side profile further enhances aerodynamics, including an integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab that directs air onto the tailgate lip, reducing wind drag from the bed. Changes like these result in a seven percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
The 2019 Silverado offers eight trims, designed for three distinct buyer profiles:
• "High Value" customers want the capability of a full-size truck at a great value.
• "High Volume" customers represent the heart of the truck market, requiring the capability of a full-size truck as well as the comforts of passenger vehicle.
• "High Feature" customers representing the fastest-growing part of the truck market, who want luxury-car refinement and appointments without sacrificing capability or durability.
The eight trims also reflect another key differentiator for truck buyers: chrome.
"Chrome has become more polarizing, and more personal, than any other aspect of truck design," said Rich Scheer, director, Exterior Design, Chevrolet Trucks. "Some customers want no chrome at all and only body-colour or blacked out trim. Others feel a truck isn't a truck without a chrome bumper, but feel extra chrome can be too ‘flashy.' Others want as much chrome as they can get."
Accordingly, the eight trims are tailored to give customers a wide range of features and levels of chrome, enabling customers to choose the best truck for their personal preferences.
More functional and more connected interiors
The interior design was also strongly influenced by customer feedback. Because truck owners use their vehicles for both hauling cargo and transporting people, customers' top priorities were more comfortable seating, more interior cargo storage and more functional, easy-to-use controls.
Accordingly, the cab has been stretched, with crew-cab models now offering three inches of additional rear-seat legroom for 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom.
New available storage options include two 10-litre bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks for holding small items like gloves or tie-down straps, as well as a large 24-litre storage tray under the second-row seat that can secure everything from litres of milk to fishing rods and tackle boxes.
Every surface has been designed for function and ergonomics, from the rotary knob textures to the infotainment screen angle. Even the luxurious High Country is subjected to stringent durability tests, including 100,000 seat-slide tests.