Chevrolet Silverado Unveiled Ahead Of Detroit Debut

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Dropped on to stage by chopper, the Silverado's intro came in spectacular style at Texas Motor Speedway in front of Chevy truck customers - and special guest Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - who were gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chevy Trucks.

Chevrolet mentioned the next-generation 2019 Silverado 1500 would be available with more engine and drivetrain combinations than ever before and that it'd use of a higher-grade steel alloy in the bed, but did not specify where or if aluminum would be used in the truck or reveal any specific engine or performance details.

Ford's F-Series line of trucks are the biggest sellers. That's a complex casting, but it won't be made out of aluminum as in the Ford F-150. The move is expected to cut weight while allowing owners to get the most out of the bed.

Looks matter, too. The new Silverado was given a pair of narrow, high-mounted headlights that give it a more steely, squinty expression.

The terms "mixed materials" and "advanced manufacturing" were not defined by Chevrolet. The Silverado is Chevy's first all-new product since Ford rocked the truck world at the 2014 show with its aluminum-skin F-150.

Ram, the other Detroit Three player in the light-duty pickup wars with 21 percent of the market, will reportedly stick with steel when it also introduces a remade truck at the Detroit show. It's also a fierce competitor for Ford's signature vehicle, the F-150 pickup, the No. 1 seller. It's possible - anything is - but Chevrolet isn't saying one way or the other just yet. Lighter weight usually translates to improved fuel economy. At 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque, it delivers an EPA-estimated 16/22 city/highway mpg.

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"Today we surprised almost 1,000 Truck Legends owners with a sneak peek of the next-gen Silverado", said Chevy Truck marketing chief Sandor Piszar.

A helicopter carried the 2019 Silverado through the sky and gently lowered it onto the race track's infield.

The Trailboss trim integrates the off-road equipment of the Z71 package as well as a two-inch suspension lift. Since then, Chevrolet has sold more than 85 million trucks. Elements from the late 1940s are actually seen throughout the current Silverado, especially in the front.

This much we know: Chevrolet will offer eight Silverado models, and will expand powertrain options. The automaker hopes this new generation will be remembered as one that challenged conventional truck designs, just as its predecessors did decades ago.

Technical details are scant at this point, but expect Chevy to follow upon that poke at the F-150 with more targeted shots when the '19 Silverado debuts at the North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit.

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