Exactly 100 years after the Chevrolet delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918, the company introduced the next-generation Silverado. The all-new 2019 Silverado sets the course for the next century of Chevy trucks. The truck features a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, while weighing 450 fewer pounds than the current model.
In The Bed
The truck bed, however, is the defining trait of the new Silverado, according to Chevrolet. The bed features:
- Increased cargo volume—Most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly 7 inches. Chevrolet Accessories will offer storage bins that fit over the wheel wells, offering nearly 7 cubic feet of lockable cargo space for short-box models, while easily accommodating a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood flat on the cargo floor
- Higher-strength steel floor: The Silverado still has a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor. For 2019 a higher-grade steel is used, with yield strength increased from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure for optimal strength and mass
- More and stronger tie-downs: Silverado now has 12 fixed tie-downs, and their strength has doubled to 500 pounds of force before bending. Silverado also has nine moveable tie points for even more cargo flexibility
- The truck will come available with a power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand. Other changes include available task lighting, a 120-volt power outlet and larger cutouts in the class-exclusive CornerStep bumpers to better accommodate steel-toed boots
Larger & Lighter
The 2019 Silverado is larger than before, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9-inches longer and an overall length that is 1.6-inches longer, enabling both more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths. It’s also lighter, weighing 450 pounds less than the 2018 truck when comparing crew cab V-8 models.
The weight savings comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the truck, according to Chevrolet. The body is 88 pounds 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 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.
Mixed materials also play a part in the all-new suspension. The front independent short/long arm suspension features new forged-aluminum upper control arms that are lighter and provide better wheel alignment than the stamped component they replace. The live-axle rear suspension is also redesigned, including new carbon-composite second-stage springs on LT models that save about 12 pounds per side over the steel springs they replace.
Under The Hood
The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations, including the new 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s with 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 result of is instant power when called for, according to Chevrolet.
The Silverado also will be available with an all-new Duramax 3-liter inline-six turbo-diesel. Both the 3-liter diesel and 6.2-liter engines are paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission as well as start/stop technology to improve fuel economy for optimum performance and efficiency.
Eight Distinct Models
The 2019 Silverado will be available in eight distinct models, “each with a unique personality to fit different customers, from the affordable work truck to the luxurious high country,” said Mike Simcoe, vice president of global design for General Motors.
Aerodynamics were of course taken into consideration during the new Silverado’s development. Key elements of the front grille are front functional air curtains, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro, that reduce aerodynamic drag by routing air around the front wheel wells.
The side profile further enhances aerodynamics, including 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 a 7-percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency, according to Chevrolet.
The eight trims for the 2019 Silverado are designed for three distinct buyer profiles:
- High Value customers who want the capability of a full-size truck at a great value
- High Volume customers who 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
- High Feature customers, who represent the fastest-growing part of the truck market and want luxury-car refinement and appointments without sacrificing capability or durability
The eight trims also reflect 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 of exterior design for 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.
Interior: Functional and Connected
The interior design was strongly influenced by customer feedback. Because truck owners use their vehicles for both hauling cargo and transporting people, customers’ top priorities were more comfortable seating, more interior cargo storage and more functional, easy-to-use controls, according to Chevrolet.
Accordingly, the cab has been stretched, with crew-cab models now offering 3-inches of additional rear-seat legroom for 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom.
New available storage options include two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks for holding small items like gloves or tie-down straps, as well as 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.
Every surface has been designed for function and ergonomics, from the rotary knob textures to the infotainment screen angle. The High Country, for example, is subjected to stringent durability tests, including 100,000 seat-slide tests to make sure the supple seats meet the expectations of our toughest owners, according to Chevrolet.
The Silverado will continue to offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and OnStar safety and other security features.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be on display at the North American International Auto Show through Jan. 28 in Detroit. Production of the 2019 Silverado will begin at the Fort Wayne, Indiana Assembly plant, with customer deliveries beginning this fall.
All The Trim Levels
- Work Truck features CHEVROLET graphic across the grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim and 17-inch steel wheels for maximum durability. The interior features durable vinyl or cloth seats and 7-inch color touch screen
- Custom features a body-color styling theme, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, LED signature taillamps and available integrated dual exhaust
- Custom Trailboss (new for 2019) adds off-road equipment to the Custom, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package with a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.
- LT features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille and mirror caps, Chevrolet bowtie in the grille, LED reflector headlamps and signature daytime running lights. The interior features an 8-inch color touch screen and available leather seating surfaces
- RST (new for 2019) brings a street-performance appearance to the LT, with body-color trim, full LED lighting (foglamps, headlamps and taillamps) and up to 22-inch wheels with all-season tires
- LT Trailboss (new for 2019) adds off-road equipment to the LT, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package, including locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.
- LTZ features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille, mirror caps, door handles and hockey-stick beltline as well as power folding and heated outside rearview mirrors. Leather interior trim is standard equipment
- High Country features an exclusive front grille design with two-tone chrome and bronze finish, body-color accents plus chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. It also includes the power up/down tailgate as standard equipment.