General Motors’ current generation of full-size pickups have been on the market since 2007 and the automaker is preparing for an all-new truck – at least for the its GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 models.
For 2011, HD models received major engineering improvements under the same familiar face, but the half-ton models have only had minor trim and powertrain revisions since their debut in 2007 – the most notable being the arrival of a six-speed automatic transmission in 2009.
Unlike the updates to the HD pickups in 2011, the Sierra and Silverado 1500s will be more than just below the surface. The interior and exterior will be all-new, as well as the chassis. The new trucks will get better fuel economy thanks to improved aerodynamics, an eight-speed automatic transmission, weight reduction, and more efficient engines. The next- generation small-block V-8 will gain direct-injection for more power and fuel efficiency.
The arrival of the new trucks and fifth-generation small-block coincides with the arrival of the next Chevrolet Corvette for the 2014 model year. Historically, the Corvette has been the first vehicle to receive GM’s latest engine tech.
HD models should arrive a year later for the 2015 model year. During the 2011 refresh the HD pickups gained a new chassis with significant updates to the steering and suspension, and a re-engineered Duramax diesel engine with more power and better fuel economy. Only the hood, grille, and front fascia were changed on the outside and the interior wasn’t touched. Changes to the 2015 HD models are expected to be mostly cosmetic with a new exterior and interior to compliment the 2011 updates.
With the direct-injected smallblock a given, that still leaves some open-ended questions as to what other engine options will be offered on the new GM half-ton trucks. Should GM pursue an aggressive six-cylinder strategy like Ford has done (successfully) with the F-150? Should Chevy and GMC offer a turbocharged V-6 to rival Ford’s EcoBoost? Will the long-rumored half-ton diesel finally appear? What would you like to see under the hood of the next GM half-tons?
Source: Automotive News