Most new cars are revealed in spy photos, to the chagrin of their makers. With the 2014 Chevy Silverado pickup, General Motors tried to scoop the spy photographers and release its own images of camouflaged prototypes undergoing testing in Arizona. It’s a refreshing bit of transparency, but what can we really expect from the latest generation of Chevy trucks?
Unfortunately, GM let the photos do the talking, and would not release any details of the 2014 Silverado or its twin, the GMC Sierra. The camouflaged truck in the short video clip released by GM has six-lug wheels, making it a Silverado 1500; the heavy duty Silverado 2500 and 3500 ride on eight-lug wheels.
Under the camouflage, the truck’s styling seems to be an evolution of the current Silverado’s. The current Silverado’s wide grille, made of three horizontal bars, is still there, as are the square headlights. The exposed roofline does not look radically different from the 2013 Chevy’s. We’ll get a better idea once the camouflage comes off, but don’t expect any radical styling changes.
The biggest news for the 2014 Silverado is under the hood. The truck is expected to get GM’s new Gen V small block V8, the latest evolution of the most enduring engine in GM’s history. The new engine will have direct injection and cylinder deactivation, for more power and better fuel economy.
Chevy’s engineers reportedly used significant amounts of lightweight materials, including aluminum and magnesium, to make the 2014 Silverado lighter and more fuel efficient.
As with the current Silverado, a V6 base model will probably be offered. The V6 will not only make for a cheap truck, but also a model that can compete with the Ford F-150 EcoBoost on fuel economy.
The 2014 Silverado 1500 will be followed by Silverado HD models, with diesel engines from GM’s Duramax family.
According to GM, the 2014 Silverado is being put through the “final paces” of testing at the company’s proving grounds in Yuma, Arizona. It will begin production sometime in 2013.
When it does go on sale, the new Silverado will face stiff competition. The pickup truck realm is one area where American companies dominate. Nissan and Toyota make full-size trucks, but they can’t match the capability of the trucks from Chevy, GMC, Ford, and Ram. The current Silverado was launched in 2007, making it a has-been compared to the Ram 1500, which was launched in 2009, and the F-150, which received a major update last year.