On a recent validation drive of the new, 2011 Chevrolet Silverado
Heavy–Duty Trucks, engineer Brent Deep towed a 20,000–pound trailer for 245
miles along I–70 between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado.
Deep relied on the Silverado’s new,
smart exhaust brake system to slow the truck/trailer combination on descents,
helping prove the new system is suitable for the most demanding conditions. It
was a drive across the heart of the Rocky Mountains and some of the interstate
system’s steepest grades, with altitudes ranging from Denver’s approximately
5,000 feet to more than 11,100 feet at the Eisenhower Tunnel.
“It takes some courage to leave
your foot off the brake, but the Silverado’s Duramax engine and Allison
transmission perform the task with smoothness and confidence that really
impresses,” said Deep. “Better still, the exhaust brake system can help extend
brake pad life and help avoid overheating the brakes on long descents.” The
available new Exhaust Brake System’ works with the Allison transmission’s Tow
Haul Mode and Automatic Grade Braking features, reducing the amount of
conventional braking needed while towing or traveling downhill. They go on sale
The new 2011 Chevy Silverado HD
6.6L Duramax turbo–diesel V8 delivers 397 horsepower and 765 lb–ft. of torque
making it the most powerful heavy–duty on the planet, better than Ford or
Dodge. It delivers more power and even better fuel economy.
The Silverado heavy–duty lineup is
broader than ever, with 10 2500HD models and 14 single and dual–rear–wheel
3500HD models – including a new 3500HD Crew Cab with a 6.5 foot cargo box. WT,
LT and LTZ trim levels are offered. All models bring greater capability, improved
ride and a greater feeling of driver control.
Features for some models include:
New, available 6.6L Duramax turbo
diesel V8 rated at 397 hp (296kW) and 765 lb.–ft. of torque (1,032 Nm).
Standard small–block 6.0L gas V8
delivers 360 hp.
Diesel power complemented by up to
11 percent improved highway fuel economy and up to 63 percent reduced NOx emissions.
(Based on GM testing.)
Up to 680 mile range in highway
driving with the available Duramax Diesel engine.
Fifth–wheel towing capacity of
Gross Combined Weight Rating
increases to 27,500 pounds
Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings
increases up to 17 percent to 13,000 pounds
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating
increases by up to 25 percent to 6,000 pounds
Snow plow capability is now enabled
for all 4WD cab configurations
There are also enhanced powertrains,
including the new Duramax 6.6L diesel/Allison 1000 six–speed transmission that
includes the exhaust brake system, new front and rear suspensions, an improved
brake system, hill start assist (single rear wheel model only), trailer sway
control system assist (single rear wheel model only) and more.
“Along with all their heavy–duty
equipment, these trucks are designed to be stylish and refined, inside and
out,” said Campbell. He also states that as with vehicles in the past the
engineers have paid close attention to detail when it comes to the appearance
of the HD models, “We paid close attention to all the details, giving them a
distinctive, muscular appearance on the exterior and a well–appointed interior
with the comfort, convenience and safety features customers appreciate.”
Outside, the 2011 Silverado 2500HD
and 3500HD models are distinguished by a power dome–style hood as well as a new
grille and full–width chrome steel front bumper. A new lineup of 17, 18 and
20–inch wheel/tire combinations is featured too (20–inch polished forged aluminum
wheels are available on 2500HD).
Designers and engineers left almost
no bolt unturned during the comprehensive redesign of the trucks.