04-11-18

Silverado

By Jil McIntosh, Driving.ca - In the world of truck advertising, torque and towing are kings.  It's an all-out war and there are some pretty impressive numbers out there, but there's more to a truck than just pound-feet and how much it can pull.

Those biggest numbers belong to the heavy-duty trucks - three-quarter-ton (2500/250) and one-ton (3500/350) - and I had the Chevrolet Silverado 2500.  The heavy-duty Silverado models, and their mechanically-identical GMC Sierra siblings, start with a 6.0-litre V8 gasoline engine making 360 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque.

My chariot carried the optional Duramax 6.6-L V8 turbodiesel engine, which ups the ante to 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque.  It's not a cheap upgrade; the engine is an additional $10,430 and it hooks exclusively to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission, priced separately at $1,445.  The Silverado 2500 starts at $42,070 for the Regular Cab 4x2 in Work Truck trim, while my Crew Cab 4x4 LTZ tester began at $63,065 with gas engine.

Adding the optional diesel engine and transmission, along with such options as a Midnight Edition black-out accent package, power sunroof and Z71 off-road package, brought it to $80,005 before freight and taxes.  In a nutshell, trucks ain't cheap anymore.

An all-new Silverado 1500 half-ton is coming for 2019, completely redone from the tires up.  The new heavy-duty versions usually lag at least a year or two behind, so expect the current-generation 2500 and 3500 to hang in for a while.

The Silverado's 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque slots in between archrivals Ford F-250, with a 6.7L Power Stroke diesel that makes 450 hp and 935 lb-ft of torque, and the Ram 2500, with a 6.7-L Cummins engine that cranks out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.  That's about it for your choices in this segment.  Toyota doesn't make a heavy-duty Tundra, while Nissan offers the Titan XD, a truck it says bridges the gap between half- and three-quarter-ton models, and with an available 5.0 L Cummins that makes 555 lb-ft of torque.

As for towing, turn off the TV when the oversized numbers start rolling up.  Tow ratings are a complicated science, and whenever an automaker promises you'll be able to haul an apartment building off its foundation, that's the very top number for specific truck configurations with a specific type of hitch.  It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Buy the truck that best matches your trailer.

I recently towed and hauled with all of the Detroit Three heavy-duty trucks in back-to-back testing, and all of them get the job done without fuss, but I give the nod ahead to the Chevy.  That Duramax-Allison combination is a match made in heaven; acceleration is smooth and linear with a heavy load, and braking is confidence inspiring.  The Silverado's exhaust brake sound is nowhere near as much fun as the Ram's booming hey-good-buddy-we-got-a-convoy blatt, but it does a good job of slowing everything down on deceleration.

All of these big trucks are meant to look intimidating, and the Silverado plays the part with its huge domed hood and squared-off styling (beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but I think the GMC Sierra is better looking).  At the back, GM uses a simple step into the bumper ends that's absolutely brilliant: Put your foot in, grab the handhold in the box side, and pull yourself up (and you need it, because trucks these days are needlessly oversized).  Ford gives you a tailgate-mounted step that works well, but requires you to pull it out and set it up, while Ram offers nothing more than a sliver of rubber-topped bumper when the tailgate's down, and I'm terrified that my toe will slip and my knee will slam into the edge on my way down.

Still, not everything on the Chevy seems as smart as its step.  The front bumper is cut out to provide airflow for the intercooler, but without a protective mesh over it, it looks vulnerable to stones and debris.  Meanwhile, the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank sits lot under the passenger-side rocker, waiting for a driver to bump over a tall curb.  The stock mirrors are also too small for the truck's size.  Why make a fuss over what it can pull, and then expect customers to pay $450 for optional towing mirrors?

The interior is a nice place to be, and the Silverado features supportive seats, a roomy second row with fold-up seats for extra storage, large centre storage console, and controls that are easy to use, even when you're wearing gloves.  And unfortunately you are likely to have them on in this truck.  While it sounds like a needless luxury, heated steering wheels are the new gotta-have-it feature, especially on a truck where the idea, at least in theory, involves some work outdoors in the cold.  The top-trim High Country has one, but not this LTZ tester, and it's a glaring omission on something that costs 80 grand.

Heavy-duty diesels are seldom an impulse buy, but if it's your first one, remember that in addition to the engine's initial stiff cost, it's also more expensive to service.  So ignore the big numbers in the ads and instead consider your needs, and buy appropriately.

