All new under the skin for 2011, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups are being treated to a major revamping that complements a new sense of style with even greater capability and refinement. Revealed today at the State Fair of Texas, this wide-ranging recast brings a sleeker exterior and more user-friendly cabin design along with a bump in their maximum hauling and towing stats.
Available in WT (Work Truck), LT and LTZ trims as well as regular cab, crew cab or a new double-cab configuration that replaces the previous extended cab plus 8-foot or 6.5-foot (crew cab only) beds, the 2015 Silverado HD lineup will offer buyers more than 150 unique body, box and powertrain configurations. Like their lighter-duty Silverado 1500 siblings that were totally remade for 2014, the new 2500/3500 HD trucks feature bolder but more aerodynamic exterior treatments and all-new sheetmetal that includes a far greater use of high-strength steel in the cab structure. All cabs now feature inlaid doors with triple seals and tighter panel gaps to help reduce wind noise and drag while the redrawn front clip features a unique power dome hood, bolder chrome-embellished grille designs and air larger intakes. Beyond adding a bit more contemporary flair, the new look incorporates elements that do a better job of keeping the engine and underhood area cooler to help boost operating efficiency and keep these workhorses at peak performance levels even under the hottest ambient temperatures.
That same attention to detail can be found in the redesigned beds that now gain a convenient CornerStep bumper and built-in hand assists to ease access. In addition to a variety of optional cargo-management aids, the Silverado HDs also will offer spray-in bedliners, under-rail LED auxiliary lighting and an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate. Rear seat access on all stretch variants also has been improved, with front-hinged rear doors on the double-cab and longer rear doors on the crew cab.
Not surprisingly, the cabin design on the 2015 Silverado HD line is a near clone of the look and feel introduced on the 2014 Silverado 1500. Highlighting the mix are an upright dash with a 6-guage cluster, logical control layouts, finger-friendly knobs/switchgear, upper/lower gloveboxes and a bounty of stow spaces plus new seats that are more comfortable and afford nearly two inches of additional rear legroom on crew cab models. All but the base WT also come with Chevrolet MyLink connectivity and OnStar while offering a variety of upgrades that range from leather upholstery to primo audio and rear-seat video systems. These new HD pickups also will be available with segment-exclusive safety features including Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning with GM's Active Safety Seat, and Front and Rear Park Assist.
When it comes to serious towing and hauling duties, the 2015 Silverado 2500/3500 HD pickups do an even better job of leveraging their potential than the trucks they replace. Each continues to be underpinned by a stout frame with fully-boxed rails and offer specific suspension tuning in both regular and dually configurations. However, all models - including the dually variants -- now feature StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and have better integration of the cruise control and Auto Grade Braking (or Diesel Exhaust Brake) to help maintain more consistent speeds and lessen wear on the brakes while towing in hilly terrain.
Standard engine in both Silverado HD models remains the well-proven 6.0-liter Vortec V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Capable of using regular gasoline or E85, it still can be upfitted with a bi-fuel option that allows it to run on CNG (compressed natural gas) and is backed by a 6-speed automatic in both rear-drive and 4-wheel drive models. For ultimate capability, the familiar 6.6-liter Cummins Duramax turbodiesel that develops 397 horses but 765 lb-ft of torque also carries as an option, paired with its own Allison 1000 6-speed automatic that features tap up/down shifting and a Tow/Haul mode. Although engine output figures haven't changed, the improved cooling capability of these new HD models does contribute to significant increases in other key numbers compared to their 2014 counterparts. Maximum payload rises from 7,222 to a best-in-class 7,373 pounds while the maximum conventional towing figure rises from 18,000 to 19,600 pounds, also a best-in-class figure. Finally, the maximum fifth-wheel tow spec rises from 22,500 to 23,200 pounds.
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD pickups are set to arrive in dealer showrooms during the first quarter of 2014. Pricing and other packaging details will be released closer to their actual on-sale date.
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