Chevrolet recently debuted the full lineup of its all-new 2020 Silverado HD — the strongest, most capable Silverado HD ever. Max towing capability increases an enormous 52 percent to an available 35,500 pounds. It is also the third all-new Silverado in just 18 months, each designed for different customers.
“We set out to make the best HD trucks on the market, bar none,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, chief engineer, Silverado HD. “We increased towing capabilities across the line, not just for dually buyers. We added class-leading towing technologies, such as 15 available camera views, to make trailering more convenient, whether pulling a large cargo trailer or fifth-wheel camper. And we made a host of changes to make tasks easier.”
Built at the Flint Assembly plant in Flint, Michigan, the all-new 2020 Silverado HD is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor with a wheelbase that’s been stretched 5.2 inches on Crew Cab models and is scaled for HD customers. The Silverado HD will be available in five distinct trim levels — Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ and High Country — available across 22 cab, bed, chassis and driveline configurations.
Customers can choose between two new powertrains. The standard engine is a new 6.6L V-8 gas with direct injection making 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. That’s an 11 percent increase in horsepower and a 22 percent increase in peak torque, respectively, resulting in 18 percent more towing capability.
Then there’s the legendary Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V-8 engine making 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque coupled with an all-new Allison® 10-speed automatic transmission. In addition, every component between the transmission and the wheels has been upgraded to enable an available 52-percent increase in max towing capability — now up to 35,500 pounds on Regular Cab, two-wheel drive, DRW, diesel models.
2020 Silverado HD highlights:
- New, more powerful 6.6L V-8 gas engine with direct injection for greater performance and stronger trailering capability with 22 percent more torque and up to 18 percent more towing compared to previous 6.0L gas engine.
- All-new Allison® 10-speed automatic transmission is matched with the available Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel engine for a 52 percent increase in max towing to 35,500 pounds on properly equipped models.
- Autotrac active two-speed transfer case on 4×4 models electronically controls “4 Auto” mode, allowing the truck to seamlessly shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive based on road conditions.
- Advanced Trailering System technologies and new transparent trailer view: The in-vehicle trailering system features an available total of 15 available camera views (requires an installed accessory camera), such as HD Surround Vision1 and other uniqueviews including a transparent trailer featureto help provide added confidence when towing. Also features increased integration with the myChevrolet mobile app2.
- HD-exclusive sculpted exterior design features the most differentiation from the Silverado 1500 ever — the roof is the only shared sheetmetal.
- Heavy-duty details designed to make work easier and more intuitive, including features such as an easy-access engine block heater outlet, easy-to-fill diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank with opening inside the fuel door, a more integrated snow plow prep package and new, advanced trailering mirrors with available spot lamps and more.
- BedStep feature and larger CornerSteps makes it easier to load or reach items in the cargo box, which is designed to hold a pair of size-12 boots and up to 500 pounds.
- Larger cab enables more spacious interiors with Crew Cab models adding about 3 inches in overall length.
Tougher, stronger and more capable
The 2020 Silverado HD increases towing capability across the lineup compared to 2019. This greater capability is driven by chassis and suspension enhancements and new propulsion combinations that work seamlessly to offer confident performance with great durability, particularly when towing. An enhanced version of the Silverado HD’s sturdy, proven ladder-frame design, with boxed rails that improve strength and contribute to a smooth ride, is the foundation for the new truck. It’s a heavier-duty frame compared to the current model, designed to handle the truck’s higher loads, including a higher gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of up to 43,500 pounds on properly equipped trucks.
To handle the increased towing capability, the upgraded driveline includes new, larger, more robust front and rear axles, a standard 11.5-inch ring gear on 2500HD models, and a massive 12-inch ring gear on 3500HD diesel models. Also, 30-percent larger-diameter prop shafts provide greater strength with the high torque output of the new 6.6L gas engine and the Duramax Turbo-Diesel. Helping cool the Duramax engine is a massive 28-inch diameter fan with variable fan speed – 2.5-inches larger than the current fan.
