What is it? In the war for heavy-duty pickup truck supremacy among the Detroit automakers, General Motors has launched the latest salvo with the updated Silverado HD. This is the heavy-duty version of the Silverado pickup truck, used for towing heavy trailers and/or carrying large payloads.
General Motors is introducing 11 Silverado 2500HD (with three-quarter-ton payload capacity) models and 8 Silverado 3500HD (with one-ton payload capacity) models, all with varying cab and cargo box configurations, as well as the availability of the dual-rear-wheel setup on 3500HD models.
Among the improvements to the 2011 HD models are a fully boxed ladder frame rather than the open "C" frame of past models. This is to increase torsional stiffness, reducing flex. The front suspension has been redesigned to accommodate greater weight ratings on some trims. In addition, the leaf-spring rear suspension has grown in order to support greater weight ratings.
The 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine has gained horsepower and torque while achieving a claimed reduction in NOx emissions of 63 percent compared with the 2010 version. The Allison six-speed transmission has been strengthened, and GM claims that this combination will deliver segment-best fuel economy.
Tow ratings for the Silverado HD have increased as well. The maximum hitch rating is now 16,000 pounds, while some 3500HD models can tow up to 20,000 pounds when equipped with a bed-mounted (fifth wheel) hitch. Maximum payload capacity for the 3500HD is 6,335 pounds.
What is new or notable? The 2011 Silverado features a "Jake Brake" which is an exhaust-driven brake system that allows the truck to slow down on downhill grades without using the brake system. This allows for improved speed control without overheating the trucks brakes while descending hills with a heavy load.
When will it be available? Summer 2010