Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
December 13, 2012
It has been close to seven years since General Motors introduced a new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra truck. It that time, GM has been to hell and back with bankruptcy, The bankruptcy brought with it delays to key products, most notably the trucks and SUVs. The competition during that time has moved the full-size truck yardstick by a mile with Ford's engine lineup in the F-Series and Ram introducing a wealth of fuel economy tricks and clever storage places.
GM has dropped the curtain on the new Silverado and Sierra today at an event in Detroit, bringing some much needed updates and changes to the trucks. Is it enough?
GM decided to go the safe and conservative route with the exterior design of the new trucks. Both models feature a number of enhancements to reduce drag and wind noise, flared-out front and rear fenders, front-hinged rear doors on the extended-cab models, and the choice of either a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot, six-inch bed.
The front ends of the two models are very much differentiated from the previous models. The Silverado's front end features a similar grille treatment as the current HD model and vertical headlights. Projector headlights are standard on the Silverado LTZ. The Sierra's front end takes some cues from the All-Terrain Concept with a large, square grille surround and unique set of headlights that on higher-end models feature LEDs.
Stepping inside, GM has made some drastic changes. Gone is the two dash layout from the current models and in its place is a very worktruck dash with a touchscreen infotainment featuring GM's MyLink/Intellilink. The dash features soft-touch or leather materials and real aluminum trim throughout. Its a nice place sit when compared to the current models, though I do wonder if the new Denali and 'High Country' (Silverado Luxury model) will have a different dash layout.
The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V8 wearing the EcoTec moniker. All three engines will feature direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation. GM didn't reveal any performance and fuel economy figures. The sole transmission will be a six-speed automatic. We're hearing an eight-speed will coming sometime later.
Underneath the skin, the suspension is made up of coil springs and struts in front with leaf springs in the rear. Steering comes in the form an electric power system. Other changes include new Duralife brakes which promise longer life and Auto Grade Braking which uses the engine and transmission to slow down the truck on a grade.
The new Silverado and Sierra brings GM to the point where the current F-Series and Ram pickups are. But there isn't that one killer feature that puts it ahead of the competition. Maybe they're hiding that feature that will revealed at a later time.
Authors Note: Cheers & Gears wants to thank General Motors for inviting us to check out the new Silverado and Sierra.