Overview: Chevrolet's entry in the tow-and-torque wars

Pros: Impressive engine and transmission combination, simple box step, nice interior

Cons: A few missing items, considering its trim level

Value for money: Good

What I would change: Give it bigger mirrors

How I would spec it: LT trim; it is one step below, but still lots of stuff

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10-11-17

CHEVY CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF ICONIC TRUCK DESIGN

Iconic Chevy

By General Motors, Dallas - One hundred years ago, Chevrolet introduced the 1918 One-Ton, setting the stage for a century of iconic trucks.  To commemorate this milestone, the brand is looking back on 10 of the most iconic designs in Chevy truck history.

While Chevrolet truck design has changed radically over the past 100 years, one thing has always been true: Form has followed function as the trucks evolved to meet the customers' changing needs.

"Today, the Chevrolet truck design studio is focused on purposeful design that creates personality and customization options for a wide breadth of truck customers," said Rich Scheer, director of Exterior Design for Chevy Trucks.  "Looking back on the past century of truck design, I realized that Chevrolet designers have been focused on the same goals since the very beginning."

Here are 10 of the most iconic Chevy trucks in the past 100 years, along with a design perspective for each from Scheer:

  • 1918 One-Ton: The first production truck from Chevrolet was inspired by vehicles used in plants to move parts and pieces from place to place.  In the simplest terms, this is an example of form follows function.  It was a rolling chassis featuring an open cab, an inline four-cylinder engine and an open frame allowing customers to install the body that fit their unique needs.  One striking design element is the beautiful badge, which was clearly a designed element of this truck.  The front, the proportions and the dark blue, almost black color make a very sophisticated bowtie, even by today's standards.

1929 International1929 International Series LD: The 1929 was the first Chevrolet truck to feature a closed cab, which created the potential for what we know as interior design today.  As with all designs, once the functional elements were defined, more comfort- and style-focused features started to become important for truck buyers.  It's amazing how fast they went from the purpose-built 1918 truck to a more styled, closed-cab truck.  This is also the time when we started to introduce color.  The color combinations on Chevrolet cars and trucks from this period are something I still love today.

19381938 Half-Ton: This was the first truck designed in the newly formed Art and Colour department, which was later to be known as Design Center, by Harley Earl and his team.  (Earl became GM's first design chief.)   This year also saw the designs of cars and trucks deviate, as Design realized the need for trucks to have their own identity.  As such, it is arguably the first example of Design's influence on trucks.  The proportions really evolved from the earlier designs, creating a lower and longer truck with a styled grille and elegant, swept fenders.

19471947 3100 Series: This is one of the most iconic designs in automotive history.  If you mention a vintage Chevy truck, I think almost everyone will picture this model in their mind.  It was such a departure, advertisers coined the phrase "Advance Design," because it was bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before.  The five-bar horizontal grille is a departure from vertical grilles of the past and was the very beginning of what became a signature of Chevrolet truck design.  You can see that the fenders are more integrated and the lamps are on the wide part of the vehicle instead of inboard, giving it a wider, stronger presence.  The result is a very handsome design with great proportions.

19551955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier: Known as the Task Force truck, the Cameo Carrier is Chevy's first Fleetside design.  The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, making for one complete, elegant shape from front to back.  It was also Chevrolet's first bumper-to-bumper styled truck, as styling didn't stop at the back of the cab.  During this time, styling became a selling point for cars, inspiring more focus on design for trucks as well.  This was definitely the heyday of American automotive styling and ornamentation.

19671967 C10 Fleetside: This is the first truck that I really fell in love with.  It's a beautiful, sleek design with a hint of wheel flare.  I also really appreciate the line that flows away from the top of the bed line and the beautiful balance with the front of the vehicle.  This is a feature that can easily go wrong, but the designers of the time did it so right.  The body side has a strong shoulder that tapers toward the rear.  The Chevrolet bar on the front fascia connects the headlamp center with the bowtie - a design element that is still consistent today.  This time period is also when metallic paint was introduced, which highlighted the subtleties and body lines that weren't as obvious before.

19731973 C30 One-Ton Dually: This third-generation C/k square-body truck was the first crew cab dually to market, and many consider it to be the first modern Heavy Duty Truck.  The design reflects a dramatic increase in capability for customers who used their trucks for both work and recreation.  It is simple, tough and purposeful, similar to the earliest Chevrolet trucks.

 

19881988 C/K 1500: The C/K 1500 was the first truck design influenced by aerodynamics.  This generation had great design reach, meaning it looked very advanced for its time.  That is especially true for the new interior design, with a low instrument panel, pod-like setup and even buttons that looked futuristic.  This truck still looks modern and sophisticated 40 years later.

1999 Silverad1999o 1500 LT Z71: This was the first generation that used the Silverado nameplate.  It also introduced many of the modern design elements that customers associate with current Chevy truck design, especially the iconic Chevrolet front end.

