Chevrolet Silverado debuts at Detroit Auto Show

Kristopher Nichols
January 17, 2018

General Motors Co. shares rose on Tuesday after the company said 2018 earnings will be largely flat compared with 2017 and forecast higher profit in 2019 when its revamped line of high-margin pickup trucks hits the US market.

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will go on sale in the second half of 2018. Initially, the floor of the bed will be made of a roll-formed, high-strength steel. The maximum bed width has been increased by as much as 7 inches.

More features: Silverado will be available with a power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand.

Silverado's most attractive feature may simply be that it, along with Fiat Chrysler's new Ram, reminds us that our hearts will always respond to the emotional tug and utilitarian heft we draw from these Clydesdales of mobility. The bed is wider than the current truck and made of a higher-strength steel alloy.

The mixed material construction is adopted for different parts throughout the body of the truck. The underlying safety cage blends seven grades of steel alloys. The Ram frame is nearly entirely lightweight, high-strength steel, and its tailgate and other bits are aluminum.

There's independent short/long front arm suspension, together a live axle auto suspension with composite second-stage springs on select models, a light-weighting approach borrowed from the Corvette.

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How much is the 2019 Silverado? The truck is available with three powertrains for 2019 - either a 5.3 or 6.2-litre V8, and a 3.0-litre Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. The system replaces the alternator with a motor and a 48-volt battery pack, which can shut down the truck at stop lights to save fuel and boost acceleration. It will accompany the 6.2L V-8 and utilize GM's 10-speed automatic transmission first seen in the Camaro ZL1. Overall, the 2019 Chevy Silverado will offer six engine and transmission choices. "With this new Chevrolet Virtual Dynamics Lab experience, we are offering consumers the opportunity to be immersed in our rigorous testing processes and to better understand the capability built into our lineup of vehicles". The truck's side profile is aerodynamically enhanced too. Channels in the cab roof move air smoothly over the surface and a rear-cab lip gives the air one last bump so it doesn't get caught at the bed's tailgate. All of this results in a seven-percent improvement in aerodynamics, according to Chevrolet.

The interior design was also strongly influenced by customer feedback. "Even the luxurious High Country is subjected to stringent durability tests, including 100,000 seat-slide tests to make sure the supple seats meet the expectations of our toughest owners", GM claimed in their announcement.

A new larger cab with higher front seats and nicer materials were a big priority for Chevy. Inside, there'll be Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging for your smartphone, and the option of 4G LTE with a WiFi hotspot. That all remains for 2019.

Chevrolet introduced the latest model of best-selling Silverado pickup truck Saturday evening, January 13 to kick off the North American International Auto Show from Detroit's Eastern Market. Production will begin at Fort Wayne, Indiana Assembly this fall.

All Silverado 1500s will have the Chevrolet name stamped on the tailgate, while some of the trim levels will have the classic bow tie in front and others will have the name Chevrolet boldly scrolled across a center bar through the grille.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

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