While a few pertinent details remain "TBD," Chevrolet confirmed that anyone needing a pickup with serious trailer towing or payload toting capabilities will have something to look forward to this summer, when its all-new 2011 Silverado Heavy Duty pickup line rolls into showrooms.
Although they might not appear all that different -- save for a power-dome hood, revised grille and new full-width chrome bumpers, you could mistake them for their 2010 counterparts -- virtually everything beneath the skin on these new Chevy HD haulers is new and improved with the goal of making them more capable, comfortable, durable and fuel efficient while providing an even greater feeling of control in all operating modes. Story continues beneath the video.
Available in multiple cab, bed, drivetrain and wheelbase configurations, the 2011 Silverado 2500HD (3/4-ton) and 3500HD (one-ton) pickups ride on an all-new and significantly stronger chassis complemented by a fully redesigned suspension. This enhanced foundation ups the real-world work potential of all variants and will let a Silverado in maxi-mode pull a 20,000-pound fifth-wheel trailer or carry a 6,335-pound payload, both projected best-in-segment figures. To further complement the stouter underpinnings, a full range of electronic assists from StabiliTrak, Hill Start Assist and Trailer sway control to larger, quicker responding anti-lock brakes and an available rear-view camera.
Although Chevy has yet to release output numbers on either the Silverado's revamped 6.0 Vortec gasoline V8 or the new-gen 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, it has gone on record as saying both are expected to offer increased performance and class-leading fuel efficiency with even lower emissions. The biggest changes are found in the latter, which will be the engine of choice for most Silverado HD buyers. Smoother, quieter, stronger, cleaner and now capable of using B20 as well as B5 biodiesel, this latest iteration Duramax engine is paired with an equally improved version of the rugged Allison 1000 six-speed automatic. Design enhancements allow it to transmit more of the engine's power to the wheels while enabling the Silverado's new "smart" exhaust brake system that can use the transmission to automatically and effectively slow the truck down on descents, an ability that helps prevent brake overheating and can extend pad life.
While bred for work, the new 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD lineup also offers plenty features designed to make dealing with even the biggest jobs a bit more palatable. Highlighting that people-centric roster are items like mobile WiFi, USB/Bluetooth connectivity, OnStar 9.0, XM Satellite Radio and a navigation system. Like engine output numbers, Chevy doesn't plan to release Silverado HD pricing until closer to its on-sale date.