 

 

20072007 Silverado 1500: The 2007 Silverado is simple, modern and powerful, featuring exaggerated wheel flares and a clean body side.  It's another evolution for Chevrolet trucks in creating their own identity on the road, with distinctive front and rear ends.  This truck brought back the "tough truck" look and feel, even though it was still heavily influenced by aerodynamics.

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10-02-17

CHEVY HONOURS TRUCK CENTENNIAL WITH 100-DAY CELEBRATION

CATEGORIES »

Truck Centennial

Customers encouraged to join celebration with Special Edition Silverado and Colorado, an event at Texas Motor Speedway and more

By General Motors, Dallas - Model year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first production Chevrolet truck.  A century and more than 85 million trucks later, Chevrolet has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.  To celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial, the brand is honoring the owners who have made Chevy Trucks a part of their lives for the past century with a 100-day celebration featuring two new Special Edition trucks, the national rollout of the Truck Legends customer loyalty program and more.

"The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us, and is equally important to our customers," said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks Advertising and Marketing director.  "That's why we will be celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks over the course of the next 100 days.  It's important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment."

Chevrolet kicked off the Centennial Celebration today at the State Fair of Texas, where the brand announced four ways customers can celebrate the Chevy Truck Centennial:

  • New 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Special Editions
  • National rollout of the Chevy Trucks Legends program
  • Branded merchandise featuring Chevy heritage bowtie
  • Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration on December 16, 2017

From the beginning, Chevrolet Trucks has focused on making the best possible vehicle to meet every customer's needs.  After building specialized trucks to serve its factory, Chevrolet introduced its first trucks to customers in 1918.  They included the half-ton Light Delivery and the 1918 One-Ton truck.  Both were offered with an open chassis behind the windshield that allowed customers to choose between purchasing or building a specialized body for their vocation.

A century later, customer choice continues to drive Chevy Trucks.  Chevrolet is still the only manufacturer to offer customers a three-truck portfolio - featuring the Colorado, Silverado and Silverado HD - and a full line of special editions, giving customers more options for the perfect truck to fit their needs and personal style.

2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions

The latest additions to the Chevrolet Trucks portfolio of special editions, the 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions feature design elements inspired by Chevy Trucks throughout history, including a distinctive Centennial Blue paint colour and exclusive heritage bowtie emblems and 100 year badges inspired by colours and design cues found on early Chevrolet Trucks.

"The Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions are a result of collaboration between Chevrolet Design, Engineering and Marketing, to commemorate the history of Chevy Trucks," said Rich Scheer, Chevrolet Trucks director of Exterior Design.  "Both vehicles offer our most enthusiastic fans a way to demonstrate their love for Chevy Trucks and celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial with us."

The Silverado Centennial Edition is available on the LTZ Z71 crew cab and the Colorado Centennial Edition is offered on Z71 crew and extended cab models.

Vehicle Highlights

Silverado

  • LTZ Z71 trim; Crew Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • 22" painted wheels with chrome inserts
  • 22" all-terrain tires
  • Chrome tow hooks
  • Chrome bowtie on steering wheel

Colorado

  • Z71 rim; Crew Cab and Extended Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • Body-Color rear bumper and front grille surround
  • LT Optional 18" wheels with monochromatic cap
  • Chrome tow hooks, belt molding, mirror caps and door handles

Connecting Truck Legends Nationwide

To connect with the most loyal Chevy Truck customers across the country, the brand is rolling out its Truck Legends program nationwide.  The program recognizes customers who own a Chevy Truck with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, or who have purchased or leased more than one new Chevy Truck in their lifetime.  Chevy Truck Legends was launched as a Texas-only pilot in September 2016 and grown to a community of more than 5,400 loyal Chevy Truck customers.

In addition to Truck Legends branded merchandise and access to an exclusive members-only online community, Chevrolet will periodically offer Truck Legends members once-in-a-lifetime experiences leveraging Chevrolet's partnerships.  These experiences could range from front-row seats at concerts, to attending sold-out Major League Baseball events, to getting a sneak peek at new Chevrolet models.

From Ball Caps to Bass Boats

In addition to the special edition Silverado and Colorado and the expansion of the Truck Legends program, Chevrolet is commemorating a century of trucks with a wide range of special merchandise featuring the heritage bowtie emblem highlighted on the Centennial models.  And for true enthusiasts, a special Centennial Edition bass boat will be offered by Phoenix Boats and a Centnnial Edition enclosed trailer will be available from inTech Trailers.  All merchandise is available at ChevyGearUSA.com.

The Phoenix boat and 24-foot inTech trailer, which is large enough to haul a car or other recreational toys, will be designed to complement the Centennial Blue paint and special edition badging.

