General Motors provided Thursday a glimpse of its next-generation full-sized pickups – the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra -- at a film studio in suburban Detroit. GM officials boasted of the significant modifications on the pickups that include "evolutionary" exterior styling changes as well as substantial engine and interior enhancements.
The Silverado and Sierra are currently the carmaker’s top-selling model line and biggest profit source. The 2014 Silverado and Sierra are available in three EcoTec3 engine choices: a 5.3-liter V-8 for the volume variant, a 6.2-liter V-8, and a 4.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6. According to a GM spokesman, official federal mileage ratings won't be assigned to the engines until early 2013. However, the carmaker expressed confidence that the three engines will receive better fuel economy ratings than their predecessor.
The 2013 models offer: a 4.3-liter V-6 engine that returns 15 mpg in city driving/20 mpg on the highway in a regular cab truck; a 4.8-liter V-8 that returns 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway in a regular cab; a 5.3-liter V-8 that gets 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway in an extended cab; and a 6.2-liter V-8 rated 13mpg city/18 mpg highway in an extended cab.
Fuel economy ratings for the models are based on two-wheel-drive mode. The engines for 2014 Silverado and Sierra will be paired with six-speed gearboxes. Sources told Automotive News that GM intends to introduce an eight-speed transmission, but it won’t be offered for at least a year. Powertrain engineers at GM devoted five years to developing the engine family for the fifth-generation pickups. A version of the engine will be available for the redesigned Corvette that will be rolled out in 2013.
The overhead-valve pushrod engine will be produced in Tonawanda, New York. Direct injection proved to be a key in improving the engine’s combustion system, allowing it to consume fuel more efficiently – by spraying fuel directly into the cylinders that more precisely controls the fuel-air mixture. The new engine block is made of aluminum, making it lighter.
Cylinder deactivation, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders under light loads, will be standard on all models. According to GM engineers, the new engines will enable the vehicle to run for longer periods in four-cylinder mode, which should result to further fuel savings. GM will unveil the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show.
Truck owners are some of the most discriminating and demanding in the industry. They completely know trucks because many have been truck owners for decades. Their trucks are used hard, under circumstances that would surprise most car customers. They must do difficult tasks and expect the same of their trucks, with no complaints. And they want their trucks to be durable, the average full-sized pickup’s age is currently over 10.4 years.
The new Silverado’s design team reached for the outer limits to conceive a new truck that would surpass these customers’ demands.
For example, GM's new full-size trucks will have over six million miles testing their durability at the tortuous Milford Proving Ground, over Nevada’s mountains and deserts, and across the icy flats of Kapuskasing, Ontario. That's equal to 240 trips around the world. Also, the trucks will accrue over seven million real-world miles for their final tests, totalling over 13 million test miles.
The additional torque, power, and effectiveness of the new EcoTec3 engine group came from an unmatched level of computer analysis, which include wide-ranging computational flow dynamics, to maximise the air and fuel being burned in the cylinders. Over ten million hours of computational analysis comprised the engine programme. There were over six million hours of analysis for the advanced combustion system alone.