A More Confident Towing Experience Through Technology
That greater towing capability is matched with Chevrolet’s new suite of customer-focused trailering technologies, including a new transparent trailer feature, designed to help improve the experience with visibility, easier hitching and more driving confidence when towing a trailer.
More than 90 percent of heavy-duty truck owners use their truck for trailering, making it one of the most important considerations for customers, with safety, confidence and visibility their top concerns when towing. The 2020 Silverado HD delivers with an Advanced Trailering System designed to make every aspect of towing easier and more convenient.
The 2020 Silverado HD offers up to 15 unique camera views, including HD Surround Vision, Bed View, an industry-first transparent trailer view, and an accessory camera. The transparent trailer view helps with visibility through the trailer as if the trailer was not there providing added confidence when towing. The transparent trailer helps with navigating parking lots, merging into traffic or when making tight turns. It uses two cameras — one tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera (installation required) mounted on the rear of the trailer — to provide a wide display that helps the driver to virtually see through and alongside the trailer.
Another new feature we’re developing is the new smart trailer integration, which is designed to work with ASA Electronics iN∙Command® control systems3. The system is being designed to integrate with and be accessed through the myChevrolet mobile app, either on compatible Android and iOS smartphones, or on the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay4 or Android Auto5.The iNˑCommand® control system6allows owners to monitor and control a range of smart systems, such as water tank levels, HVAC controls and even power slide-outs, in recreational trailers equipped with the technology.
Other towing technologies include an in-vehicle Trailering App complete with trailer light test, trailer electrical diagnostics, trailer tire pressure and temperature monitoring, maintenance reminders and pre-departure checklist. Many of the in-vehicle Trailering App’s functions, including trailer profile creation and trailer light test, are also available with the myChevrolet mobile app, a feature that offers convenience when the owner is outside of the truck or trailer.
The 2020 Silverado HD also includes a VIN-specific Trailering Information Label, something no competitors has, that clearly lists the truck’s specific trailering metrics including curb weight, gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combined weight rating (GCWR), max payload, max tongue weight, gross axle weight rating (GAWR) and fifth wheel and gooseneck ratings.
Additional available technologies and hardware designed to enhance trailering include:
- Auto Park Brake Assist automatically initiates the electronic parking brake to help hold the truck’s position and vehicle creep when hitching a trailer.
- All-new Park Grade Hold Assist enhances hill hold by using braking effort at all four wheels to help keep the truck in place for an extended length of time.
- An enhanced integrated trailer brake controller works with the trailer profile in the Advanced Trailering System to recall a specified trailer’s most recent gain setting.
- An enhanced Tow/Haul mode remains engaged on the next key-on cycle, for up to four hours and includes a reminder that the feature is engaged.
- Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
- Trailer Sway Control and Proactive Rollover Avoidance.
- Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking.
- Enhanced Digital Variable Steering Assist dynamically optimizes power steering according to driving scenarios and enables features like road pull compensation.
New direct-injected 6.6L gas engine delivers more torque
A new 6.6L V-8 gas engine elevates the 2020 Silverado HD’s standard performance and capability, now with gasoline direct injection. Built on a cast-iron Small Block for long-term durability with aluminum heads, it delivers more precise fuel control that enables a higher compression ratio of 10.8:1 for greater power output of 401 hp with strong performance at low rpm where it’s needed when pulling away with a loaded cargo box or trailer. It also features a forged steel crankshaft, forged powder-metal connecting rods and additional high-strength components to provide the added strength and durability demanded by HD customers.
The new 6.6L gas engine also features a longer stroke than the previous 6.0L V-8 gas engine to help it deliver more than 21 percent greater torque: 464 lb-ft. The 6.6L gas engine will be offered with dual alternators to support the electrical needs for trailering, snowplowing and other jobs. The 6.6L gas is paired with the 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission, which features the Tow/Haul mode.
New Allison® 10-speed transmission matched with proven Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel
“The 6.6L Duramax diesel and Allison® transmission is a legendary combination in the HD truck market with proven durability and capability that our customers expect,” said McQuaid. “For 2020, we made the combination even better and upgraded nearly every driveline component. As a result, we will deliver all 910 lb-ft of torque to the ground in first gear.”
