DETROIT - The Silverado 1500, Chevrolet’s best-selling vehicle, is getting a complete redesign for 2019.
Chevrolet gave the world a closer look at its all-new full-size pick-up truck at a special media event in Detroit Saturday evening.
The all-new 2019 Silverado 1500 will be available with eight different trim packages, which Chevrolet managers say translates into a truck for every buyer. The trucks will range from the most basic “Work Truck” trim all the way up to the feature-rich “High Country” model.
Powering the trucks will be a 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine, or an all-new 3-liter inline 6-cylinder diesel engine. The 3-liter and 6.2-liter engines can be paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. In all, there will be six different engine and transmission combinations.
The V8 engine options will include a cylinder deactivation system that can go all the way down to just one cylinder of power under very light loads to improve fuel economy.
Under the skin, Chevrolet says the new truck uses advanced manufacturing techniques and new materials to reduce weight and improve overall performance. Among those materials are seven different grades of high-strength steel in the cab, and aluminum for the hood, doors and tailgate.
Other improvements include a steel frame that Chevy managers say is 88 pounds lighter than the previous version, but 10 percent stiffer. All those little changes add up to a truck that is up to 450 pounds lighter than the current model.
More improvements have been made to the truck’s aerodynamics. The shape of the front end has been improved to duct air around the tires, while the shape of the roof and the shape of the tailgate have been designed to move air smoothly over the bed. All of this results in a seven-percent improvement in aerodynamics, according to Chevrolet.
As for size, the truck is also bigger than the current version. Its wheelbase is nearly four inches longer, while the overall length is up 1.6 inches and height is up by about an inch. Chevrolet managers say the passenger volume has increased, and so has the cargo volume in the bed of the truck.
In that bed, customers can opt for a series of storage compartments over the wheel arches that, when installed, will still accommodate a full four-by-eight-foot sheet of plywood. There are also now 12 tie-down points, each capable of supporting up to 500 pounds -- twice as strong as those in the previous model.
There's even an optional power tailgate that can be operated from a button on the key fob, a button in the cab, or a button on the tailgate itself.
Inside, Chevy leaders say they focused on comfort, storage and easy-to-use controls. To that end, rear-seat legroom has increased three inches and new storage compartments are available in the rear seatbacks (yes, behind the cushion) and under the rear seats.
The Silverado is already available with in-vehicle wi-fi, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The company said it will announce even more improvements for the 2019 model later this year.
The Silverado is critical to Chevrolet’s business. The company sold more than 580,000 of the trucks in 2017, accounting for more than a quarter of Chevrolet’s sales. For comparison, GM sold more Silverados in 2017 than all the Buicks and Cadillacs combined for the year.
The 2019 truck was first shown at a centennial truck event in Dallas last month, marking 100 years of Chevrolet trucks. 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.
The Silverado shares a platform with the GMC Sierra and Chevy managers said more information about the updated version of that truck will be released later.