Redesigned Chevy Silverado pickup loses weight, gains size


In the world of full-size pickups, it’s a race to see who can haul more stuff, yet do it with lighter, more efficient trucks.

General Motors is taking a big step that way with an all-new Chevrolet Silverado unveiled Saturday night ahead of Detroit’s big auto show.

The Silverado is the second-best selling vehicle in the U.S. and is outsold only by Ford’s F-Series pickups. Big pickup truck sales rose nearly 6 percent last year to almost 2.4 million, even though total U.S. auto sales dropped 2 percent. One in every seven vehicles sold last year was a full-size pickup.

GM says its new truck is up to 450 pounds lighter than the current model. The new Silverado, which goes on sale this fall, slims down by using GM’s expertise in melding different metals. Parts that swing, including doors, the hood and the tailgate, are lighter aluminum, but stationery parts such as the bed, are still steel.

GM has used the steel bed in marketing, claiming that it’s more durable than rival Ford’s bed made of aluminum.

The Silverado’s frame weighs 88 pounds less because it’s made of lighter yet stronger high-strength steel, GM says. Aluminum parts in the suspension and other areas make up the rest of the weight loss.



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