Chevrolet Silverado: lighter, stronger, and smarter

General Motors North America president Alan Batey speaks as he unveils the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit Michigan on Saturday

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Everything from the frame up is new or heavily revised over today's K2XX trucks.

Chevrolet has whipped the covers off the new 2019 Silverado 1500, the company's latest pickup and arguably the most important truck in the American automaker's line-up. The 3.0L diesel and 6.2L V8 get a new 10-speed automatic transmission. In all, there will be six different engine and transmission combinations. Both the 6.2- and 5.3-liter V8s come with Dynamic Fuel Management, which according to Chevrolet, "actively shuts off any number of cylinders" to make every mile per gallon count. "This use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing is evident throughout the Silverado, resulting in a significant reduction in total vehicle weight and improved performance in many measures". The doors, hood, tailgate and swing panels are made of aluminum. The fully boxed steel frame is also 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor, while eighty percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel.

Chevrolet says the 2019 Silverado is also significantly more aerodynamic. The shape of the front end has been improved to duct air around the tires, while the shape of the roof and the shape of the tailgate have been created to move air smoothly over the bed. The wheelbase is 4-inches longer, though the truck itself only grew by 1.5-inches overall.

Three different bed lengths will be available, all with more cargo volume.

In that bed, customers can opt for a series of storage compartments over the wheel arches that, when installed, will still accommodate a full four-by-eight-foot sheet of plywood. There are now 21 tie-down points, twelve of which are fixed in the corners - each capable of handling 500 pounds, twice what the current model can deal with - and nine of which are movable.

The 2019 Silverado will be available with a power operating rear tailgate that can open and close with the push of a button on the vehicle's key fob. Inside, there'll be Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging for your smartphone, and the option of 4G LTE with a WiFi hotspot. For the 2019 model year, there'll be eight Silverado models, in fact. The reinvention of the Silverado may just help achieve that closing of the gap in 2019.

Finally, in an effort to capitalize on the burgeoning luxury pickup segment, Chevy's two "High Feature" variants are the Silverado 1500 LTZ and Silverado 1500 High Country, which up the ante in terms of chrome accents. (GM) said Saturday that Chevrolet introduced the next-generation Silverado today, exactly 100 years after the brand delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918. While the 2019 Silverado obviously has a new look inside and out, some of the bigger updates are that the truck now weighs up to 450 pounds less than its predecessor and it debuts a more functional bed.

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