Trucks

2020 Chevy Silverado HD tows up to 35,500 pounds, has up to 910 lb-ft

The truck also boasts "transparent" trailer tech and a 10-speed automatic.

Chevrolet

General Motors first showed us the look of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup truck in December, and now, we finally have all the important details. The biggest number concerns towing, which, at up to 35,500 pounds, has increased a whopping 52 percent over the last Silverado HD. That's slightly more than the new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty (35,100 pounds) and also bests the outgoing 2019 Ford Super Duty (35,000 pounds), though Ford's figure is likely to climb for 2020 very soon. The Silverado HD's maximum payload ratings are also up to 7,466 pounds.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The new truck can tow up to 52 percent more than its predecessor.

Chevrolet

Towing capability is, of course, closely related to the beefy powertrains under the hood of the new Silverado HD. The base engine is a new, 6.6-liter, direct-injected Vortec V8 rated for 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. That beats the outgoing truck's base 6.0-liter V8, which was good for 360 hp and 380 lb-ft. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The upgrade option is a Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8, which continues to be rated at 445 hp and 910 lb-ft. That's a bit behind the curve now that the Ram HD is offering a whopping 1,000 lb-ft with its diesel engine. Still, the Duramax is now mated to a new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, which helps it bolster the aforementioned towing ratings.

In fact, Chevy engineers beefed up all the critical components needed for the Duramax to tow 35,500 pounds. Compared with last year's HD trucks, the new models' boxed ladder frame is tougher, the axles are larger, the prop shafts are enlarged and even the Duramax's cooling fan has increased by 2.5 inches in diameter.

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Advanced tech makes towing easier

Chevrolet's data show that 90 percent of its heavy-duty truck buyers use their vehicles for towing, so it's no surprise the automaker has included lots of high technology to make that simpler -- and safer -- bundled under the brand name Advanced Trailering System. For starters, the Silverado HD can be equipped with cameras that provide up to 15 different camera views, including an accessory camera mounted to a trailer that allows drivers to "see through" what they're towing. The feature will also be offered on the Chevy's sibling, the 2020 GMC Sierra HD.

It's worth noting, however, that the Silverado HD does not offer adaptive cruise control, offered by both Ford and Ram's HD trucks, or lane-keep assist. Chevrolet told Roadshow that adaptive cruise is "coming," but it'll likely debut on the Silverado 1500 first.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The truck's many variants include this 2500 HD Custom.

Chevrolet

The Silverado HD also is compatible with a Trailer App you can use to verify lights, tire pressures and other critical check-ins before setting off with a trailer. Each truck also has a customized Trailering Information Label, which reveals that specific model's curb weight, gross vehicle weight rating, gross combined weight rating, maximum payload, maximum tongue weight and gross axle weight ratings -- in other words, all the stats you'd want to know before hitching up your wagon.

Other tech features include Park Grade Hold Assist, which can use all four of the truck's service brakes (rather than just the parking brakes) to keep truck and trailer in place on a slope. The truck will stay in Tow/Haul mode if it was driven in that mode within the prior four hours. And a new after-run feature helps automatically cool down the Duramax diesel when necessary. If the engine is hot after heavy hauling, a message in the instrument cluster will advise the driver to leave the engine running. If he or she ignores it and exists the truck, the remote-start system will activate for up to 15 minutes so the Duramax can cool itself down properly.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Enlarged steps are now able to fit a size-12 boot and can support up to 500 pounds of weight.

Chevrolet

Bigger all round

To go along with the beefed-up towing abilities, Chevy also supersized the Silverado HD everywhere else. Take the bed, for instance, which for the first time in Silverado HD history does not share its box with the 1500 models. The standard box has 6.7 inches more "usable width" and is 3 inches longer, while the long box (8-foot) is now 0.5 inch longer.

At the same time, Chevy took steps to make using those boxes easier. The liftover height is now almost an inch lower than before, and the box sides have been lowered for easier fifth-wheel trailer towing. The CornerSteps that help users clamber up to the bed are larger, too, now able to accommodate a size-12 boot and tough enough to support 500 pounds of weight.

So too has the truck's cab itself grown. Silverado HD Crew Cab models now ride on a 5.2-inch longer wheelbase and boast a 10.4-inch longer length with a 1.4-inch wider width. That affords about 3 inches more cab length, Chevy says, contributing to more interior room.

2020 Chevy Silverado HD

Up to 15 different camera angles are available to make towing easier and safer.

Chevrolet

As we saw in earlier releases, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD also has a brand-new design on the outside -- one that has been a little polarizing. Regardless of what you think of the look, it's worth noting that this Silverado HD has more differentiation from the 1500 model than ever before, with only the roof panel shared between the trucks. That massive front grille can optionally be equipped with active shutters, too, to help reduce drag and thus boost fuel efficiency.

There will be five different trim levels, starting with the basic Work Truck and moving up through Custom, LT, LTZ and the flashy High Country. Chevy also says the truck is offered in a total of 22 cab, bed, chassis and driveline combinations.

Other engineering tweaks focused on improving usability for truck owners. The diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) filling port has been relocated, next to the diesel fuel filler, and there's now a DEF level readout offered in the Chevy's instrument cluster. A head-up display, a heavy-duty truck exclusive, provides more driving info at a glance. A redesigned block-heater plug, integrated into the bumper, is easier to reach and doesn't require owners to pop the hood or leave cords dangling out of the truck's grille. And Chevy says a redesigned snow-plow prep package is easier to install, without the need to drill holes in the truck.

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD goes on sale this summer, with pricing set to be confirmed closer to that time.