In the pickup truck world, there’s a kind of battle going on. It’s a battle for a customer who’s willing to put down 50 large to bring home something that will pay for itself. While the volume may be in the world of 1500 or 150 Series light-duty pickups, for the farm it’s the heavy-duty truck that’s required.
And there, Ford and Ram have been upping the ante with more power and bigger engines. Chevy launched a new Silverado 1500 Series truck for the 2019 model year, and it’s following up with a new 2020 Silverado HD pickup.
The official launch is February 2019 (though we expect that the truck may be on the Chevy stand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this month). Ahead of that launch, the company has shared some images and some added information about the new truck. Here’s a look at what we know now. This is what Farm Progress gleaned from the information GM provided.
Noting that no two truck customers have the same needs, the company says there will be five distinct trim levels — Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ and the top-end High Country. This is in line with the expanded customer choices Chevy launched with the 1500 in 2018.
In a release touting the new HD trucks, Mike Simcoe, General Motors vice president, global design, noted that truck customers are very clear that they want the perfect truck for them, and a one-size-fits-most truck compromised for the masses. That insight shaped Chevy’s strategy for the next-generation Silverado franchise; it provides customers more differentiation between the Silverado 1500 and the Silverado HD, as well as more personalization and differentiation between individual trim levels.”
An example cited by the company is that each HD model will feature distinct exterior design details, including grilles featuring either the Chevrolet stamped bar or the “iconic” Chevrolet bowtie, and a mix of black, body color, chrome or two-tone metallic trim exclusive to High Country models.
Exterior, interior and power train
The new trucks will be built in GM’s Flint, Mich., facility, and the new design is differentiated from the 1500. According to GM, the new HD exterior shares only the roof with its medium-duty brother; every other piece of sheet metal is exclusive to the HD Series.
Added Brian Izard, lead exterior designer for Silverado HD: “We set out to make a statement with the 2020 Silverado HD, and wanted to visually capture the power and capability of the truck. The result is a truck that looks like a piece of heavy machinery with modern chiseled and customer-focused details.”
Inside the cab, buyers will see similar “architectural changes,” according to GM. These changes include 3 inches of added legroom in crew cab models and a taller seating position.
Under the hood of the 2020 Silverado HD will be a choice of two new power trains. For gasoline engine lovers, there is a new engine with direct injection mated to a six-speed transmission. For diesel buyers, the Duramax Turbo-Diesel V-8 will deliver 910 pound-feet of torque through an all-new Allison 10-speed transmission.
Other features teased include an all-new, customer-focused trailering technology; “significant” increases in towing and payload capabilities; and a host of technologies and features designed for heavy-duty truck customers.
The trailering technology will be of interest. Competitors Ford and Ram have been beefing up the tech involved in towing these days. That includes visual tools, enhanced roading tech and more. This is tech that includes the ability to “see” the trailer as you’re towing, and more. What GM will come up with remains to be seen.
In its release regarding its truck strategy, GM noted that since it introduced the three-truck approach in 2014 — midsize, light-duty and full-size heavy-duty — the company has been the best-selling truck manufacturer for four consecutive years. GM reported that it has sold more than 600,000 pickups than the closest manufacturer from 2014 through 2018.
This is an interesting comment. Note that the No. 1 selling vehicle in the U.S. remains the Ford F-150 medium-duty pickup truck, with more than 800,000 models. However, GM is adding up all truck sales in its latest boast. The battle continues.
The 2020 Silverado HD goes on sale in mid-2019. More details to follow.