Chevrolet has also built a customized 1967 C-10 show vehicle to commemorate the 100-year milestone.  It will be shown during the State Fair of Texas through October 22 and will be on display at the SEMA show in late October.

Chevy Trucks Centennial Event

The 100-day Centennial Celebration will conclude with a Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration event on Saturday, December 16 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The event will feature opportunities to experience the latest Chevrolet products, a chance to meet Chevrolet fans like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other exclusive experiences.

The event is free to attend but space is limited to invitation only.  Truck Legends members will be the first to receive more information on the celebration and invitations.

"This event is Chevrolet's way of thanking owners for putting their trust in Chevy Trucks for 100 years," said Piszar.  "We look forward to celebrating the past, present and future of Chevy Trucks with our customrs."

Fast Fact

The 1918 Chevrolet One-Ton truck was powered by a four-cylinder engine rated at 36 horsepower.  Its top speed was 25 mph.

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untitled

By Lesley Wimbush, Driving.ca - If you want to make a small fortune in horses, start with a big one, so the saying goes.

Most of the horse folks I know are completely obsessed with their four-legged charges to the exclusion of everything else.  Therefore, most of them regard everything in terms of how it will benefit them and their horses.

"Nice truck!"

"Is that yours?"

"You got the tow package on that things?" one asked.  "How much does it tow?"  As tested, this truck will tow up to 13,000 lbs.

"What kinda payload?  Can I put my ATV in it?"  "Yes, unless it weighs more than 2,500 lbs.

"What kind of fuel economy are you getting?"  I recorded numbers as low as 12 L/100 kilometres on the highway, all the way up to 19.7 with a bumper-pull trailer containing a single horse.

"What's it like to tow with?"  Well, unlike the heavy duty Ram, which has a handy rear air suspension, the Silverado doesn't lower to meet the trailer hookup, nor does it have automatic load leveling.  And hooking up isn't nearly as easy as it is with the Ford F-Series' camera technology.  And the Ford wins in trailer backing by a country mile.  But the Silverado boasts trailer sway control, engine braking with tow/haul mode, a trailer brake controller and proactive roll avoidance.

The turbodiesel produces 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque.  It's a measure of just how crazy the ongoing numbers war between heavy duty trucks has gotten that its output doesn't sound like that much.  With Ram boasting 900 lb-ft and Ford now offering an unbelievable 925, GM was getting left behind.  But it is rebounding quite nicely; when the 2017 Silverado HD arrives next year, its 6.6-L turbodiesel has been tweaked to put out 910 lb-ft, putting it squarely in the middle of the pack.

The current turbodiesel, however, is no slouch.  Despite the truck's immense size, it still manages to blast from zero to 100 km/h in about 7.4 seconds.  For big-truck lovers, the whistling sound of its turbo is quite compelling, although on a number of occasions we noticed a slight diesel smell at idle - unusual in modern trucks.

While the exterior of the 2016 truck carries over from last year, the interiors have received numerous upgrades, reflecting the changing expectations of pickup owners.  Aside from all the plus leather, there are heated and ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel - oh bliss! - plus power adjustable pedals, 4G Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

There are connection points everywhere throughout the cabin, with four auxiliary jacks, a 110-volt outlet, six USB ports and a wireless smartphone charging pad.  You could work from a Chevy truck if you had to.  I once did.

The centre console is more like carry-on luggage and is voluminous enough to hide by laptop and camera bags.  The huge glovebox boasts double doors, and there are map pockets and cubbies everywhere.  Despite its concession to upgraded technology, the Silverado's engineers were still smart enough to leave the controls ergonomically simple; those big round knobs are easy to operate when wearing work gloves.

The optional rubber floor mats ($165 and installed at the dealer) are another favourite feature.  Even the best run stables are inherently messy, and it's impossible not to track manure, straw and dirt back with you.  Carpet is disastrous in such a truck but these mats hose down easily.

This truck's optional Z71 off-road package also gave it stiffer shocks and more underbody protection for heavy brush or forest roads.  As for the bed, this one featured a rugged spray-in bedliner to protect it while carrying dirty loads or heavy equipment.  Shorter folks like me will appreciate the bumper step.

The engine-braking feature of these big diesel trucks is a marvelous thing for those of us who deal with shifting loads prone to getting upset by jerky braking.  Using the engine to keep a smooth steady progress down a steep grade is not only safer, it also saves wear and tear on brake components.  All the extra technology and luxury features don't come cheap, however.  This Silverado had over $20,000 in options.  That's more than I paid for my first truck.

While it may not have had the attention-seeking factor of a Lamborghini, there's an immense feeling of satisfaction when driving such a capable vehicle.  The Silverado 2500 HD is a serious truck for serious truck owners.

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