The one-upmanship between Ford and Chevrolet isn’t confined to muscle cars. As vocal as the Mustang and Camaro fan camps can be, the F-150 and Silverado loyalists are equally proud. Last year Ford refreshed its F-150, so it’s only naturally that 2018 will be Chevy’s opportunity to elevate its Silverado.
We weren’t expecting details on the 2019 Silverado until January’s Detroit Motor Show, but it looks like the American automaker couldn’t wait to spill the beans. While celebrating its centennial at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Chevy surprised everyone with a preview of the all-new Silverado 1500 in Z71 trim.
Chevy will hold off until Detroit to share all the specs, but at least we know what to expect from the new Silverado’s design. Unlike the boxy, ultra-wide styling seen on the present Silverado, the new model gains a more distinctive front and rear end, character lines, and window molds. Notched headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights give the new Silverado a more aggressive face while creased door panels make the truck appear leaner. At the back, tall tail lamps sport their own notched style and bookend a “Chevrolet” embossed tailgate.
Each of these design cues are made more imposing thanks to the Z71’s large, knobby tires; black accents; bumper-integrated exhaust ports; and lifted frame. Some might start drawing comparisons to the F-150’s styling cues, but we see distinction in the Silverado’s bodywork. Most importantly, the revamped truck looks badass.
After making a stink about Ford’s aluminum bodied weaknesses (namely a less durable bed), Chevrolet wasn’t ready to cut weight with that kind of construction. Instead, the company uses mixed materials, including high strength steel in the Silverado’s bed, to reduce mass (how much remains to be seen).
At present, the Silverado is only available with a V8, but it’s a certainty that the 2019 model will offer a forced induction six-cylinder with improved fuel economy. Whether this new powertrain will be a mid-level trim like the F-150’s EcoBoost motor or an entry-level designation is anyone’s guess.
We’ll be sure to fill in the 2019 Silverado’s blanks as soon as Chevy does in Detroit.