Following the debut of an all-new light-duty model for the 2014 model year, Chevrolet is launching a redesigned and more capable version of its Silverado HD pickup truck for 2015. Offering many of the same visual enhancements, comfort improvements, and technological upgrades showcased first by the Silverado 1500, the new HD is poised to compete with significantly updated competitors from Ford and Ram.
At the time of this writing, Chevrolet has not released complete details about the 2015 Silverado HD, including which trim levels will be offered and how they will be equipped. It is known, however, that the redesigned heavy-duty truck mirrors the design of its light-duty counterpart with inlaid doors engineered to reduce cabin noise, roof and tailgate spoilers sculpted to improve aerodynamics, and a unique front air intake design intent on facilitating cool and efficient engine operation.
Beneath the cab, which has been made more robust courtesy of high-strength steel construction, is a fully boxed frame, independent front suspension with forged steel components, and rear leaf springs that measure 3 in. wide. According to Chevrolet, the 2015 Silverado HD has a conventional tow rating of 19,600 lbs., 5th-wheel tow rating of 23,200 lbs., and a maximum payload capacity of 7,374 lbs.
Like the light-duty Silverado 1500, the new Silverado HD benefits from the addition of a corner-step bumper paired with a grab handle built into the top of the bed. Under-rail LED lighting is another new feature buyers might find helpful. Beds come in 6.5- and 8-ft. lengths.
Inside, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD serves as host to what Chevy claims are a multitude of storage provisions, additional rear leg room (crew cab models), and intuitive controls that can be easily operated even by a driver wearing work gloves, the company says. Some of those controls include buttons for the integrated trailer brake system.
With the exception of the base model, all 2015 Silverado HDs are equipped with the Chevrolet MyLink touch screen and voice-activated infotainment system.
Among the heavy-duty Silverado's available options are a spray-in bedliner, upgraded alloy wheels, side steps, ladder racks, and more. More details will become available closer to the truck's official launch early next year.
Under the Hood
Chevrolet offers buyers of the 2015 Silverado HD a choice of three engines, one of which is a 6.0-liter V-8 that delivers 360 horsepower in 2500HD guise or 322 horsepower when fitted under the hood of a 3500HD model. In either case, torque measures 380 lb.-ft. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.
A separate 6.0-liter V-8 engine is included in the 2015 lineup as well, and has been specifically engineered to run on gasoline or compressed natural gas.
Also available is a turbocharged, 6.6-liter V-8 diesel engine that generates 397 horsepower and 765 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is managed by an upgraded Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission.
For 2015, Chevy has improved the action of the Silverado HD's cruise control, diesel exhaust brake, and auto grade braking features. With these systems working in harmony, the company claims the truck succeeds in smoothly maintaining cruising speeds and helps slow things down in a controlled manner, both pluses when a driver has a heavy trailer in tow.
As noted, full 2015 Silverado HD details are not yet available, but Chevy has confirmed that most models will feature 6 air bags. Options will include a forward-collision warning system, lane-departure warning, front and rear park-assist sensors, and the vibrating active safety seat already offered in Cadillac and Buick models, as well as the recently redesigned Silverado 1500.
As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD.