Chevrolet has finally announced all the details on the all-new 2019 Silverado 1500 at Eastern Market ahead of the Detroit auto show.
“With the all-new Silverado, we’ve taken the best truck on the road and made it even better,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 450 pounds lighter than the current model.”
- 450 pounds lighter than the outgoing model thanks to mixed-material construction
- Frame-rail chassis and pickup bed remain steel while the hood, doors and tailgate are made form aluminum
- Roll-formed (not stamped) high-strength bed with:
- The biggest box in its segment – width is up by seven inches, length is up one inch over the current model
- More bed tie-downs for a total of 12
- Roll-formed (not stamped) high-strength bed with:
- Updated powertrain lineup:
- Engines: the 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8 get updated with what appears to be Dynamic Skip Fire technology aka Dynamic Fuel-Management, which can shut off up to 7 cylinders, depending on need
- 3.0L Inline-6 Duramax turbo-diesel engine developed in-house
- Transmission: Ford-GM 10-speed automatic transmission will be coupled to the 6.2L V-8 gasoline engine and the 3.0L I-6 turbo-diesel
- Interesting feature: segment-first power tailgate that can be opened or closed by key fob, a button in the cabin or by hand
- Interior has more interior legroom (3 inches more in the back seat of the Crew Cab)
- Three new trim levels:
- Custom Trail Boss
- RST (Rally Sport Truck), like on the Tahoe RST
- LT Trail Boss (the one we saw back in Texas) with a blacked-out grille, two-inch suspension lift and Z71 off-road package, with a locking rear differential, skid plates and all-terrain tires
- Availability: will begin production at the GM Fort Wayne plant in Indiana and go on sale in the fall of 2018
Larger Yet Lighter
The fourth-generation, 2019 Silverado 1500 is larger than the previous generation: the wheelbase is up to 3.9 inches (100 mm) longer while the overall length is 1.6 inches (41 mm) longer. This enables the truck to have more cargo volume as well as more interior room for all cab lengths. Typically, increases in vehicle size are accompanied by similar increases in weight, but that’s not the case for 2019 Silverado, as the truck is also lighter – weighing 450 pounds (204 kg) less than the K2 Silverado (when comparing Crew Cab V-8 models).
The weight savings is the result of extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout truck. Rather than using a single material for the entire truck like Ford, Chevrolet carefully selected materials, optimizing every component for mass, durability, safety and functionality to meet customers’ needs.
For example, the body is 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than before due to mixed materials use. All exterior swing panels (doors, hood and tailgate) are made of aluminum, while fixed panels (fenders, roof and bed) are made of steel. The underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application.
The fully boxed steel frame is also 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. Eighty percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel varying from 2 to 5 millimeters in thickness, and every millimeter is optimized for performance using a variety of processes, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping and tailor-rolled blanking. As a result, frame sections, gauges, grades, processes and materials strategically vary to maximize strength, durability and stiffness without adding unnecessary mass.
“We know there is more than one element in the periodic table,” said Silverado Chief Engineer Tim Herrick, obviously taking a jab at Ford’s all-aluminum approach.
Mixed materials also play a part in the all-new suspension of the 2019 Silverado 1500.
Up front, the new Chevy truck features independent short/long arm suspension, like before. But what’s new this time around are forged-aluminum upper control arms in place of stamped components of the K2 Silverado. The forged-aluminum units are not only lighter, but also provide better wheel alignment.
At the rear, the Silverado’s live-axle rear suspension is redesigned and includes new carbon-composite second-stage springs on LT models, saving about 12 pounds (5 kg) per side over the steel springs they replace.
The 2019 Silverado 1500 will be available with six engine/transmission combinations. Chevy announced three of these today. Let’s start with the updated 5.3L V-8 and 6.2L V-8 gasoline motors.
“Our competition has downsized and boosted their engines,” said executive chief engineer of Full-Size Trucks, Tim Herrick. “Our V-8 is an iconic engine for us, and we have made it even better.”
