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Chevrolet's F150 rival drops weight, gains new diesel


With chief rival Ford having launched the updated F150 at the North American International Auto Show last year, Chevrolet has chosen the 2018 edition to reveal the new Silverado.

Debuting some 100 years after the very first bowtie badged pick-up debuted, the fourth generation Silverado dispenses with its predecessor's reserved looks in favour of a more bolder and indeed aggressive appearance, in addition to a drastic weight cut of 204 kg thanks to extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminium and high strength steel.

Measuring 100 mm longer and 41 mm wider than before, the Silverado's frame weight has been trimmed by 40 kg, while the suspension features forged aluminium upper control arms at the front and carbon composites in the rear to save five kilograms over the outgoing model's steel springs.

Unlike its radical exterior, the interior has largely been carried over from the previous model, but with the gains in length, improves on front legroom by 113 cm and rear legroom by 111 cm. Two new 10-litre storage bins integrated into the rear seatbacks, a 24-litre tray underneath the rear seats and choice of three infotainment systems complete the interior.

Model wise, the Silverado will be offered in a choice of regular, double and crew cab bodystyles, no less than eight trim levels, a choice of rear or four-wheel drive and three engine options.

Classified under the High Value designation, the previous Work Truck and Custom trim levels are joined by the new Custom Trailboss that adds the Z71 off-road package made up of a 50 mm suspension lifts, 18-inch Goodyear Duratec off-road wheels, rear differential lock, skidplates and Rancho shocks.

Moving one up, the High Volume retains the LT trim level, but brings the RST appearance package consisting of LED lights, body colour trim and up to 22-inch alloy wheels, as well as the LT Trailboss that mirrors the aforementioned Custom.  At the sharp end, the High Feature range remains unchanged and consists of the LTZ and ultra-luxurious High Country.

The biggest news comes up front though where the Silverado will come powered by either a 5.3-litre or 6.2-litre V8, both likely to be revised from the previous model, and a model first 3.0-litre straight-six Duramax turbodiesel in rivalling the similar sized but V6 options found in the Ford F150 and Ram 1500. No outputs for either engines were divulged.

While the 5.3 is expected to retain the current eight-speed automatic gearbox, both the 6.2 and diesel will come fitted with a 10-speed automatic 'box co-developed with Ford. No word on the base 4.3-litre V6 was made, with the bigger 6.0-litre V8 and 6.6-litre Duramax turbodiesel V8 engines destined to debut at a later stage in the Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 models.

Production is expected to commence at Chevrolet's Ford Wayne, Indiana Plant around September and will be limited to left-hand drive only.

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