General Motors introduced a significantly upgraded heavy-duty pickup truck for the 2011 model year with its new Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD models. The first of these new monstrous work trucks rolled off the assembly line yesterday in Flint, Michigan.
Production of the revised GMT 900 heavy-duty pickups commenced yesterday, and the first example to roll down the assembly line was a bright red, regular cab 2011 Silverado 2500 HD, equipped with the revamped 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8. The second truck off the line was nearly identical, albeit ordered as a crew cab. The first Silverado HD was destined for Strawberry Point, Iowa, while the crew cab is being shipped to Sumner, Washington.
For 2011, GM’s HD pickups receive significant upgrades to both the frame and diesel powertrain, allowing it to compete against the latest [Dodge] Ram Heavy-Duty and Ford F-Series Super Duty pickups. These upgrades give GM’s trucks additional payload and towing capability. In fact, when paired with the revised Duramax (which produces 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque), a regular cab, two-wheel-drive, short-bed 2500 HD is rated to tow 17,000 pounds, roughly 1200 pounds more than the 2010 2500 HD models.
As always, the 3500 HD models sport even more impressive capabilities. A diesel, two-wheel-drive, 3500 HD dually crew cab can pull a fifth-wheel trailer weight up to 21,700 pounds, a whopping 5200-pound improvement over the 2010 models. An engine brake, coupled with upgraded 14-inch front and rear brake discs, help control those massive loads.