The 5.3L and 6.2L V-8 engines have been revised and now feature Dynamic Fuel Management, which takes GM’s Active Fuel Management (aka Cylinder Deactivation) technology to another level by actively shutting off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on immediate needs to optimize fuel economy. The industry-first technology is instant power when called for, along with impressive efficiency.
Chevrolet also confirmed that the 2019 Silverado 1500 will also be available with an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel. Unfortunately, no further details about the engine were provided at this time.
Both the 3.0L I-6 diesel and 6.2L V-8 engines will be mated to a the GM Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. They will also be equipped with start/stop technology to improve fuel economy for optimum performance and efficiency.
No other powertrain details were announced, so we don’t know what the base engine will be, or whether or not there will be a boosted option.
The bed is the defining trait of every pickup, and bed construction has long been a strength of Chevy Trucks. To that end, Chevrolet made several improvements to the bed of the 2019 Silverado 1500, including growing the bed, increasing the strength of the bed floor, and adding more features.
For starters, it expanded the bed’s volume by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly seven inches. The result is best-in-class cargo volume in every bed length, with the short box offering 63 cubic feet of volume – up to 20 percent more than a short-box on a competing pickup truck.
Chevrolet will also offering storage bins that fit over the wheel wells, offering nearly seven cubic feet of lockable cargo space for short-box models, while also easily accommodating a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood flat on the cargo floor. These storage bins will be offered as accessories.
Instead of switching to a material like aluminum for the bed, Chevrolet doubled down on steel for its bed floor. In fact, the 2019 Silverado has a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor. Compared to the outgoing model, the 2019 Silverado’s bed floor is made from a higher-grade steel, with yield strength increasing from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure for optimal strength and mass.
The 2019 Silverado also features more tie-downs for a total of 12. Their strength has doubled to 500 pounds of force before bending. In addition, the Silverado has nine moveable tie points for even more cargo flexibility.
The Silverado will also introduce a class-exclusive power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand.
Finally, the 2019 Silverado’s bed also includes available task lighting, a 120-volt power outlet and larger cutouts in the class-exclusive CornerStep bumpers, an improvement made in order to better accommodate steel-toed boots.
The result of the improvements is simple: class-leading cargo volume and class-exclusive features for the most functional bed of any full-size truck, and more convenient hauling for cargo of virtually any size or shape.
The 2019 Silverado is immediately distinguishable by a completely new exterior design that is sleeker, more modern and more aggressive. Gone is the boxy look of the K2 model and in its place is a much more sculpted body. Narrower headlights and door-mounted mirrors are tell-tale features of the all-new model.
In its extensive interviews totaling 7,000 customers, Chevrolet learned that buyers vary in the kind of truck they want.
“Truck customers told us they want the perfect truck for them and not a ‘one size fits most’ truck, compromised for the masses,” said Mike Simcoe, vice president, Global Design, General Motors. “That insight shaped our design strategy with eight distinct models, each with a unique personality to fit different customers, from the affordable Work Truck to the luxurious High Country.”
The 2019 Silverado introduces a modern and powerful design that relies heavy on Chevy Truck DNA. For example, the “CHEVROLET” name stamped on the tailgate is a nod to iconic Chevy trucks of the 1950s and ’60s. The integrated dual exhausts and up to 33-inch tires, meanwhile, reflect preferences of today’s truck customers.
But the new Silverado’s modern and bold design isn’t all about form. In fact, it’s also surprisingly aerodynamic.
A key element of the front grille are front functional air curtains that reduce aerodynamic drag by routing air around the front wheel wells, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro.
The powerful side profile is also aerodynamically inclined, as it includes an integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab that directs air onto the tailgate lip, reducing wind drag from the bed. Changes like these result in an increase of aerodynamic efficiency of seven percent.
Other notable design elements of the 2019 Silverado’s exterior include Chevy’s signature dual-port grille (sometimes known as the “sandwhich grille”) split horizontally and anchored by the Chevy bow-tie logo and an interesting integration between the cab and bed, where the latter “indents” into the cab.
