First Look: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD
In the past, Silverados looked like Silverados -- no matter if they were light-duty or heavy-duty models. The design itself was largely shared between the two. No more. Chevrolet has taken a page from Ford’s playbook by creating a new heavy-duty truck that shares almost no sheetmetal with its light-duty brethren. In fact, only the roof is common between the two trucks.
And that’s great news.
The styling of the light-duty Silverado, launched for the 2019 model year, is certainly polarizing. And to these eyes, it just doesn’t look cohesive. However, when Chevy pulled the sheet off the design buck of the 2020 Silverado HD they had on display at a drive event in Scottsdale, Arizona, it definitely caught our attention. Handsome? We'll let you decide that. The HD’s design is certainly aggressive. The chiseled leading edges along the hood are definitely a cool detail. And some of that design inspiration came directly from the customers.
“Quite honestly, they’re looking for a semi-truck,” says Tim Kozub, Chevrolet truck exterior design manager. “So, we’re designing the biggest, boldest front end we can possibly put on a truck without compromising outward visibility.”
He says they heard one message loud and clear from their customers: Make sure it looks different than the light-duty version. According to Kozub, heavy-duty truck buyers want everyone to know that the truck they drive is a completely distinct and separate model. Mission accomplished.
The cab design of the new HD provides an additional 3 inches of legroom on crew cab models, as well as a taller seating position. And the bedsides of every trim level use a molded-in bed step. Speaking of the bed, the new truck appears taller, but the design team made sure to keep the bedsides at 53 inches. That’s apparently the maximum height where customers can still throw something heavy into the bed.
The chassis underneath the Silverado HD is all-new, too. Unlike Ford and Ram, GM has been the only maker of heavy-duty trucks that offers an independent front suspension for both 2WD and 4WD pickups. And this new one has an evolution of that suspension as well. But here’s some good news for 4WD fans: Because the truck was a clean-sheet redesign, the team was able to raise the front aero spoiler lip and pull it back. So, the truck not only looks taller, but its approach angle is improved, too. And Kozub says despite a less obvious front lip, the new truck is a big improvement in aero over the outgoing heavy-duty truck. The Z71 model on hand in Scottsdale wore big 275/65R-20 Goodyear All-Terrain Adventure tires, which measure just over 34 inches tall.
The standard engine will be an all-new 6.6-liter gas V8 with direct injection mated to a six-speed automatic. An upgraded Duramax has been tuned to deliver 910 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to an all-new Allison 10-speed automatic. The current truck’s Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF, tank was awkwardly stuck to the side of the frame rail, making it unsightly and vulnerable in off-road conditions. Chevrolet has relocated the tank under the bed for 2020. And Chevy says four-wheel-drive models will have a sophisticated new transfer case that we hear will offer multiple modes tailored to the terrain.
We can’t wait to learn more about Chevy’s big beast. And that should happen at an event on Feb. 5, just a couple days before the Chicago Auto Show.