With Ford launching an all-aluminum F-150 next year, there is worry that General Motors “didn’t go far enough in terms of weight reduction and powertrain improvements” when it comes with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 full-size trucks. But according to a Reuters report, GM has a few innovations it will be periodically implementing in the new K2XX trucks as time goes on.
One supplier sourced tipped Reuters that a special aluminum-intensive version of the Silverado that could be up to 250 lbs lighter than what’s current, while returning 20-percent better fuel economy over what we already see. A 20-percent improvement over the 24 mpg highway rating from the 4.3L V6 EcoTec3 engine would be nearly 29 miles per gallon.
“We’re going to look at all the levers we can pull – materials, aerodynamics, powertrain – to continue to improve fuel efficiency, both on an interim basis and as we go to the next-generation trucks,” according to GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson, though he declined to discuss the automaker’s specific plans.
It’s been long-rumored, and expected that GM will implement eight-speed transmissions into the trucks, which will help increase mileage. There may also come a more extensive use of composite and other lightweight materials where possible.
That said, don’t expect an all-aluminum Silverado or Sierra in the near-future, as “GM can make some changes (in materials) when the Silverado and Sierra get a mid-cycle freshening, but GM may not be able to implement an extensive shift to aluminum until the next-generation trucks are ready toward the end of the decade,” according to Reuters sources.
GM’s new K2XX trucks are currently 250 to 400 pounds lighter than the outgoing GMT900 models.