At that event, the assembled Chevy faithful got their first glimpse of the truck that will kick off the next 100 years of Chevy pickup engineering when it was delivered by a huge helicopter. The new look was well-received, but offered no more than a glimpse. Here in Detroit, the 2019 Silverado is on full display.
The revamped look, as many readers have already seen, is flatter, with stretched lights that round the corners front and back. The body is four inches longer than the previous generation, and aerodynamics are improved, with those changes reflected in the sheet metal.
But the bulk of what’s new is found underneath and inside this truck. Many of its parts and panels are now built out of aluminum, though not the cargo bed, which is still steel. This mixed-materials approach makes for a stronger chassis and a total weight reduction of more than 200 kg, Chevy says, and also plays a part in the all-new suspension. The front independent setup features forged-aluminum upper control arms that are lighter and provide better wheel alignment. The rear live axle also uses new carbon-composite second-stage steel springs that save 5.5 kg of weight on each side.
The cargo bed on the new Silverado received a great deal of attention from engineers, and the result is a new inner sidewall-stamping method that led to best-in-class cargo volume of nearly 1,800 litres (63 cubic feet, and that’s on a short-box truck). Bed width has increased by seven inches, and Chevy now offers optional removable storage bins. Tie-down points have been increased to 21, each with a 227-kg capacity. The bed also gets available task lighting, a 120-volt in-box outlet, and bigger cutouts for the CornerStep bumpers. The tailgate can also be ordered with a power up/down feature operated by either a key fob or an interior switch.
The 2019 Silverado will also offer more powertrain combinations than ever before, including its first-ever diesel engine. The all-new turbo-charged Duramax diesel displaces 3.0L and uses an inline six-cylinder design. Gas engines include the veteran 5.3L and 6.2L V8s, with two other engines yet to be announced. Chevy did, however, reveal a new cylinder deactivation system called Dynamic Fuel Management. Unlike current and past versions, this system will be able to deactivate any combination of one to seven cylinders as needed. Both the 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines will use a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission and start/stop technology to improve fuel economy.
In the past two years Chevrolet has rolled out one “special edition” truck after another, but this revamp has spawned a more permanent set of models. As Chevy says, “No one size fits all.” So in addition to the expected interior upgrades that come with eight different trim levels, the Silverado will now be available with or without chrome, with several different grilles, optional blacked-out trim, and unique paint and wheel packages.
Inside, the crew cab gets an additional three inches of rear-seat legroom, and storage is increased with unique in-seat trays and a flatter rear floor. GM was the first company to offer in-car Wi-Fi and will continue to do so, as well as Apple Car Play, Android Auto, wireless phone charging, and OnStar. New safety and convenience features for the 2019 Silverado will be announced later this year.
Chevrolet is enjoying its moment in the spotlight right now, but GMC fans can expect to see the Sierra get its own update later in the year.