Rendering by Mark Stehrenberger for PickupTrucks.com
Because GM has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to redesign its full-size pickups, we asked renowned automotive illustrator Mark Stehrenberger to take a stab at what these trucks could look like when they debut around 2013.
A few weeks back, we showed you the next-gen GMC Sierra 1500 half-ton. This time, it's the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
A significant influence for the future Silverado is likely to be the 2003 Chevrolet Cheyenne concept pickup. Its breakthrough styling was based on past Chevy trucks that included the 1955 Cameo, 1972 C10 Cheyenne and 1988 C/K Silverado, because each of those trucks shared a "common design vocabulary that was pure in form and purpose," according to GM.
We've also heard buzz about a new production vehicle that might shape the Silverado's skin: the Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro combines retro styling with aggressive modern cues to create a unique shape in that long-running sports car's heritage. It's finding its way into other vehicles, too. The upcoming replacement for the Chevrolet Malibu full-size sedan will show off elements of Camaro in its taillights and C-pillar. So, with both the Cheyenne and Camaro in mind, here's a potential styling direction the Silverado could take that makes it more aggressive than today's truck while carrying forward traditional Chevy truck DNA.
We're told by sources that the Silverado will look significantly more different from GMC Sierra than it does today.
A sleeker exterior is expected to contribute to improved gas mileage. GM is also studying whether automatically opening and closing the grille inlets of its full-size pickups could improve aerodynamics and mileage.
Powertrain improvements are expected to include wide use of direct injection across the Silverado's engine lineup, including, we're told, a (maybe 7.0-liter?) new large-displacement V-8 gas engine. GM's next-generation full-size hybrid technology will also arrive by 2013, with stronger, more efficient electric motors and batteries, giving the gas-electric trucks up to 50 percent better towing capacity.
Like their 2011 heavy-duty brothers, the next-generation Silverado and Sierra light-duty pickups will ride on all-new frames. Expect the HD pickups to receive new sheetmetal that's similar to the light-duty pickups.