Chevrolet knows that the truck market is a petty game. Right before Ford’s set to unveil a new Super Duty, GM has tried to steal some thunder with this, the new 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD.
Let’s start with what isn’t new. The 6.6-liter gasoline V8 stays completely unchanged for 2024, still making 401 horsepower and 464 lb.-ft. of torque. However, the gasoline engine is now mated to the same 10-speed Allison automatic gearbox as the diesel. Gas-powered models get a 3.73 axle ratio while diesels get a 3.42 axle ratio, and cheap and cheerful way of maximizing component sharing. As for that 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8, its output jumps to 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque, giving a properly-equipped Silverado 3500 2WD regular cab diesel a maximum gooseneck towing capacity of 36,000 pounds. Handy if you need to move, say, a moon.
If you need to move something that’s more of an object and less of a location, the standard gasoline V8 should do nicely. A crew cab 4WD 3500 with the gasoline engine and the standard bed has a fifth-wheel towing capacity of 21,600 pounds, which is plenty. What’s more, maximum base payload on a gasoline-powered three-quarter-ton dually clocks in at an impressive 7,290 pounds. Can someone say ramp truck? If you don’t want a truck that’s 96.75 inches wide but still want a diesel engine and need to tow a lot of stuff, Chevrolet now has a max towing package for diesel 2500 models. A properly-equipped three-quarter-ton can tow 22,500 pounds, not bad for long-haul towing.
There’s good news inside the new Silverado HD as well. A brand new dashboard takes this truck’s interior from a fairly rugged design to a space that should make foremen across America very happy. There’s a new dash pad, a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 13.4-inch infotainment system to compete with Ram’s accouterments. It’s largely similar to the interior in the half-ton Silverados, save for some minor details like console configuration.
Of course, with a facelift comes new tech, and the new Silverado HD aims to make towing easier. For starters, adaptive cruise control is now available and will work when pulling a trailer. Blind-spot monitoring will also adapt to suit trailering, while a camera system can now stitch together an image to make your fifth-wheel trailer essentially invisible. Speaking of trailering, the new Silverado HD will alert drivers when they’ve exceeded gross combined weight limits.
Oh, there’s something else that’s new for 2024, but we don’t exactly know what it’ll look like yet. Chevrolet’s bringing its macho ZR2 off-road trim up to the heavy duty pickups, which should pair luxury with performance enhancements. The obvious target for the ZR2 is Ram’s Power Wagon, but we’ll have to wait and see whether the ZR2 will be made for forest crews or desert runners.
Unfortunately, there is an elephant in the room here. At some point, every Silverado HD owner will need to look at the hideous front end of their truck. While the facelift includes a new bumper, new headlights, and a new grille, it still doesn’t make for a handsome truck. Instead of looking like a pile of scrap metal, the Silverado HD now looks like something Optimus Prime would use for manscaping. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely an improvement over the old truck, but it still looks a bit unfortunate.
Overall, I quite like the changes Chevrolet’s made to its heavy-duty pickup truck. Downloading the diesel’s ten-speed gearbox to the gas model should keep that 6.6-liter naturally-aspirated V8 in the powerband more of the time, the interior looks to be a wonderful improvement, and adaptive cruise control should make towing a breeze. I’m still not a fan of the truck’s appearance, although it’s difficult to sculpt an absolute brick wall of a front end. However, if the new Silverado HD doesn’t tickle your truck fancy, don’t fret. Not only is the current Ram heavy-duty pickup truck brilliant, the new Ford Super Duty will be unveiled later today.