DETROIT—After a dramatic “sneak peek” unveiling last month at the Chevrolet Trucks 100th Anniversary celebration in Texas, Chevrolet officially introduced the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado in conjunction with the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The all-new Silverado is lighter, longer, and taller than the current model; offers new technology and convenience features; and gains an all-new available 3.0-liter Duramax diesel 6-cylinder engine.
Chevrolet says the 2019 Silverado is up to 450 pounds lighter than the current model, thanks to mixed-materials construction that includes forged aluminum front-suspension control arms; increased use of higher-grade high-strength steel; and aluminum hood, doors, and tailgate. The fully boxed frame is 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor, but offers 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. All fixed body panels—the fenders, roof, and bed—are steel. Chevrolet continues to tout the Silverado’s steel bed as a competitive advantage over the Ford F-150’s aluminum bed. During the Silverado’s press conference, General Motors Executive Vice President likened the “essential-tool” status of a pickup’s bed to a hammer, and then quipped, “I don’t think you’d get much work done with an aluminum hammer.”
The Silverado’s proportions change a bit with the redesign; it’s up to 3.9 inches longer in wheelbase and 1.5 inches longer overall than the outgoing model. The cabin is a bit taller for better interior room as well as a raised seating position. Exterior design highlights include exhaust tips integrated into the rear bumper, larger rear-bumper corner steps to accommodate large work boots, and aerodynamic enhancements such as a tuned roof spoiler and front-fascia air ducts. Lockable storage bins over the rear wheel wells, a 120-volt power outlet and LED task lighting for the pickup bed, hidden storage compartments built into the rear seats, and a power tailgate (that can be operated via the key fob) are newly available features.
Chevrolet says the new Silverado will offer six different engine/transmission combos, but didn’t give specific fuel-economy/horsepower details. The previous 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s are significantly revised for better performance and fuel economy, and are now paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. They will feature fuel-saving start/stop technology and a new Dynamic Fuel Management system that shuts off from one to seven cylinders in a variety of combinations to optimize fuel efficiency. Based on the published outputs of rival diesel engines, Chevy says it’s confident that the new 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline six will top its class competition in performance and economy.
The Silverado model lineup will be especially broad, to satisfy a wide variety of customers. The roster ascends through Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trailboss, LT, RST, LT Trailboss, LTZ, and luxurious High Country models. The off-road-focused Trailboss and street-performance-look RST models are new additions.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be built at GM’s Fort Wayne, Indiana Assembly Plant, and is slated to begin arriving in dealerships this fall.
With full-size pickup sales perennially topping the charts, the redesign of the Chevrolet Silverado (and the similar GMC Sierra, which will be revealed in the near future) is tremendously important for GM. We’ll have a better idea of how well Chevrolet has succeeded once we see horsepower/fuel-economy/payload/towing-capacity numbers, but the 2019 Silverado clearly offers an impressive list of thoughtful features and a notably enhanced powertrain lineup. We’re also impressed with how Chevrolet has planned for a wide range of models with distinct looks and features that should please shoppers with different wants, needs, and budgets. We’ve sensed some unease among journalists and the general public about the 2019 Silverado’s styling, but we suspect that customers will warm to it quickly.