Chevrolet has decided to increase fuel economy and horsepower at the same time. This is no easy task and costs “who knows” how much in research and development. A necessary expenditure if you want to be King of the truck market. Ask anyone who drives a truck and they’ll tell you “It’s good to be the King”.
The new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado trucks along with the new Tahoe and suburban sport utility vehicles are built on what General Motors is calling the GMT 900 platform.
The trucks have been picking up awards from consumer groups and journalists all around the world. A large miles per gallon increase coupled with increases in horsepower remains the most important area of improvement, but far from the only ones on this line of trucks.
The government agency I worked for has added several hundred of these new trucks to our fleet. If you give the customer what they want, more power, attractive new styling increased fuel economy and built on a solid boxed frame then sales will increase and awards will be won.
Economy and Power at the Same Time
Chevrolet is actively pushing the new EcoTec3 5.3L V-8 engine offering an EPA-estimated 25 mpg highway for 2WD models and 23 mpg highway for 4WD models.
This engine is now available with active fuel management. Active fuel management simply put is the computer disconnecting four of the eight cylinders to an increase the fuel economy of the vehicle.
The deactivation of the four cylinders only occurs at highway cruising speeds and cannot be felt by the vehicle’s operator. When you apply more power the active fuel management system re-engages all eight cylinders providing you with the power you expect from a V-8.
Whats the Fuel Economy Look Like
The new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado line of trucks has been producing 25 miles per gallon or better on the highway. This is a large improvement over the previous model years. As an example, back in 2003 this pick up would get around 15 miles per gallon highway with a strong tail wind.
My own truck is a 2004 Chevrolet Blazer with a 4.3 L V-6. My truck continues to receive around 17 miles to the gallon on the highway and about 15 miles per gallon in the city.
I am working on this problem with some unconventional methods that you can see on my page about increasing fuel economy. The fact that a larger more powerful truck can receive better fuel economy is a sure sign that General Motors is stepping up to the plate and designing a vehicle the automotive consumer truly needs.
Other Improvements Chevrolet Made
General Motors redesigned Silverado truck line which includes the Tahoe, the suburban and their line of pickup trucks, uses a new box style frame. Entry level trucks will compete hard with the f-150 in the V6 category with the resurrection of the 4.3L also using active fuel management.
Unlike other manufacturers starting to come on board with the box style frame, General Motors has run the frame in one solid piece from the front all the way to the rear axle. This improves frame rigidity and is usually connected with ride and handling considerations.
This also helps with aerodynamics thereby improving fuel economy. The Fully boxed frame keeps down the torsional twisting of the vehicle as it is driven down the road. This process closes and tightens gaps on the truck. This makes it look better but also improves the fuel economy by further improving aerodynamics.
The new platform for the 2015 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra line up offers a smoother ride and provides more responsive handling while still delivering cargo-carrying capability. The small block V-8 engine complements the stronger chassis to deliver higher towing capacity of over 6,500lbs. Plus you get horsepower and fuel economy while maintaining a maximum payload capacity of 2100 pounds in the bed.
The new Silverado and Sierra models or more spacious inside with increased interior storage capacity. The interior is enhanced with new low and forward instrument panels. The new models are also packed with quality safety features including roof mounted head curtain side air bags.
Premier safety protection is led by industry exclusive rear impact sensors and the standard stability track electronic control system available on crew cab models. The interior of Chevrolet’s new models will have a choice of two configurations. The luxury option will include the interior out of the high-line Tahoe and Suburban. This interior includes lots of leather and wood grain panels for the high-end buyer.
Chevrolet has not forgotten the heritage of the pickup truck and is also offering a work truck style interior. This interior still includes all of the power features that we have become used to, but is still user-friendly enough to jump into with dirty boots.
Fuel Economy and Automatic Transmissions
As you may have noticed, Ford and Dodge have come out with a six and eight speed transmissions. Chevrolet has decided to join the crowd and abandon its reliable five speed transmission as standard equipment. The 8-speed automatic will be a nice addition if reliability doesn’t suffer.
Chevrolet had so much faith in its old transmission that they offered a 100,000 mile or 5 year power train warranty on it. Chevrolet stated in an automotive news press release that they will pull back on the warranty starting in 2016. The new term is 5 years 60,000 miles going forward.
As a closing note, if fuel economy is not a concern and power is more important to you. General Motors has left this option up to you. If you are looking for raw power, go ahead and order your truck with the 6.2 L V-8. This engine provides 385 hp and a 10,500 pound tow rating. Give this automotive information page a bookmark or share.
I filed this story in my automobile news section because of the ground breaking technology being used by General Motors on this truck. See what else I think is news worthy. This next link takes you from Silverado fuel economy to automotive news. Learn about what else this automotive website covers on the home page. Also find out more about the car mechanic that built this website and why he tries to provide quality answers to car questions.