The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado grabbed its fair share of attention this week at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and while we’ve already told you about it from the moment it was revealed, here are a dozen talking points pickup enthusiasts should know about the latest entry into the segment before deliveries begin in the fall.
1. The two-inch factory lift kit wasn’t always a no-brainer. But then Chevrolet considered the amount of business the aftermarket draws through sales of such setups. Engineers initially chuckled at the idea but soon designed the Silverado’s frame, suspension, and half-shaft angles to accommodate the kit. Chevy expects to sell loads of trucks equipped with it.
2. Aerodynamics were a key focus during development—the new Silverado spent more than 1,000 hours in wind-tunnel tuning—with Chevrolet claiming a seven percent reduction in drag compared to the outgoing truck. Key pieces are the vertical, Camaro-inspired “air curtains” in the front end that channel air and help to keep it attached to the vehicle’s sides, and a spoiler on the roof’s trailing edge that works in conjunction with the tailgate to prevent air from spilling into the truck’s bed, which would cause a parachute-like effect. The side mirrors are relocated onto the doors and are larger than before, yet deliver similar aero performance as the ones found on the previous Silverado. Chevy has yet to reveal the drag coefficient but promises the most slippery truck on the market.
3. While some vehicles place their blind-spot sensors inside the taillights, the Silverado team opted against doing so to reduce replacement costs for customers. So if someone or something smashes one of your rear lamps, you won’t be saddled with the additional cost of replacing those sensors.
4. The rear bumper footsteps are larger than before to better accommodate steel-toed work boots. The hand grips on top of the bed are larger as well, providing improved grip when climbing up behind the truck.
5. By revising the construction of the panels that make up the truck’s bed and by changing the way the wheelhouses integrate with it, engineers were able to create a bed that is 6.75-inches wider than before.
6. The Silverado team doesn’t like to talk about other cars, but the rear suspension available on some models has a bit in common with the Corvette—specifically, a second-stage of the leaf spring made from composites. The idea is to provide a comfortable ride when the truck is lightly loaded but keeping the suspension able to cope with heavy cargo when the second stage of the spring loads up.
7. Chevrolet built 500 prototypes of the truck and says it has already put the Silverado through approximately 500,000 different tests, one of which is called the “hoof test:” It checks the bed and tailgate for pinpointed strength in areas of localized pressure in the event a heavy animal steps onto their surfaces. The test is “a carryover from 100 years of Chevrolet,” engineers say.
8. Similarly, the company says long-term quality is a top-priority right out of the gate. To that end, in addition to the thousands of tests it performed, Chevy has put approximately 7,000,000 miles on prototypes in its quest to deliver “bullet-proof” production models.
9. The tailgate’s power up-and-down function is a pickup-truck first, and can be actuated via a key fob or by hand. It also has a sensor to prevent it from operating if something is resting on it, such as a small child.
10. The Silverado’s bed features 12 tie downs and a 110-volt outlet for the first time.
11. Unusually, the new interior went straight from an on-paper design to production tooling, with no interim prototyping in between. This gave the engineering team more time than it normally has to refine the fit and finish.
12. When it came to the exterior, the design team focused on “lean muscularity,” with tight shapes and an appearance of tension while avoiding a look that is round and “doughy.” The hood features several lines and shapes, and was inspired by the 1970 Chevelle SS. The design team refers to one of the front-end’s signature features—the conspicuous body-colored piece that bleeds into the daytime running lights on each side—as the “Spartan helmet” look.