Chevy flexed plenty of muscle today and now dominates an arena vital to the work truck world—towing.
During a reveal for the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD today at GM’s Flint Assembly plant in Flint, Michigan GM’s chief engineer of heavy-duty trucks, Jacklyn McQuaid, announced best-in-class towing.
“The 3500 dualies with Duramax diesel can tow up to 35,500 pounds. That’s a massive 52 percent increase over the current truck, resulting in best-in-class max towing,” McQuaid said. “In addition we increased towing capacities across the entire range for 2020. We will be the only company where every diesel dually will tow more than 30,000 pounds. That’s something that our competitors cannot say.”
Ram had claimed best-in-class towing last month at 35,000 pounds for its 2019 Ram 3500. Ford has yet to reveal power ratings for its 2020 Super Duty.
2020 Chevy 2500 models equipped with the new 401-hp 6.6-liter gas V8 (464 lb.-ft. torque) are rated to tow up to 17,400 pounds, an 18 percent increase over model year 2019.
“We set out to make the best HD trucks on the market, bar none,” McQuaid said.
Chevy is clearly stacking its chips high on its heavy-duty pickups. GM President Mark Reuss (above) announced that 1,000 new employees will be brought to the plant that exclusively builds heavy-duty GM pickups.
Reuss also referred to his company’s overall dominance in pickup sales for the past five years, something that he thinks will be further bolstered for 2019 thanks to GM’s reemergence into the medium-duty segment this year coupled with the ongoing success of the company’s midsize Canyon and Colorado pickups. Reuss reminded reporters—roughly 90 of them—that not everyone supported GM’s move back to medium-duty trucks.
“I simply point out that there were people who were skeptical—some in this room—when we returned to the midsize truck segment in 2014. We saw something others missed,” he said. “An opportunity to attract first-time buyers and competitive owners with a midsize Colorado and Canyon.
“That decision helped us to become the most successful truck company in the industry five years running. In fact, our success has inspired Ford and Fiat-Chrysler to follow in our footsteps with midsize offerings of their own,” Reuss continued. “All I can say is welcome to the party. You’re only five years late and half a million trucks behind. Now, we are not, of course, waiting for the competition to catch up. In fact, no brand will make more truck news in 2019 than Chevrolet.”
Future headlines from Chevy Trucks this year will include the release of its new Duramax 3.0-liter diesel engine for its 1/2-ton pickups.
2020 Silverado HD highlights:
- New, more powerful 6.6L V-8 gas engine with direct injection for greater performance and stronger trailering capability with 22 percent more torque and up to 18 percent more towing compared to previous 6.0L gas engine.
- All-new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission is matched with the available Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel engine for a 52 percent increase in max towing to 35,500 pounds on properly equipped models.
- Autotrac active two-speed transfer case on 4×4 models electronically controls “4 Auto” mode, allowing the truck to seamlessly shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive based on road conditions.
- Advanced Trailering System technologies and new transparent trailer view: The in-vehicle trailering system features an available total of 15 available camera views (requires an installed accessory camera), such as HD Surround Vision and other unique views including a transparent trailer feature to help provide added confidence when towing. Also features increased integration with the myChevrolet mobile app.
- HD-exclusive sculpted exterior design features the most differentiation from the Silverado 1500 ever — the roof is the only shared sheetmetal.
- Heavy-duty details designed to make work easier and more intuitive, including features such as an easy-access engine block heater outlet, easy-to-fill diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank with opening inside the fuel door, a more integrated snow plow prep package and new, advanced trailering mirrors with available spot lamps and more.
- BedStep feature and larger CornerSteps makes it easier to load or reach items in the cargo box, which is designed to hold a pair of size-12 boots and up to 500 pounds.
- Larger cab enables more spacious interiors with Crew Cab models adding about 3 inches in overall length.
Tougher, stronger and more capable
Besides the powertrain, getting to best in class towing required beefing up the chassis and suspension. Silverado HD’s ladder-frame design with boxed rails was strengthened to handle the truck’s higher loads, including a higher gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of up to 43,500 pounds on properly equipped trucks.
The upgraded driveline includes new and larger front and rear axles, a standard 11.5-inch ring gear on 2500HD models, and a 12-inch ring gear on 3500HD diesel models. Also, 30-percent larger-diameter prop shafts provide greater strength with the high torque output of the new 6.6L gas engine and the Duramax Turbo-Diesel. Helping cool the Duramax engine is a 28-inch diameter fan with variable fan speed, 2.5-inches larger than the current fan.
The 2020 Silverado HD features an Advanced Trailering System designed to make every aspect of towing easier and more convenient.
The 2020 Silverado HD offers up to 15 unique camera views, including HD Surround Vision, Bed View, an industry-first transparent trailer view, and an accessory camera. The transparent trailer view helps with visibility through the trailer as if the trailer was not there providing added confidence when towing. The transparent trailer helps with navigating parking lots, merging into traffic or when making tight turns. It uses two cameras — one tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera (installation required) mounted on the rear of the trailer — to provide a wide display that helps the driver to virtually see through and alongside the trailer.
Another new feature is the new smart trailer integration, which is designed to work with ASA Electronics iN∙Command control systems. The system is being designed to integrate with and be accessed through the myChevrolet mobile app, either on compatible Android and iOS smartphones, or on the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.The iNˑCommand control system allows owners to monitor and control a range of smart systems, such as water tank levels, HVAC controls and even power slide-outs, in recreational trailers equipped with the technology.
Other towing technologies include an in-vehicle Trailering App complete with trailer light test, trailer electrical diagnostics, trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring, maintenance reminders and pre-departure checklist. Many of the in-vehicle Trailering App’s functions, including trailer profile creation and trailer light test, are also available with the myChevrolet mobile app, a feature that offers convenience when the owner is outside of the truck or trailer.
The 2020 Silverado HD also includes a VIN-specific Trailering Information Label, something no competitors has, that clearly lists the truck’s specific trailering metrics including curb weight, gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combined weight rating (GCWR), max payload, max tongue weight, gross axle weight rating (GAWR) and fifth wheel and gooseneck ratings.
Additional available technologies and hardware designed to enhance trailering include:
- Auto Park Brake Assist automatically initiates the electronic parking brake to help hold the truck’s position and vehicle creep when hitching a trailer.
- All-new Park Grade Hold Assist enhances hill hold by using braking effort at all four wheels to help keep the truck in place for an extended length of time.
- An enhanced integrated trailer brake controller works with the trailer profile in the Advanced Trailering System to recall a specified trailer’s most recent gain setting.
- An enhanced Tow/Haul mode remains engaged on the next key-on cycle, for up to four hours and includes a reminder that the feature is engaged.
- Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
- Trailer Sway Control and Proactive Rollover Avoidance.
- Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking.
- Enhanced Digital Variable Steering Assist dynamically optimizes power steering according to driving scenarios and enables features like road pull compensation.