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Detroit LIVE: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

by Byron Hurd

Chevy\'s juggernaut makes its formal debut.

If you're feeling a bit of deja vu, that's to be expected. Chevrolet (literally) dropped the 2019 Silverado weeks ago at its "100 Years of Chevy Trucks" cap-off event in Texas, but tonight's formal debut brings with more details.

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is a clean-sheet redesign in a world where the newest truck is almost always the best truck. This year may be an exception simply because there isn't just one "new" truck; both Chevrolet and Ram have all-new pickups hitting the market.

We're not in a hurry to declare a winner, but in this segment, GM is known for bringing its A-game with any redesign. This is no exception.

Let's start with the big stuff: design and packaging. Unlike Ford, GM elected to stick with old-fashioned steel for its fixed panels and frame. "Swing" panels (anything on a hinge) are all aluminum, including the tailgate.

The new Silverado boasts a longer wheelbase and slightly increased overall length. They didn't increase in proportion, which means the new truck has more space between the wheels (and, consequently, shorter overhangs, particularly in the front).

To make better use of that extra room, Chevy took the opportunity to re-think its bed construction. A new multi-piece configuration opens up more than six inches of lateral bed space (wall-to-wall), giving the Silverado's short box more raw volume than even its competitors' standard-length beds.

We'll have to see how this plays out in practice, as the extra space only comes into play outside of the area occupied by the wheel wells. That means there is more space for stuff, provided it fits in the extra room fore and aft of the humps (or on top of them, of course).

Chevy remains mum on its powertrain specifics, but did say that both the 5.3L and 6.2L V8s have been redesigned. There's a new transmission in the family as well--the ten-speed unit co-developed with Ford. It'll be mated to the 6.2L Smallblock and the 3.0L I6 turbodiesel. The 5.3L V8 and base engine (presumably a V6) will utilize the existing six-speed auto.

Since Chevy's not quite ready to talk powertrain specs, we don't know yet just how potent that 3.0L turbodiesel will be, but GM's Mark Reuss assured attendees that he was confident it would be the better of the F-150's new diesel offering.

Chevrolet showed off several of the new Silverado's eight launch variants, but its "hero" model is the new factory-lifted Trailboss pictured here (This one is based on an LT, so it's on the premium end of the Silverado's core volume models.) as well as an "RST" trim designed to capture the sporty look of Chevy's other "RS" models.

Full specs, pricing and on-sale dates remain to be seen. Stay tuned.

Live photos by Byron Hurd.