First Look 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy-Duty

Z71-appearance-560

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty lineup reclaims best-in-class towing and hauling numbers, plus it adds an all-new Z71 off-road appearance package.

Like the recent 2012 GMC Sierra 3500 that won our Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker comparison test, the latest Silverado HD receives the same hardware upgrades that boost its work capabilities.

We’ve been told GM engineers specifically targeted the maximum fifth-wheel towing number by redesigning the rear leaf springs, u-bolts, and box mounts on specific HD models. In addition, GM also strengthened the internal structure of the cargo boxes and increased the size of the supports inside the box sills. Finally, as you might expect, shock upgrades needed to be made on those max payload and towing packages.

As a result of the changes, fifth-wheel towing numbers have been raised from the 21,700 pounds to 23,000 pounds for 2012. Likewise, payload capacity has been raised (for the 3500 dual-rear-wheel regular cab 6.0-liter V-8) from 6,635 to 7,215 pounds. And finally, the maximum conventional trailer weight capacity is now 18,000 pounds, up from 17,000 from last year.

2012-hd-capability-chart

The Silverado HD also adds a new Z71 appearance package for LT and LTZ models that includes a body-colored grille surround with a chrome mesh grille, body-colored bumpers, 18-inch polished forged aluminum wheels and other details.

Comments

@Cowbow69, Where are you getting your facts from pal? Are you serious or are you just throwing anything you can think of?

Us Gov owns 13% of GM, that's not near the majority.
You ford fans cant think of anything else to pick on?

actualy they the Gov ownes 26%, witch makes them the largest holder of GM stock. FYI Chevy boy. the facts come from the CEO of GM Dan Akerson. see@

http://autos.aol.com/article/gm-2011-shareholder-meeting/

I wish pickup trucks.com would dyno the front wheels, while in 4 wheel drive, on the big three just to see how much power to the ground these badboys have.
I bet the Ford and Ram would blow the GM away!
The solid front axle makes a difference, I know from experience.

Any interior updates? The GM models are so '90's...

Jessman

Is there some sort of magic differential that would cause the front axle to transfer more power than the rear? Probably not otherwise you would have an All Wheel Drive. If the front had more power than the rear, the rear wheels would effectively place drag in the system. Me-thinks than the two axles are timed to spin at the same rate and your sold axle festish is a bit misgiuded- I know from experience.

lol look at the ford fans whine, i like the so 90's interior, i like the fact my 09 keeps ticking unlike my 2010 super pooper that had broken leafs and a smoked trannsmission at 50k miles after all I know from experience. ;)

I want one. Extended cab 4x4 LT no leather for me. I do love the fact that on the LTZ the door handles are on the top of the door while on my current LT down in the middle. Plus on my LT the dash does not protude into the center column like on the LTZ's, giving a guy a little more storage space in the front of the column.

Yes I'm a guy that loves the interior of the Silverado's over the Ford and Dodge. Been in them at the car show last year, but way to plush and kind of square all over.

I seriously doubt if anyone that claims that the new IFS is just as tough as a SFA truck has ever driven all three, let alone taken the new GM IFS off-road. I have. Infact, the new IFS is much better than the old IFS but it is hardly as tough as a SFA. On road there is a slight difference in ride quality, but that is gone when similar spring rates are selected. Take a test drive in all 3, then tell me about the loud and harsh ride.

So if I complain about the IFS that failed on FR-142 in N. AZ I'm a hater? That's a pretty sound argument. Perhaps you'd like to add some facts?

The Fact is that GM didn't design the trucks for off-road use where Ford and Dodge did. Period. If you don't believe me, ask them yourself.

Anyone who actually thinks you need a straight axle instead of a independent axle for a heavy duty truck is a complete idiot and don't know what the heck they are talking about.

Someone actually posted video's of GM trucks that had tie rod failures while pulling a heavy sled. What the He double L does the weak tie rod have to do with the independent suspension??? And some people suggest that GM will never sell more HD'S because of their independent front suspension??? Excuse me? Yea, GM they don't want to sell more trucks now do they. Nope, because some moron suggested otherwise.

Serious off road vehicles do NOT have a straight axle. They have a independent front suspension that is built to take the beating of off road driving. Gee, how did all the mags miss this fatal flaw that GM's HD's have on their trucks??? Why are the mags not saying this is wrong??? or that a straight front axle is the best??? Because it's not even a issue that's why.

"off-road appearance package"

...That about sums it up. Why even bother making the suggestion on a truck so big, heavy and street-biased?

Good to see GM is makeing some minor changes.

@ Michigan Bob If IFS is so great and there is not any facts saying that a solid axel is better for a heavy duty truck then tell us all why almost every single semi has a solid beam front end or solid axel instead of IFS.

oh and did anyone else catch this "I am getting so sick and tired of this complaint it's sickening and childish to say the least." Now I find that ironic comming from Bob's key board.

When will the Obama administration sell GM?
WaPo ^ | August 27, 2011 | Editorial

THIS IS an editorial page, not a stock tip sheet. Still, maybe the Obama administration should have paid attention when we urged it to start selling off the Treasury Department’s stake in General Motors. That was on April 25, when GM’s stock sold at about $30 per share. The administration didn’t sell then, and it’s still not selling — with GM down to about $23.

So much for all those reports that Treasury wanted to exit GM by summer’s end, just as it exited its much smaller stake in Chrysler this year amid much fanfare. The government continues to hold 500 million shares, about 26.2 percent of GM; its hesitation has cost the taxpayers $3.5 billion in paper losses since our editorial.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/when-will-the-obama-administration-sell-gm/2011/08/26/gIQAt2n9iJ_story.html

OXI AND BOB ARE THE SAME GUY - Proof =
quote "Serious off road vehicles do NOT have a straight axle. They have a independent front suspension that is built to take the beating of off road driving. "

That truck in the picture sure is red.

