Chevy Silverado swings first blow in pickup wars

The new 2019 Chevy Silverado will chase Ford’s top-selling F-150 for the sales crown in the hotly-contested truck segment

The new 2019 Chevy Silverado will chase Ford’s top-selling F-150 for the sales crown in the hotly-contested truck segment

The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most important vehicles that General Motors makes so it comes as little surprise the company made a decision to unveil the truck at the North American International Auto Show.

The Silverado is the second-best selling vehicle in the US and is outsold only by Ford's F-Series pickups. The new look is more truck-like than today's and features several variants within the 8 trim levels, including high-end material finishes.

Chevy already gave us a quick look at the all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 at its 100 year celebration last month in Texas, but now we have all the official details about the all-new Silverado.

GM says its new truck is up to 450 pounds lighter than the current model. One in every seven vehicles sold past year was a full-size pickup. The new Silverado, which goes on sale this fall, slims down by using GM's expertise in melding different metals.

Passengers will be surrounded by a safety cage made of various steels, while the body is made of aluminum and steel.

The weight saving extends to the Silverado's fully boxed steel frame which is also 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor despite boasting a 10 percent increase in torsional rigidity.

Alan Batey, GM's head of North America, said Chevy will offer eight different configurations of the truck from basic work models to well-equipped off-road and luxury versions so they can be personalized. But what engines will the new Silverado use and what other models will be offered?

"Truck customers told us they want the flawless truck for them and not a "one size fits most" truck", said GM design boss Mike Simcoe. The 6.2-liter and diesel come paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission that's shared with Ford. This includes new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on immediate needs to optimize fuel economy.

The truck also has 21 fixed and moveable tie-down points to secure cargo, and a power tailgate is available. Where Ford's 700-pound aluminum diet brought it even with the current-generation Chevy pickup, the 2019 Silverado should once again claim class-lightweight status with 450 pounds of weight reduction. Chevy didn't mention any horsepower or torque figures but did hint that its diesel would not be overshadowed by any other light-duty diesel (like, say, Ford's new Power Stroke V6) in terms of output. The corner steps on either side of the rear bumper have been enlarged to accommodate steel-toed work boots.

The company said it used customer feedback to redo the interior, with more comfortable seats, more interior cargo space and added legroom for front and rear passengers.

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