By Tom Davis
Detroit, Michigan -- January 16, 2018 -- General Motors has announced its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado is now 450 lbs lighter after the OEM created what it calls a "mixed-materials strategy."
“With the all-new Silverado, we've taken the best truck on the road and made it even better,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors Executive Vice-President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 450 pounds lighter than the current model."
General Motors previously poked fun at Ford's use of aluminium in its next-generation F-150, but the company confirmed the new 2019 Silverado will feature aluminium in its doors, hood and tailgate. Forged aluminium has also been used in the truck's front suspension's upper control arms.
The body of the Silverado will still rely on steel. All of the vehicle's fixed panels, including fenders, roof and bed, are made of steel, while the underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application.
The fully boxed steel frame is 88 lbs lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity, according to GM.
A statement from GM read: "80 percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel varying from 2 to 5 millimeters in thickness, and every millimeter is optimized for performance using a variety of processes, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping and tailor-rolled blanking. As a result, frame sections, gauges, grades, processes and materials strategically vary to maximize strength, durability and stiffness without adding unnecessary mass."
The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations,including new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with what GM claims to be "industry-first" Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on immediate needs to optimize fuel economy.
More information on the Chevrolet Silverado can be found on the General Motors statement at gm.com.