“If you ain’t first, you’re last,” the great fictitious race car driver Ricky Bobby once said. That fella certainly knew a thing or two about automobiles. When it comes to pickup trucks, speed may be far from the most important statistic on buyers’ minds. But this maxim that Ricky lived by rings true in another form: the race to stay current. Newfangled. Exciting. The Shiny King of America’s Truck Mountain. And with the all-new 2019 Silverado, Chevy looks to remain atop that pile of ever-evolving competition. Hell, it’s already been there for an entire century.
A Century Of Dependability
That’s right, 2018 rings in the 100th year of GM Trucks. Chevrolet has been at this game for a long time. But 10 full decades of experience is no reason to rest on one’s laurels, even for a time-tested favorite like the Silverado. With a redesigned Dodge Ram 1500 on the market, as well as a refreshed Nissan Titan, and significant updates to Ford’s world-beating F-150, modernization is the name of the game. And Chevy has done all it can to keep up with the changing times, while remaining true to what the iconic bow tie badge means to so many. When it comes to today’s trucks, if you ain’t new, you’re old.
Debuting amid much fanfare at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, there’s a lot of newness to absorb on this Silverado. The front fascia and slim LED headlights, for example grab attention with an aggressive design, a complete reinterpretation from last year. Not just for looks, the grille is framed by an air curtain borrowed from the 6th generation Camaro to improve aerodynamics.
Bigger, Better, Faster, More
Chevy managed to pull off an impressive trick: making the Silverado larger AND somehow lighter than 2018’s offering. Chevy utilizes aluminum for the bed and the body work to shed weight. The redesigned, fully boxed frame weighs in 88 pounds lighter than last year’s. Overall, comparing the most popular trim package (a V-8 quad cab), the 2019 Silverado is down about 450 pounds. This is all done while expanding the wheelbase by nearly four inches, and standing 1.5 inches taller. A steeper windshield and innovative roof spoiler improve aerodynamics substantially. And no matter what cab configuration, a new stamping technique allows the steel bed a full 7 inches of extra width. The power tailgate and larger, built-in rear step are just a few of the bells and whistles causing pickup lovers to take notice. Just wait until Fab Fours gets their hands on this truck!
Some Long Awaited Diesel Power
All this excitement isn’t just about changes in appearance, either. Under the hood, the Silverado offers a total of six different powertrain combinations. Among them are redesigns of Chevrolet’s 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s. Gas gauge-conscious drivers will love the new Dynamic Fuel Management system, allowing the shutdown of anywhere from one to 7 cylinders as needed.
But perhaps more than anything, excitement is at a fever pitch for the long awaited diesel option. The significance of this is not lost on Tim Herrick, the Executive Chief Engineer of the 2019 Chevy Silverado. The fact that there would be a diesel option available clearly factored in to the truck’s brand new look. “We had to make sure we wrapped the architecture around that piece of it,” Herrick says, “to fit it in.” Specifically, the diesel engine is a 3.0-liter turbo Duramax inline-6 cylinder. Although official specs regarding power aren’t yet available, Chevy expects it to outperform it’s competitors. No small feat, since this includes the new F-150 Powerstroke. A new 10-speed automatic transmission is planned for the 6.2-liter and the diesel, and both will feature stop/start technology.
Roomy and Useful
The interior of the Silverado offers some familiarity to the Chevy faithful, but with plenty of new features to raise excitement. First, the aforementioned upgrade in size adds more legroom (particularly to the backseat) and headroom to the cab. Even the base models have GM’s beloved infotainment system with at least a 7-inch screen. Always known for top-notch connectivity, the Silverado boasts available 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are onboard as well. And creative use of every inch of cab space makes for some interesting storage. Look out for useful compartments beneath the center seat/console, and even some built directly into the rear seatbacks.
Plenty Of Silverados to Choose From
With eight different trim packages available, it seems there is a Silverado for everyone. From the utilitarian-yet-still-well-equipped Work Truck trim and the LT, to the popular RST and the luxurious comfort of the High Country, no one should feel left out of the excitement surrounding the new Silverado. The exact price will be revealed in a few months, but most experts expect a mild increase from 2018. Bigger, yet lighter. More room. More options. Even more power. The Silverado isn’t just changing for change’s sake. It is Evolving. In the most Darwinian sense of the word.