2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD - Longer, Taller, Grille-ier, and There's a New V8, Too

Adam Tonge
by Adam Tonge
2020 chevrolet silverado hd longer taller grille ier and theres a new v8 too

2019 is quickly turning into The Year of the HD Truck. FCA debuted its all-new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty at last month’s North American International Auto Show; Ford teased its refreshed 2020 SuperDuty in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Not to be outdone, Chevrolet debuted its all new 2020 Silverado HD at the Flint Assembly plant yesterday morning. This is the third all-new Silverado to debut in 18 months, and one that aims to be King of Truck Mountain.

Chevy says the 2020 Silverado HD is the most capable Silverado HD ever. But if it wasn’t, why would they even bother?

Some of the highlights of the new model include a comprehensive towing technology suite, two new powertrains, a new Allison transmission, a larger cab, and a stronger, all new frame.

Let’s start with the new exterior. The 2020 Silverado HD is longer, wider, and taller than the current Silverado HD, and features the most differentiation from the light duty Silverado in the model’s history. The roof is the only piece of sheet metal shared between the two trucks. Every other piece is HD exclusive. Crew cab Silverado HDs gain over five inches in wheelbase and 10 inches in total length. That puts it at just under 25 feet long, or only two inches shorter than 1974-1976 Cadillac Fleetwood 75. This is GM’s land yacht, but with significantly more aggressive styling.

Chevrolet says the next-gen Silverado HD has a “chiseled, modern design conveyed in five distinctive personalities.” This chiseled, modern design has proven polarizing at best. No one at TTAC has warmed up to the design yet. As for those five distinctive personalities, those would be the trim levels. Work Truck, LT, LTZ, and High Country all carry over from the old truck to the new one. The fifth trim is called Custom, and offers body trim details and standard 20 inch wheels. It is only available on the 2500HD.

Some of the biggest changes to the new Silverado HD lie beneath the hood. The venerable 6.0-liter gasoline V8 is gone, replaced by an all-new 6.6-liter V8. This direct injection engine makes 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. That’s an 11 percent increase in horsepower and a 22 percent increase in torque. The new engine pairs with GM’s tried and true 6L90 transmission. This results in an 18 percent increase in towing capacity.

The returning Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8, which churns out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, now mates to a 10-speed Allison transmission. This tranny is unique to GM’s HD trucks and not related to the 10-speed unit found in the light duty trucks. In addition to the new transmission, every component between the transmission and the wheels has been upgraded. This results in a 52-percent increase in max towing capability. The regular cab, two-wheel drive, dual rear wheel diesel Silverado HD is now capable of towing 4,400 house cats, or 35,500 pounds.

While the new HD boasts impressive towing specs, Chevy didn’t just focus on the numbers. Engineers also focused on the quality of the drive. According to Chevrolet, over 90 percent of HD truck owners tow some sort of trailer, 30 percent use their truck for pay, while the other 70 percent use it for play. Therefore, they had to create solutions to make the task of towing less stressful and more efficient. The new Silverado features an impressive towing technology suite that features multiple camera angles, a camera system that makes a trailer appear transparent, and smart trailer applications to check everything from trailer tire temperature to water tank levels.

In total, the 2020 Silverado HD offers up to 15 unique camera views, including HD Surround Vision, Bed View, an industry-first transparent trailer view, and an accessory camera. The transparent trailer view helps with visibility through the trailer. This helps while merging on the freeway and navigating parking lots or campgrounds

Another feature under development is a smart trailer integration system. The system is designed to integrate with — and be accessed through — the myChevrolet mobile app, either on compatible smartphones, or on the vehicle’s infotainment system. This system allows owners to monitor and control a range of smart systems, such as water tank levels, HVAC controls, and even power slide-outs in recreational trailers equipped with the technology. Someone towing a compatible trailer with a Silverado HD could turn on the trailer water heater before getting to a campsite.

Rounding out the new trailer towing suite is the in-vehicle Trailering App. This app is complete with trailer light test, trailer electrical diagnostics, trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring, maintenance reminders, and pre-departure checklist. Many of the in-vehicle Trailering App’s functions, including trailer profile creation and trailer light test, are also available with the myChevrolet mobile app. Not only can a Silverado HD owner monitor the pressure of each tire on their truck and trailer, they can also monitor the temperature without ever having to leave the truck.

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD is the latest product in General Motors’ truck and utility onslaught, and a key profit center. Because of its importance, Chevrolet reached out to numerous owners and built what they consider to be the best HD truck ever. The key words heard throughout the presentation were durability, capability, and useability. While the powertrain doesn’t break the 1,000 lb-ft barrier, Chevrolet is of the opinion that it’s not how big your torque number is, but how you use it. The brand is confident its truck will tow better and prove more durable than its competition. Only time will tell.

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado calls GM’s Flint Assembly Plant home and goes on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

[Images: Adam Tonge/TTAC]

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4 of 68 comments
  • DenverMike DenverMike on Feb 07, 2019

    "...I get the feeling..." @jdowmiller Is that feeling associated with prescription meds? Perhaps in your isolated corner of North America (name it), but you'd have to be on crack to buy one of these for the daily commute, just showing off, 'More Hat than Horse', etc. If the occasional crackpot can pull it off, for no good reason, congrats, more power to them. But '80s duallys are so ridiculously obsolete and underpowered/underrated, it wouldn't be worth it, at least for real work, for hire, for profit, etc.

    • See 1 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Feb 09, 2019

      @jdowmiller You see what you want to see anyway. Worst case, I hope it means one less BMW on the road for every one of those! But even semi trucks run empty more than half the time, so it's absolutely goofy to "feel" a pickup bed should be full, even 10% of the time, especially the HD class. When owners utilize trailers, obviously their bed do even less carrying. Clearly HD pickups are the most likely pickups to be used for work, but also the most likely to wear a full spectrum of "hats", including showing off. If you've never witnessed a semi truck (bobtailing) running errands, picking take-out, Starbucks, etc, you'd probably lose your frickin' mind. So it's hard to tell what burns you about HD pickups so much, but with lifted trucks especially, a bed could be carrying a good amount of compressors, generators, tools, tarps and or other equipment/merch/materials/supplies and you wouldn't know it. You could even say they're showing off anytime they happen to be anywhere doing anything, including hard/dirty work. But no doubt the lighter the "duty" is (midsize for example), the less likely they're performing work at any given time, lifted, pimp't out (Tacoma) or not. It's not that HD pickups outnumber the rest of the pack, but I'm sure they accumulate more miles, showing off or not.

  • Yikes. Who took the paper bag off? Another GM debacle.

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.