- General Motors' Chevrolet and GMC divisions today revealed the new 2015 versions of their heavy-duty Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.
- All-new exterior and interior designs and a new double-cab body style highlight the new commercial-oriented pickups, which now can tow as much as 23,200 pounds.
- Production of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups, introduced at the State Fair of Texas, begins in the first quarter next year.
DALLAS — Detroit's automakers love to use the atmosphere surrounding the State Fair of Texas here as a backdrop for introducing new pickups of all stripes, but this week will be a coming-out party for the largest species, as General Motors introduces the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2015 GMC Sierra HD, heavy-duty versions of its recently launched new generation of half-ton pickups, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra.
Rival Ford also used the State Fair of Texas to unveil its competing commercial-pickup line, the 2015 F-Series Super Duty.
Styling for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD is an extension of the careful and uncluttered lines introduced by their all-new 2014 light-duty counterparts, but with the muscled-up extra bodywork that's both an aesthetic and functional necessity in this class.
"The passion we have for trucks is reflected in every line and powerfully sculpted machined surface of the HD Chevrolet," said Tom Peters, design director for the new GM pickups, in a release. "From the dramatic sculpture of the one-piece structural bumper to its muscular hood and side profile, the design reflects a function-driven solution."
Styling can't be a letdown, but bragging rights for how much you can haul and how much you can tow are everything to heavy-duty pickup buyers. However, the Detroit automakers increasingly are introducing more technology and creature comforts in their heavy-duty pickup trucks, so along with an increase in towing capability to an incredible maximum of nearly 12 tons and an all-new double-cab body style, GM said today it also focused on improving creature comforts for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.
The new double-cab body style, for instance, replaces the previous-generation models' extended-cab configuration; the double cab has conventional front-hinged doors, greatly easing ingress and egress, the company said. The doors for each of the three body styles for the 2015 Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD — regular cab, crew cab and the new double cab — are for the first time inset into the body side to reduce wind noise, while a host of other aerodynamic details also are said to contribute to a quieter cabin. All but the base models will include Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, including voice recognition and multiple connectivity options for personal electronic devices.
In addition to the three cab configurations, GM's new 2015 heavy-duty pickups offer the choice of a 6.5-foot or 8-foot bed length, although the regular-cab models are available only with the long bed. In all, there are more than 150 combinations of the 2015 Silverado HD, Chevrolet said.
Powertrains mirror the current choices available in the Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty pickup lineup: GM's Vortec 6.0-liter gasoline V8, developing 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque or the 6.6-liter Duramax V8 turbodiesel, smacking out 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. A GM-manufactured six-speed automatic transmission accompanies the gasoline V8, while an Allison-made six-speed automatic backs the Duramax diesel. No fuel economy estimates are given because pickups in this category are not required to be rated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Although engine power ratings are carried over, the maxed-out 3500 versions of the 2015 Silverado HD and Sierra HD have maximum payloads of 7,374 pounds, a slight increase compared with current models. Such is the same for maximum towing, now at 23,200 pounds with a fifth-wheel setup, compared with a max-tow rating 23,100 pounds for GM's outgoing 2014 heavy-duty pickups.
Interiors are modeled after the all-new cabins in light-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, including an all-new six-gauge instrument cluster and improved materials throughout. The company said the new heavy-duty pickups' interiors are roomier, although overall exterior dimensions remain similar to the outgoing models, while it also claims segment-exclusive safety features such as forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning, as well as the availability of GM's Active Safety Seat that provides haptic actuators embedded in the seat bottom to accompany visual and audible warnings.
The new heavy-duty pickups also will include work-oriented features such as corner steps integrated into the rear bumper and an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to reduce effort to raise the tailgate as well as prevent it from banging down.
Chevrolet did not provide details regarding trim levels for the 2014 Silverado HD, but for GMC, the 2015 Sierra HD will offer the familiar SLE, SLT and Denali trims, as well as a variety of specific feature upgrades.
The new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups will begin production in the first quarter of 2014, GM said. The trucks will be built in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Flint, Michigan.
Edmunds says: With buyers coming back to pickup trucks with a near vengeance, GM's timing to launch new-generation versions of its work pickups seems nearly perfect.