The first Silverado HD trucks are rolling into dealers nationwide this month — with the High Country topping things nicely via a monochrome exterior and a Denali-level cabin overhaul.
The 2015 Sierra HD will offer a Denali pack — which, if we’re not mistaken, is a new flagship equipment level for GM’s 2500HD and 3500HD rigs.
The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis.
Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases in all rigidity measurements, cabin quietness and ride comfort.
The new nose looks pretty great, actually. Chevy’s truck styling really seems to be very sharp these days. Projector beam lamps update the nose nicely, and a very dramatic chrome grille has far more shaping and structure to its surfaces. Improvements to cooling and aerodynamics are hoped to increase highway fuel economy, where these big trucks really start to chug whatever fuel they are using at anything over 65 mph.
Drag is a real issue for these machines, and any HD owner will tell you that an 80 mph cruise with a trailer can switch the usual miles per gallon into gallons per mile.
Other changes include a totally-redesigned cabin, seats, infotainment and the whole vehicle’s electronic architecture. Under the hood, the engines are carryover but have a new engine management that integrates all the towing and stability safety features into its work flow.
What this boils down to for buyers is better economy, higher payload and towing stats, and a cruise control that now claims to be able to maintain a set speed even with a heavy trailer out back. Previous cruise controls for many cars will pop off and fail to keep a speed if doing so might make the engine stall.
So it is truck-a-palooza at Chevrolet this month. Are buyers swayed by the new looks and vastly superior cabin?
The new 2015 Silverado HD trucks look better than ever. There are virtually no panels carried over except the windshield and roof, which is a pretty extensive makeover.
The most defining change is to projector beam headlights versus halogen reflectors, which look terrific next to the gaping appearance of the Ford Super Duty trucks. The grille’s wide chrome bar is now much larger than before in both length and width, extending out through the headlights for a tough and butch appearance.
The grille is now chopped slightly at all its edges, with a beveled shape that looks premium. The top part of the chrome grille is pretty interesting because it makes more of a crown for the tall HD hoods. Overall, a far more successful nose job than the Ram HD’s unnoticeable styling updates since the 1990s.
To the sides, both the 2500HD and the 3500HD have huge a sculpted boxed wheel flares. They really help the HD trucks look the part of an unstoppable workhorse of the future, and almost seem wide enough for a dually front wheel option as well.
In back, the changes are more subtle, but do add some nice new creases to the tailgate and the rear flares to match the front. Cut-outs in the back bumper corners (a la Xterra) make it easier to climb into the bed when carrying something heavy, but the taillights seem to lack LEDs in the initial press photos.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD – Key Updates
—All-new exterior styling with enhanced cooling air flow, which enables Silverado’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbo diesel and 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 to better maintain full power, even under heavy loads and high ambient temperatures
—Integrated cruise control, Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking (on diesel models) that help make tough towing easier
—A 6.0L bi-fuel V-8, which can run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas, will be available on regular-cab, crew-cab and new double-cab Silverado 2500 and 3500 models.
—Standard StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control on all models including 3500 duallys.
—All new cabs and interiors that provide increased space and comfort, with extensive storage space tailored to the way customers use full-size trucks.
—Chevrolet MyLink, which provides powerful connectivity for work or family with simple, intuitive controls.
—New 6.5- and 8-foot boxes with standard CornerStep bumpers, EZ Lift and Lower tailgates, and other features that make cargo handling easier.
The 2015 Silverado HD trucks are all almost completely transformed by greatly enhanced comfort and technology. The dashboard also looks less bland than before, with a new multi-function steering wheel a particular highlight. Huge, huge improvements inside these big trucks.
The LTZ spec is the one to get, with better everything from carpets to speakers to headliners to seat cloth.
Last week’s review of the 2014 Silverado HD models (so, the current year not these new 2015 trucks) uncovered an alarming gap in the Chevy HD trucks interior roominess versus the best-selling F-Series Super Duty. The Chevy is down a few inches in hip room, and almost seven inches in shoulder room. Most interior dimensions for such fierce competitors are much closer than this. Generally, anything more than two inches makes a big difference in comfort.
No news from Chevy on the hip or shoulder room measurements, which probably answers the question of whether these stats will grow for 2015. (Shorthand: No, probably not any wider inside).
The similar Suburban and Tahoe gain 2.5 inches of head room and a whopping four inches of legroom versus the current cars, which is another big improvement.
Sharing the best infotainment with the more consumer-focused models means the HD Silverado’s are far more up-to-date and entertaining over the long haul.
No big changes under that monster hood. The HD trucks just received the latest engines for 2013, so the current performance will largely continue unchanged for 2015.
Better breathing and cooling is the most notable improvement, which increases the trucks’ already-incredible stamina when towing heavy loads in really extreme hot or cold weather, or altitude.
