Chevrolet completely redesigns full-size truck for 2019

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is unveiled during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit one of several model launches expected to drive continued solid sales by General Motors

General Motors unveiled its redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck in advance of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Saturday. One thing that's noticeable right away is that the huge rear doors on these new Crew Cab models will open to a ton of room in the back seat: Chevy confirmed rear-seat passengers will have 43.8-inches of legroom, up 3 inches over today's truck. The 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 gas engines are getting revamped for more performance and economy, like the dynamic fuel management which can deactivate between one and seven of the cylinders depending on the load on the truck at any time. The 6.2-liter and diesel come paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission that's shared with Ford. The combination of lower weight and a refinement in aerodynamics adds up to a better performing truck on the road, according to Mark Reuss EVP of global product development at Chevrolet, but should also improve on economy, too.

The use of advanced materials such as aluminum and high-strength steel led to a total weight reduction of 450 pounds.

But unlike Ford, which jolted the industry in December 2014 when it launched the current generation F-150 with an all-aluminum body, Reuss said the frame and above all the pickup truck bed - one of the most important parts of pickups used for work functions - were still made of steel.

The inner wheelhouses are made of a stronger grade of steel than the bed walls for increased impact resistance. Small spoilers on the roof and tailgate optimize airflow. Aerodynamics, practicality, and aesthetics were influential in the final product, and as a result, have allowed for an improved cabin package as well.

The 2019 Silverado has grown a bit with its wheelbase growing 3.9 inches and its length being stretched 1.6 inches.

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Twelve fixed tie-down points, up from four on the '18 Silverado.

Inside, Chevy leaders say they focused on comfort, storage and easy-to-use controls. The Silverado clearly doesn't lack storage, with two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks as well as a large 24-liter storage tray under the second-row seat.

For the 2019 model year, there'll be eight Silverado models, in fact. The company said it will announce even more improvements for the 2019 model later this year. The reinvention of the Silverado may just help achieve that closing of the gap in 2019. The company sold more than 580,000 of the trucks in 2017, accounting for more than a quarter of Chevrolet's sales. The LTZ and High Country, like today's Silverado, represent the more luxurious end of the spectrum. Big pickup truck sales rose nearly 6 percent previous year to almost 2.4 million, even though total USA auto sales dropped 2 percent. While the 2019 Silverado obviously has a new look inside and out, some of the bigger updates are that the truck now weighs up to 450 pounds less than its predecessor and it debuts a more functional bed.

"People see it as their truck, not the truck that everybody has", he said.

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