Car News

Chevrolet Goes Medium-Duty With Three New Silverados

These are the new really heavy duty Silverados. The all-new 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD trucks mark Chevrolet's return to a segment they left in 2009, and the first time for the Class 4, 5, and 6 trucks to wear a Silverado badge, though GM Canada says there are no current plans to offer these medium duty trucks in Canada.

The new trucks are in the segment known as medium duty trucks. But that's not a slight on their capability, it reflects that they sit between light-duty trucks like the Silverado 3500HD and heavy-duty (class 7 and 8 big rigs). The class ratings are based on the truck's gross vehicle weight rating, and the new Silverado 6500HD has a GVWR over 10,200 kg. Compare that with a Silverado 3500HD's max of 6,123 kg and you can see just how capable these big trucks are.

The medium-duty Silverados are not based on existing GM models and are designed primarily for fleet operators and commercial outfitters. Some of these might get a pickup bed and tow a large car hauler or travel trailer, but more likely they'll see a dump box, utility body, flatbed for towing, or even a man lift for a utility company.

The trucks will be available in two and four-wheel drive in the US. All will be powered by a 6.6L Duramax diesel that offers 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. Allison automatic transmissions will be used, with power take-off units available.

Along with a styling link to the light-duty Silverados, the new models will get some interior comfort features from their little brothers. Like OnStar and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless phone charging, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. A factory air-suspension is available, not offered by Ford and Ram. The cab has triple-sealed doors to reduce wind noise.

Other features designed to appeal to commercial users include a one-piece frame that's fully painted to prevent rust. The fuel rails run inside the frame to protect them from corrosion. Seven wheelbase options are available, and buyers can pick the length of frame they need behind the rear axle in 8.0-inch lengths. The clamshell hood and 50-degree front wheel steer angle allow walk-up access to the engine.

The new big trucks start production near the end of this year, with pricing for the US market to be announced in the summer.

GM Canada says it doesn't plan to offer the medium duty trucks in Canada at least for the foreseeable future. "Our current three-truck strategy with the Chevrolet Colorado, Silverado and Silverado HD fits the needs of most of our Canadian fleet and commercial customers," said communications manager Masha Marinkovic.