The 2019 Chevy Silverado debuted in Detroit, Michigan, 100 years after the automaker began producing trucks in January of 1918. Chevrolet expanded the range of engines and transmissions, and cut weight to increase overall performance. The 2019 Silverado was subjected to GM’s most rigorous engineering metrics in history. The Silverado team essentially doubled their validation targets and logged seven million miles of real-world testing.
Despite rumors of aluminum and carbon fiber, the 2019 Silverado retains its roll-formed, high-strength steel bed. Yield strength increases from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure through the use of higher grades of steel; the tie-down hooks now handle 500 lbs. of force. At the moment, the 2019 Silverado offers best-in-class cargo volume, with even the short-box offering up 63 cubic feet of space.
The bed floor was widened by seven inches and the wheelbase extended by 3.9 inches to increase cargo capacity. For easier access to said cargo, an available power up/down tailgate can be operated with the key fob or via a button in the cab.
Light & Tight
The 2019 Chevy Silverado is 450 lbs. lighter when compared to the current generation Silverado with a V8. Weight reduction and strength increases were achieved through “mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes,” according to Chevrolet. That strategy is demonstrated most noticeably in the truck’s body, frame, and suspension.
The actual body is 88 lbs. lighter. The doors, hood, and tailgate are made from aluminum while the fenders, roof, and bed utilize high-strength steel. The underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel. Going further underneath, the fully boxed steel frame is also 88 lbs. lighter but offers a 10 percent increase in torsional rigidity. 80 percent of the frame consists of high-strength steel, varying from two to five millimeters in thickness, depending on location. Hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping, and tailor-rolled blanking are all performed during manufacturing, according to Chevrolet.
The front independent short/long arm suspension has lighter forged-aluminum upper control arms. Chevrolet notes this change provides better wheel alignment than the stamped components they replace. The live-axle rear suspension is also redesigned, including new carbon-composite, second-stage springs on LT models that cut about 12 lbs. (per side) over the steel springs they replace.
Power & Performance
Duramax fans are likely jumping for joy right now! The 2019 Chevy Silverado has an option for an all-new Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six. Revised versions of GM’s evergreen 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines with Dynamic Fuel Management are on offer. The system replaces Active Fuel Management and differs in the sense it can shut off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, to boost performance and efficiency.
Both the Duramax and 6.2-liter are paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. Overall, the 2019 Chevy Silverado will offer six engine and transmission choices.
The new Silverado borrows from its performance car stablemates, particularly the sixth-generation Camaro. The front grille, for example, includes functional air curtains that move air around the front wheel wells to reduce aerodynamic drag. The truck’s side profile is aerodynamically enhanced too. An integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab moves air onto the tailgate lip, reducing wind drag from the bed.
Changes like these result in a seven percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency, according to Chevrolet.
The interior was strongly influenced by customer feedback, since truck buyers spend a lot of time in the cab. The focus was on developing a comfortable and functional interior, with easy-to-use controls. Right off the bat, the cab was stretched to increase interior space; crew cabs now have three additional inches of rear-seat legroom. Overall, the 2019 Chevy Silverado has 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom.
The interior was then subjected to 100,000 seat-slide tests to ensure the surfaces remain supple and supportive. Two new 10-liter storage bins were added for the second-row seatbacks, and a larger, 24-liter storage tray was fitted under the rear seat.
The Silverado was the first pickup to offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging, and various OnStar safety and security features. That all remains for 2019.
Inspiration & Lineage
The 2019 Chevy Silverado takes its inspiration from its ancestors, particularly the Advance Design trucks following World War II and the C/K series of the 1960s. According to Chevrolet, those trucks set the standard for pickup design in their eras, and are some of the most coveted vintage trucks on the market today. Elements from the late 1940s are actually seen throughout the current Silverado, especially in the front.
Designers examined Chevy’s history and concluded trucks during that time were impossible to miss with their defined horizontal elements and sweeping grille bars.
Production & In Person
Assembly of crew cab V8s will begin in the third quarter, with double and regular cab models joining in the fourth quarter. Production of the 4.3-liter V6 and 2.7-liter Turbo are also scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter, with the Duramax being available in early 2019.
When it arrives, the 2019 Chevy Silverado will have eight different trim levels, including an off-road-oriented Trailboss.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.