About Face: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Following its long-standing pattern of renovating the heavy duty model one model year after the renewal of its smaller half-ton brother, Chevy has introduced its newest Silverado HD.

The grille will not have escaped your attention. Seemingly hewn from a block of metal the size of a New York city block, it mirrors the current trend of manufacturers to spell out their brand in sky-high letters visible from the far corners of the Delta Quadrant.

“We set out to make a statement with the 2020 Silverado HD,” said Brian Izard, lead exterior designer for the truck. Polarizing as this styling is, there’s no denying they accomplished that goal. “The result is a truck that looks like a piece of heavy machinery with modern, chiseled finishes and customer-focused details.”

Right. Let’s look at a few of those details.

GM is touting a choice of two powertrains in the new Silverado HD. A gasoline engine of unspecified displacement is described as “all-new”. Mated to a six-speed transmission, we do know it will have direct injection but any further details are shrouded in mystery. The current gas burner is a 6.0L V8 making 360 horses and 380 units of twist. With plenty of half-tons easily surpassing those numbers, expect significant jumps in power for the new engine.

The requisite Duramax Turbo-Diesel V-8 returns, again delivering 910 lb.-ft of torque. That the company is choosing not to play a numbers game with Ford and Ram is interesting given that, traditionally, each new heavy-duty diesel pickup from the Detroit Three used to outdo each other in torque measures. Or, it could be that GM simply isn’t tipping their hand too early.

An Allison automatic with 10 speeds is the other half of the Duramax power team. That’s an increase of four cogs compared to the transmission hooked to diesel-powered versions of the 2019 Silverado HD.

Beyond the alarming new snout, a couple of handy design features stand out in these photos. For starters, a practical and useful styling textured box step is positioned just ahead of the rear wheel. This will make it easier for owners to access the bed without having to use the rear tire as a launching point while trying to step into the bed while alongside the truck. Your author does this regularly with his own pickup and is gratified to see this feature.

Careful study of the photos reveals Goodyear Wrangler LT tires wrapping 8-lug wheels. The LT-trimmed truck shown here has one and possibly two rear-facing cameras, indicating the inclusion of some handy towing aids. Reversing sensors are found on the back bumper and those tail lights look very similar to those found on the 1500 pickup.

The fuel-filler flap has changed to a square design and looks to take up slightly more real estate than the round version currently in use. This may indicate the 2020 HD has its DEF filler port moved from its present (and inconvenient) location under the hood to A beam of the fuel neck where it should’ve been all along.

Those towing mirrors are slightly different as well, flared out slightly on the bottom which theoretically gives them space for helpful cameras that would allow a 360-degree view of the truck when maneuvering slowly or with a trailer.

GM touts three extra inches of rear seat legroom compared to the 2019 HD, a truck which didn’t exactly offer cramped quarters. According to Chevy, the only sheet metal shared with the half-ton is the roof.

Expect to see this truck in person next February, likely at the Chicago Auto Show.

a version of this report first appeared on off-road.com

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