GM unveils high-strength steel concept Silverado

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Updated Oct 13, 2014

While Ford is busy touting the benefits of light-weight aluminum in its 2015 F-150, General Motors – namely Chevrolet – is going in the opposite direction. 

The Chevrolet Silverado Toughnology concept was revealed this week at the State Fair of Texas, and is bound for SEMA in early November. The truck’s unique paint mimics the look of raw steel and is accented with steel molecule graphics. Complementing features include black and chrome appointments, along with Chevrolet Accessory 22-inch wheels mounted on off-road tires. The hood – the only visible metal exterior component that isn’t steel – is painted black.

The concept is also a showcase for Silverado’s connectivity technologies – including all-new OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot – as well as accessories and performance parts available through Chevrolet dealers.

“The technology of advanced high-strength steel makes the Chevrolet Silverado stronger, lighter, more capable and more efficient – and that’s exactly what the Toughnology concept represents,” says Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer. “During the Silverado’s development, we evaluated all materials and chose those that would provide the best strength to support capability while still delivering a strong value to customers.

Chevrolet Silverado Toughnology conceptHigh-strength steel, which is pressed while still in molten form, can be up to 30 percent lighter than carbon steel with the same strength and offers significant mass savings at a lower cost than aluminum, which helps keep down the overall vehicle cost, GM says. 

According to GM, approximately 67 percent of each Silverado cab is constructed of the durable material, including stronger ultra-high-strength steel. It is used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rockers and roof rails, as well strategic sections on the interior structure. Ultra-high-strength steel is used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody to help improve performance in crashes.