The 2019 Silverado features an all-new interior that Chevy says was “strongly influenced by customer feedback”. Because truck owners use their vehicles for both hauling cargo and transporting people, Chevrolet identified the following areas of improvements: more comfortable seating, more interior cargo storage and more functional, easy-to-use controls.
As such, the cab has been stretched, with crew-cab models now offering 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom for an impressive 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom.
The demand for more interior storage is addressed by two 10-liter bins integrated in the seatbacks of the second row, perfect for holding small items like gloves or tie-down straps. There’s also a large 24-liter storage tray under the second-row seat that can secure everything from gallons of milk to fishing rods and tackle boxes.
The rear seat finally gets HVAC vents, meaning that second-row passengers don’t have to suffer in hot or cold climates.
Other details include the addition of push-button start and keyless entry, a step-assist handle on the driver’s side A-pillar as a factory option, a redesigned gauge cluster and redesigned cruise and infotainment controls on the steering wheel. Contrary to previous rumors the column-mounted shifter remains, as does the dual glove box in front of the forward passenger.
Chevy says that every surface in the new Silverado has been designed for function and ergonomics, from the rotary knob textures to the infotainment screen angle.
The 2019 Silverado 1500 doesn’t dissapoint from a technology standpoint, either. It was the first pickup truck to offer 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as wireless phone charging, advanced smartphone integration systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and OnStar safety and security features. For 2019, the truck continues to lead by adding new active safety and convenience features that Chevy will announce later this year.
“Truck customers told us they depend on their trucks for much more than just transportation,” said Herrick. “Many use their trucks to earn a paycheck, or to do what they enjoy most when they’re off the clock. Given how important trucks are to our customers, we set a lofty goal for exceeding the dependability and longevity of the current Silverado.”
To accomplish that goal, engineers doubled various key validation metrics for the next-gen Silverado, thereby making it the most tested vehicle GM has ever produced. Part of those tests involves racking up a staggering seven million miles of real-world testing before the first Silverado is delivered to customers.
“Truck customers value capability and functionality above all else,” said Herrick. “Every truck — including the luxurious High Country — is a work truck with a job to do. As such, we set out to create the best tool for the job at hand, one that makes work more productive and more enjoyable, no matter what they call ‘work’.’’
Even the luxurious High Country is subjected to stringent durability tests, including 100,000 seat-slide tests to make sure the flagship model’s supple seats meet the expectations of our toughest owners.
Models & Trim Levels
Chevrolet identified three distinct customer profiles that it will serve with the 2019 Silverado 1500, including High Value, High Volume and High Feature.
“High Value” customers want the capability of a full-size truck at a great value. For these buyers, the 2019 Silverado will be offered in Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trailboss trim levels.
“High Volume” customers represent the heart of the truck market and require the capability of a full-size truck as well as the creature comforts of a passenger vehicle. They are served with LT, RST (Rally Sport Truck) and LT Trailboss trims.
“High Feature” customers want luxury-car refinement and appointments without sacrificing capability or durability. This subset is the fastest-growing part of the truck market and is served with LTZ and High Country trims.
In all, the 2019 Silverado 1500 will be offered in eight different trim levels.
The eight trim levels also take into account another key differentiator for truck buyers: chrome.
“Chrome has become more polarizing, and more personal, than any other aspect of truck design,” said Rich Scheer, director, Exterior Design, Chevrolet Trucks. “Some customers want no chrome at all and only body-color or blacked-out trim. Others feel a truck isn’t a truck without a chrome bumper, but feel extra chrome can be too ‘flashy.’ Others want as much chrome as they can get.”
Accordingly, the eight trims are tailored to give customers a wide range of features and levels of chrome, enabling customers to choose the best truck for their personal preferences.
Availability & Production
Production of the 2019 Silverado will begin at the GM Fort Wayne, Indiana Assembly plant, which has been ranked the highest-quality plant in North America by J.D. Power and Associates. Silverado Crew Cab models will be made at the GM Silao plant in Mexico. Chevy says that customer deliveries will begin in the fall of 2018 across the United States.