the north face hedgehog iii 2019 Chevy Silverado promises to be GM’s next
General Motors commemorated 100 years of truckmaking history with a glimpse of its future: a redesigned 2019 Chevy Silverado that it hopes will upend the pickup market and help position it for the next century.
The surprise reveal which included a Sikorsky helicopter flying the vehicle into the Texas Motor Speedway during an anniversary celebration for Chevy loyalists was big on showmanship but light on details about the truck. Those will come next month, at the pickup’s official debut ahead of the Detroit auto show. sales crown for full size pickups.
“Think of this as an all new truck 100 years in the making,” Alan Batey, GM’s president of North America, said at the Dec. 16 event. “The next generation Silverado is poised to change, really change, the face of trucks again.”
The Silverado and its sibling, the GMC Sierra, are expected to go into production around the beginning of the fourth quarter next year. GM reportedly is spending nearly $3 billion to retool factories in Michigan, Indiana and Mexico for the upgraded trucks.
“We’re looking at a major future proofing of the pickup truck,” said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific. “This is the biggest program they’ve ever done. I think this truck gets them through the next two, three generations of pickups.”
Industry analysts were anticipating a big splash from GM this time around, after a previous redesign that was muted in styling changes and modest in innovation, especially compared with Ford’s groundbreaking shift to an aluminum body for its F 150 in pursuit of lighter weight and better fuel economy.
Chevrolet didn’t specify how much steel and aluminum is used on the 2019 truck. However, it’s expected to be a mix of both and other light weight components as part of GM’s strategy to use “the right materials in the right place.”
GM said changes in engineering and materials will result in “a significant reduction in total weight.”
“The mixed metal is going to be a lot bigger of a deal, but the consumer will not know,” said Sullivan, who expects the vehicle’s weight to drop by about 400 pounds. “They’ve done a lot to increase the efficiency of this truck.”
The 2018 model has a curb weight between roughly 4,700 and 5,300 pounds, depending on the configuration. That compares with 4,000 to 5,000 pounds for the F 150 (excluding the off road Raptor) and 4,517 to 5,670 pounds for the Ram 1500.
Batey said the pickup will have “a stronger, roll formed steel alloy for the bed and floor, contributing to a cargo box that is both lighter and even more functional than ever before.”
GM also is expected to eventually offer a bed that uses carbon fiber to reduce weight further.
GM says the Silverado (and likely the Sierra) will be available in more trim lines, with expanded powertrain options and functionality, for the 2019 model year.
The model that descended in Texas was the , one of eight 2019 Silverado models planned.
“We are truly committed to building a truck for every customer,” Batey said.
The Trailboss trim integrates the off road equipment of the Z71 package as well as a 2 inch suspension lift. Unlike aftermarket lift kits, the Trailboss suspension is fully tested, validated and warrantied by Chevrolet.
As for powertrains, GM currently offers three engine options a 4.3 liter V 6, 5.3 liter V 8 and 6.2 liter V 8 compared with Ford’s five offerings, including three turbocharged engines. GM is expected to increase its engine offerings, however, it has not released details.
“GM is going all in, putting all their chips in, on engine technology,” Sullivan said.
The next generation pickups are expected to use braking by wire to reduce mechanical parts and have a new 10 speed automatic transmission that GM co developed with Ford, which already is using the technology on the F 150.
The pickups also will feature new axles. In January, GM announced it was bringing axle production in house for its next generation full size pickups likely signaling significant advancements in those parts.
The 2019 Silverado features a sleeker, more aggressive exterior that’s noticeably different from the more rectilinear outgoing version.
“It has to look remarkably different to signal this truck is all new and is going to get them into the future,” Sullivan said.
The cab has a slight slope in the roofline similar to GM’s midsize pickups, probably to aid aerodynamics and fuel economy.
The rectangular grille on the truck features two large horizontal bars, compared with one on the current generation pickup, that run into headlamp stacks that include prominent, boomerang daytime running lights.
“It clearly is an effort to give the vehicle some really distinctive identity,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book. “What I see is an effort to try and create a trademark.”
In recent years, GM has worked to differentiate the Silverado from the more premium Sierra. Spy photos of the new generation indicate distinct front fascias for the two nameplates. But the bodies appear mostly the same, with differences in the rear.
GM says the improvements to the next generation pickup reflect feedback from more than 7,000 consumers the most customer research in the company’s history.
“We spend a ton of time listening to our customers, doing market research and taking that feedback and rolling it into the vehicle,” said Eric Stanczak, GM’s chief engineer for full size trucks. “If we are limited in terms of what we can update on the current architecture, we’re almost always putting those new features the customers asked for, or that new capability, or that improvement into the next generation.”