Chevrolet took the wraps off its 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Saturday, putting a jolt into its centennial truck celebration at the Texas Motor Speedway and previewing what’s in store at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
For now, we’re treated to three images that make for a mouth-watering look at the new 2019 Silverado LT Trail Boss. It’s a new model that adds the off-road equipment of the Z71 package with a Chevrolet-certified 2-inch lift kit. While that sounds pretty “boss,” the real news here is the Silverado in general, and speculation about how it stacks up with the competition.
This much we know: Chevrolet will offer eight Silverado models, and will expand powertrain options. Possibly, the same will go for the new 2019 GMC Sierra – though that will undoubtedly feature a different front end, along with brand and buyer-driven differences.
Except for the LT Trail Boss, there’s no word on what the lineup will be, or powertrain specifics, aside from reports of a 10-speed automatic transmission. Truck shoppers can probably assume that the Silverado will get more efficient to better compete with Ford’s twin-turbocharged V6 powertrains, likely cresting a 25-mpg highway fuel economy rating, depending on specification.
Chevy “Light” Steel
In the movie Zoolander, male supermodel and part-time merman Derek Zoolander creates the unforgettable and pouty “Blue Steel” look. It’s his special claim to fame, a differentiator to all the other models on the catwalk.
Chevy doesn’t plan for any pouting (depending on sales), but it does intend to trumpet its use of “high-tensile steel” as a differentiating factor to the F-150. Officials say the Silverado will feature a mix of aluminum and steel to drop weight in the name of efficiency, yet compete with Ram and F-150 on strength claims.
As far as styling is concerned, make no mistake about it: The new Silverado Trail Boss is stacked, stylish, and slender.
Chiseled sides and a strong, upright and blackened grille give it a modern and granite-like appearance, but it’s less blocky compared to the current Silverado. For 2019, the cab roof shows a definite swooping line, and wheel arches extrude out much less than the 2018 model, with a more rounded appearance. The front end (for this trim) loses some chrome and better integrates into the grille, with smaller LED headlights.
Investment in the truck war
Surprising performances in Texas, long before the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, underlined what is at stake for General Motors: Silverado is a sales and manufacturing center for automobile makers.
In fact, analysts say this is probably the most important update made by GM, enough so that the company spends huge expenses to upgrade the Silverado and Sierra factories. This is an investment expected by carmakers to spur the sale of Silverado and Sierra in a growing and popular segment and fight the competition nonstop.
For now, the best-selling Ford F-150 is revised for 2018 and maintains its sales advantage, while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is ready to launch the next Ram 1500 at NAIAS in Detroit in January, which is held right next door to Chevrolet’s headquarters in Motor City.