UPDATE: We've now driven the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup for the first time will offer a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine on the redesigned 2019 model that hits showrooms this fall. The 2.7-liter turbo inline-4-cylinder, which generates 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque over a range from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm, will become the standard engine on the Silverado LT and new Silverado RST—both expected to be high-volume models, replacing the current V6.

This new engine will provide more horsepower and 22 percent more torque over the base 4.3-liter V6 engine. And it’s expected to provide greater fuel economy, though officials would not provide estimates. The new 2.7-liter engine also features stop-start technology and GM’s Active Fuel Management technology or cylinder deactivation. It’s mated to an 8-speed auto transmission.

A Silverado with the new engine, which Chevy engineers say was designed specifically for a truck, is 380 pounds lighter than the current Silverado with a 4.3-liter V6. And it hits 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds. The 2019 Silverado will be available in a total of six engine and transmission combinations. The longer and roomier truck also comes in eight trims, including new Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss variants. “We’ve got a truck for everybody,” said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer for GM’s next-generation full-size trucks.

Dynamic Fuel Management

Chevy expects the bulk of Silverado pickups it sells will come with a V8 engine and the carmaker has upgraded both the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter variants. On the V8s, GM is debuting what it describes as an industry-first technology called Dynamic Fuel Management. The technology offers 17 modes of cylinder deactivation compared to two through its Active Fuel Management technology. The new system analyzes 80 times per second what the right number of cylinders are to use and makes the adjustments seamlessly.

“You use only the cylinders you need,” said Jordan Lee, chief engineer of Chevy’s small block truck engines. That means fuel savings, Lee said. But GM would not provide estimates as it awaits Environmental Protection Agency certification.

In testing, Chevy said its 2019 Silverado 2WD with a 5.3-liter V8 engine equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management operated using less than eight cylinders more than 60 percent of the time—9 percent more than an equivalent 2018 Silverado with the current cylinder deactivation system. An added bonus with Dynamic Fuel Management is the truck’s refinement with noise, vibration and harshness, Lee said.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

Three truck ranges

Chevrolet has grouped its 2019 Silverado trucks into High Value, High Volume and High Feature categories. The Silverado High Value, or base pickups, include the Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trail Boss. They will come standard with the 4.3-liter V6 (285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque), paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Also available for those trucks is a 5.3-liter V8 (355 horsepower/383 lb-ft of torque), mated to a 6-speed auto transmission.

The High Volume, or heart of the buying market for Silverado, includes the LT and new RST and LT Trail Boss models. LT Trail Boss comes standard with the updated 5.3-liter V8, which includes Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start technology. It’s mated to an 8-speed automatic. The upgraded 5.3-liter V8 and new Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel (available early next year) paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission will be available as options for LT and RST models.

The High Feature trucks include the LTZ and High Country trims and come standard with the updated 5.3-liter V8. An updated 6.2-liter V8 (420 horsepower/460 lb-ft of torque) equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management, Stop/Start tech and a 10-speed auto, is optional, as is the 3.0-liter diesel.

GM said its V6 engine represents slightly less than 10 percent of all Silverado sales and the automaker expects a similar take rate for the new 2.7-liter turbo, said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevy trucks. Piszar said GM will be ready to build more if there is demand. Silverado shoppers will first be able to buy a 2019 crew cab V8. Production will start in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, GM will begin making regular cab and double cab models, plus trucks with a V6 or 2.7-liter turbo engine. Chevy did not release towing/payload ratings for the engines or pricing for the new 2019 Silverados.

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