Maximum power and towing capability in new Silverado HD lineup comes from the proven Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V-8 with 910 lb-ft of torque. Its towing capability is increased up to 52 percent with driveline improvements including the addition of the all-new Allison® 10L1000 10-speed automatic transmission — a legendary Duramax/Allison® combination that contributes to the Silverado HD’s 35,500-pound max towing rating when properly equipped.
A diesel after-run feature specifically for use following a demanding towing situation is an additional new technology for the Duramax engine. The after-run allows the engine to keep running for up to 15 minutes to allow it to cool down using the fan and circulating coolant. If the driver puts the truck in park when an after-run situation is needed, an alert will appear on the driver information cluster directing them to keep the engine running for cool down. Should the customer ignore the message and exit the vehicle, the truck will restart on its own via remote start mode for cool-down. At that point the customer can walk away and the truck will turn itself off when the engine reaches an acceptable temperature.
The all-new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission combined with improved driveline components is better at transferring all of the Duramax’s torque to the pavement, allowing more torque to be put to the ground in lower gears, enhancing the overall driving dynamics and trailering with smoother gear changes and shorter steps between them. It also supports smart engine braking, which can help reduce brake wear. The Duramax/Allison combination’s standard axle ratio is lowered to 3.42:1, which reduces engine speed, therefore enhancing refinement.
For customers powering other equipment with their trucks on the job site, an all-new, factory-integrated engine-driven Power Take Off (PTO) is available and eliminates the need for an aftermarket unit. Exclusively offered with the Allison® 10-speed transmission on select diesel models, it’s the first fully integrated PTO system of its kind in the HD truck segment, with the PTO’s drive gear operated via chain to direct engine power. And because it is engine-driven rather than turbine-driven, owners can use the PTO while the vehicle is idling. A button inside the cab enables the PTO, and a mode selector allows adjustment of load and torque output.
Designers and engineers examined every detail of how heavy-duty customers use their trucks and developed the all-new Silverado HD with new, thoughtful and more intuitive features that make day-to-day work and interaction with the truck easier and more convenient.
They even made sure the outer door skins were smooth for easier business signage application. These details complement the truck’s increased capability and allow owners to spend more time focused on the tasks at hand.
- Relocated engine-block heater. Designers moved the engine-block heater outlet to a more convenient, external location on the driver’s side of the truck, integrated into the front bumper, eliminating the need for cords hanging out of the grille or to open the hood for plug-in. The block heater is standard with diesel models and available with the new 6.6L gas engine.
- More-intuitive snow plow package8. The front end of the truck is designed for easy removal of the air dam and skid plate for easier and more intuitive mounting of the plow hardware. The design even eliminates the need to drill additional holes in the front bumper. And when the plow blade is removed, the Silverado HD returns to form by maintaining a smooth, integrated appearance without visible hardware.
- Diesel DEF tank/filler enhancements. The Diesel Exhaust Fluid tank is relocated farther back on the Silverado HD’s frame and out of sight from the exterior, and the inlet is located next to the fuel filler for more convenient filling. An electronic gauge readout for the DEF fluid level is added to the Driver Infotainment Center of diesel-equipped models.
- Redesigned trailering mirrors with improved perimeter lighting. New, larger and more functional door-mounted trailering mirrors are standard on all 2500HD and 3500HD models. The mirrors extend and retract using a four-bar-link system that makes for smoother operation, whether done with power or manually. The surface area of the mirrors is larger, for a greater field of view compared to the current model, and an available power extension feature makes it easier to adjust the view from the driving position. New for 2020 is the forward-facing spot lamp on each mirror that shines light at about a 45-degree angle, providing illumination on the job site or camp site. There also are side-view cameras mounted within the mirror housings, and when equipped, mirror-mounted puddle lamps and two rearward-facing spot lamps are also available.
Larger and more functional design – with distinctive models
Longer, wider and taller, the 2020 Silverado HD is larger in virtually every measure compared to the current HD. From a design standpoint, the 2020 Silverado HD has the most differentiation from light duty ever. The roof is the only shared sheet metal between the two trucks — every other piece is exclusive to HD, and scaled as such.