New Silverado, Sierra to have carryover transmissions.
July 5, 2012
By: Nick Saporito
Spy shots of General Motors' upcoming redesigned full-size trucks may be commonplace at this point, but details of what resides underneath the camouflage has been scarce. The unusual deficit of information is slowly starting to come to end, starting with information regarding GM's transmission selection for the trucks. Despite competitors, such as Ram, upgrading to new eight-speed automatic transmissions for their half-ton pickups, GM will be launching their new trucks with six-speeds all around - but eight's will eventually come.
Currently the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have four-speed automatic transmissions standard with the V-6 and base V-8. After a controversial launch with only four-speed automatics back when the trucks launched in 2007, GM eventually upgraded most of the volume trims to their in-house six-speed automatic. Meanwhile, the competition at Ford and Dodge have moved entirely to six-speed automatics, with Ram migrating to eight-speeds in higher end models for 2013.
According to multiple sources, the launch of GM's 2014 full-size trucks will mirror the launch of the 2007's, at least in terms of transmissions. Both the 2014 Silverado and Sierra will launch exclusively with six-speed automatic transmissions; the same units that are in today's models. The move is a step up from the current mix of four and six speeds, but will likely fall short of some expectations assuming GM would use the new truck and SUV line to launch their eight-speed automatics.
Just like the current trucks received their six-speeds a few years after the initial launch, the all-new trucks will receive eight-speeds later. The current plan calls for the trucks to receive a mid-cycle enhancement a couple years after their 2013 calendar year launch. As part of the tweaking, the trucks are currently slated to be upgraded with two more gears. GMI expects the eight-speeds to be developed internally as part of GM's Hydra-Matic automatic transmission lineup.
So, why the delay? Simply put, GM's eight-speed automatics will not be ready when the trucks launch next year. Many sources have cited GM's 2009 bankruptcy as the main source of delay for the eight-speeds, an excuse that has propagated it's way to several GM programs.
Once GM's Hydra-Matic eight-speed transmissions are ready, expect them to proliferate the GM stable much like the six-speeds did: starting with the biggest applications and working down.