After a Decade's Absence, the Silverado's Going Big Again

after a decades absence the silverados going big again

An ill wind blew through Detroit late last decade, prompting all domestic automakers to shed excess weight in order to keep their heads above water. In some cases, automakers shaved off long-running brands like an unwanted hair. Models disappeared, while some prestige nameplates snapped up years earlier went out to the yard sale plastered in discount stickers.

A less flashy side of the recession-era cost-cutting involved the elimination of certain automotive niches. One, General Motors’ medium-duty truck line, failed to find a buyer before bankruptcy tipped GM’s hand. The unit didn’t make it out of the recession alive.

Well, now it’s back. GM has announced the Chevrolet Silverado line will no longer stop at the 3500HD model, and that our first full glimpse of the new medium-duty truck line will come in just two months.

The debut of the Silverado 4500HD and 5500HD chassis cabs will take place at this year’s Work Truck Show, held in Indianapolis in early March. The Class 4 and 5 trucks will arrive in a variety of configurations, all powered by Duramax diesel engines and Allison transmissions.

Regular and crew cab, two- and four-wheel drive, and a selection of GVWRs and wheelbases await potential buyers. “The Silverado 4500HD/5500HD trucks are the flagship of our full-line commercial truck portfolio and we’ve designed them to be among the best in the industry in maneuverability, serviceability, visibility, quietness and comfort, diesel fuel economy and more,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, General Motors Fleet.

GM claims the trucks aren’t based on existing trucks; rather, they’re a ground-up creation. Frequent partner Navistar International helped in the development. Included in the trucks’ content list is an “expanding suite” of connectivity options like OnStar and 4G LTE Wi-F, plus telematics for fleet monitoring purposes.

Exact specifications will have to wait until the March show, and production is scheduled to commence in Ohio late this year. One wonders if GM will stage a repeat of its Texas helicopter stunt with the largest of the Silverados.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
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