Chevrolet Silverado: lighter, stronger, and smarter


General Motors unveiled its redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck in advance of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Saturday.

The Silverado is the second-best selling vehicle in the USA and is outsold only by Ford's F-Series pickups. Officials at GM didn't disclose power or fuel economy figures but said the diesel engine would be among the tops of its class, which includes Ram, Ford, and Nissan.

Big pickup truck sales rose nearly 6 percent past year to almost 2.4 million, even though total USA auto sales dropped 2 percent.

The V8 engines are equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management, a new technology that shuts off anywhere between one and seven cylinders - depending on the vehicle's load and speed - to increase fuel efficiency.

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The all-new 2019 Silverado High Country interior features more passenger room, more storage space and more functionality - all the things that customers were clear they want. The new Silverado, which goes on sale this fall, slims down by using GM's expertise in melding different metals. Chevy used seven different grades of steel around the passenger compartment, for strength, while the swing panels - the doors, hood, and tailgate - are aluminum for lighter weight.

There's a fully boxed steel frame, which is now 88 pounds lighter than in the old truck, despite offering 10-percent greater torsional rigidity. Aluminum parts in the suspension and other areas make up the rest of the weight loss. GM wouldn't say if any other engines would be offered, including a V6 gas engine that's now available.

The Silverado will also be available with an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel. The 3.0-liter V-6 diesel is an immediate answer to Ford's announcement earlier this week that it will offer a diesel in its light-duty pickup for the first time. Away from the fighting talk, there's a 63 cubic feet short box, while there are lockable storage bins over the wheel arches. The two major changes to next year's models are the 3.0 liter Duramax diesel engine and the prolific use of aluminium for hinged components that brings down the weight by nearly 450 pounds.

The 2019 Silverado will be available with a power operating rear tailgate that can open and close with the push of a button on the vehicle's key fob. Engines include a turbocharged 3.0-liter Duramax diesel six-cylinder and revised versions of the familiar 5.3-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8. Cutouts in the bumper that let drivers step into the bed are larger to accommodate steel-toe boots. At that reveal, Chevrolet said they gathered feedback from 7,000 people when designing the new truck, which the company says is the most research it has ever done ahead of a new model.