A gasoline V-8 comes standard and is the normal FlexFuel engine setup that can safely run E85. The middle option is the same V-8 but with hardened and fortified valves and other components to allow a bi-fuel option. Bi-fuel basically means being able to jump between gasoline and natural gas at the flip of a switch. The HD trucks are not yet sold as full CNG vehicles, but the up-fitting and room for the CNG tank is designed right into the core platform of all models.
Lastly, the legendary DuraMax V-8 chug chug chugs into 2015 with only detail tweaks to smoothness and a new standard final drive ratio that delivers increased payload and tow maximums. The 3500HD can now tow a barely-believable 19,600 pounds.
A bit of a question for guys who will tow anything above 10,000 pounds: what is back there? Most drivers will never know what it is like to pilot a rig of that kind of mass, so Chevy’s changes to comfort and safety also seriously improve the HD’s ability to get the work done.
The engines are already class-leading, so the only two questions most people will have are: When and How Much?
Official Details below from Chevy.
SILVERADO HIGH COUNTRY: HD PICKUPS WITH ALL-DAY COMFORT
- Rugged luxury with heavy-duty capability, Silverado dependability
- Choice of gas, diesel or CNG power
- Advanced chassis controls for more capable, confident towing
DETROIT – When you spend long days on the worksite or long nights towing a heavy trailer, comfort and capability are hardly a luxury.
With its quiet, well-appointed interior and advanced technologies that bring extra confidence to the most challenging towing situations, the 2015 Silverado High Country HD has what it takes to make the tough jobs easier.
Silverado High Country HD, Chevrolet’s first premium heavy-duty pickup, combines the refinement and convenience of the Silverado 1500 High Country with the rugged capability of the new Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD pickups.
Luxury for go, not for show
Unique content includes a chrome grille with horizontal bars, and body-color front and rear bumpers – including Chevrolet’s CornerStep rear bumper. All models include 6-inch tubular chrome assist steps, High Country badges on the doors and tailgate and High Country logos on the door sill plates.
Silverado 2500HD High Country models also feature a unique 20-inch chrome wheel. Single-rear-wheel 3500HD models have an 18-inch chrome wheel, while dual-rear-wheel models use a 17-inch forged polished aluminum wheel.
Inside, Silverado High Country HD features an exclusive saddle brown interior. Heated and cooled perforated premium leather front bucket seats with High Country logos on the headrests are standard, along with Chevrolet MyLink connectivity with an 8-inch touch screen, Bose premium audio and front and rear park assist.
Options include a sunroof, navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a BluRay/DVD player, as well as a High Country Premium Package that includes heated steering wheel, driver alert package and power adjustable pedals.
New trailering mirrors available
Also available on the Silverado HD High Country are Chevrolet’s new up-level trailer tow mirrors. The chrome-capped mirrors manually extend for wider trailers and feature power adjust with memory and power fold. They include heat and turn signals in the glass. They also incorporate auxiliary clearance lamps and auxiliary cargo lamps to help make backing a trailer easier.
Engineered for capability, built for dependability
Under the skin, the new High Country models are 100 percent Silverado HD, engineered to tame the toughest tasks and validated by the team that has helped make Silverado the most dependable, longest lasting pickups on the road.
The High Country comes in 2500HD and 3500HD crew cab models in both two- and four-wheel-drive. The 3500HD High Country will be available in single- or dual-rear wheel models, with maximum tow ratings of up to 22,900 pounds for fifth wheel/gooseneck towing, and up to 19,600 pounds for conventional towing.
Like other Silverado HDs, the High Country HD will offer a choice of three powertrains:
· A 6.0L V-8 specifically tuned for heavy-duty trucks, rated at 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.
· A bi-fuel version of the 6.0L V-8 that can seamlessly switch from gasoline to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
· The 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel teamed with the Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission. Rated at 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque, the Duramax V-8 features a variable-vane turbocharger that acts as an exhaust brake, helping control speed on downgrades for more confident towing.
The foundation of the 2015 Silverado HD lineup is a family of fully boxed frames, which use large cross sections, hydroforming and high-strength steels in key areas. The stiffness of the frames contributes to improved handling and ride comfort while the strength of the frames enhances payload and towing capability.
The Silverado HDs employ an independent front suspension specifically engineered for HD pickup use. Torsion bars tailored to the weight ratings of the trucks allow easier trim height adjustments. In the rear, asymmetrical leaf springs balance ride-and-load carrying and improve control of axle hop.
The new Silverado HDs are engineered to bring new levels of confidence to tough towing through further refinement of Silverado’s available cruise control, auto grade braking, and diesel exhaust brake. Integrating these features helps the 2015 Silverado HD maintain a set speed up and down grades, even when towing a heavy trailer in mountainous terrain.
Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD High Country models will be available starting this summer.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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