I want to see pictures and specs of the next gen trucks.

@Chevyman - quote " Welcome to 2011. GM is now a privately owned company again"

Only is you live in a Communist/Socialist country........

GM does not have to catch up. They proved that in the challenge performed by this site. Ford needs a stronger frame and a lot more work on their drive train before they can even think about being equal to the GM HDs. That is a proven fact in real life and not just on paper like Ford claims.

@Michigan Bob

Thanks for taking the bait...

Clearly you are not an Engineer. OR if you are, you are a GM Engineer, in which case you know who I am.
Clearly you have never taken a vehicle into a "serious Off-Road" situation.
Clearly you are a GM fan and will not look outside your own favorites.

"Anyone who actually thinks you need a straight axle instead of a independent axle for a heavy duty truck is a complete idiot and don't know what the heck they are talking about."

Okay. You start with a personal attack, generally a sign that you have no facts and that the discussion is emotional, not rational. Can you provide some facts to support your claim?
Let's talk physics:
CV joint half-shafts have the greatest torque capacity and life-span when operated at a neutral angle. As the input/output angle increases, there is a decrease in torque capacity and longevity.
IFS systems must use a CV joint and because of the design as torque is transferred through the half-shafts there is a natural tenancy for the half shaft to try and twist. On IFS systems this generally results in the front wheels twisting turning towards one another, resulting in bent tie-rods. The resulting bent tie-rods WERE common in off-road use of GMT-400s and GMT-800s. The tie-rod size was slightly increased for the GMT-900s.
We can discuss the dynamics of an IFS system in actual use vs. theory and the trade-offs against a SFA suspension, but I suspect that might be too advanced.

"Someone actually posted video's of GM trucks that had tie rod failures while pulling a heavy sled. What the He double L does the weak tie rod have to do with the independent suspension??? "

Why don't you ask the Engineering Development team about the GMT-900s? Especially the HD redesign.

First, the tie-rod failures are common, not just on sled pullers, but on H2s and in general off-road use.
Second, have you ever seen a drag-link failure on a SFA truck in a similar situation?
You won't. SFA support the individual wheel shafts out to the end, nearest the join so there is very little torque steer. IFS and FWD vehicles have 2 joints in the half-shafts and the torque input into the shaft always results in torque-steer. It is a design issue that will always be present.

Tie-Rod design is directly linked to the fundamentals of IFS because the Tie-Rod is the ONLY item that prevents unwanted steering deflection.

"And some people suggest that GM will never sell more HD'S because of their independent front suspension??? Excuse me? Yea, GM they don't want to sell more trucks now do they. Nope, because some moron suggested otherwise."

Ford and Dodge, both sell SFA 4x4 trucks (we can disregard the 2wd trucks because they are all IFS) and they have 70% of the market. Ford has 50% alone. So, let's consider that GM (Chevy and GMC) has the majority of the 1/2 ton market. Why then does GM not dominate the HD market? Does GM not have a better engine and transmission? Does GM not have competitive interiors, payload, towing and fuel economy?
Compare and contrast Ford trucks and the years of lousy gas engines, 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstrokes. Ford has many negatives, yet they STILL sell more.

"Serious off road vehicles do NOT have a straight axle. They have a independent front suspension that is built to take the beating of off road driving."

Are you talking about RACE TRUCKS? Purpose built, with massive amounts of wheel travel and HD components that are NOT O/E? If you are, your point is?

If you are implying that the best O/E trucks for off-road use are IFS, then you're under the influence and have ZERO reference to reality.
I could then take your same model of analysis and say:
How come all the serious race vehicles are RWD? and use that as a reason to explain why FWD is worthless.

"Gee, how did all the mags miss this fatal flaw that GM's HD's have on their trucks??? Why are the mags not saying this is wrong??? or that a straight front axle is the best??? Because it's not even a issue that's why. "

What Mags are you talking about? Are you talking about mags that target the casual truck user, the typical 1/2 ton buyer, those that NEVER go off-road or into tough situations? First, advertising is huge in the magazine world. Second, off-road magazines have been pointing out the GM IFS flaws for a very long time. Clearly you only read certain mags and base all your opinions on the thoughts of others.
GM spends a very large amount of money advertising and the same parent company owns two magazines that had completely different reviews of the GM HDs.

SFA, as we have it in the current market place, is the most durable front suspension design. It IS an issue and even GM knows it. GM redesigned the front suspension for the 2011 HDs because of the flaws in the prior IFS. They designed their new IFS to be great on pavement, good in snow, sand and on graded roads. The new IFS is not nearly as strong as the SFA competition. GM rolled the dice based on money and time. They beefed their IFS to be more competitive but didn't go to SFA because of the major frame changes that would be required. GM kept the IFS because of costs, PERIOD. Ford and Dodge have vids all over with their trucks off-road and GM avoids posting any of their trucks in tough situations.

I am a HUGE GM fan and I'd much rather have a GM truck, but I won't buy a truck that requires an alignment every time I take it off-road. I won't buy a truck that fails off-road and bends or breaks components. So, true to my own word (to GM Engineers) I rented a 2011 HD and took it off-road, where I take my trucks (a Dodge and a GM leaf-spring SFA truck). The new GM HD bent a tie rod. Yes this is anecdotal, but it is indicative of the GM IFS experience. People that never take them off-road have no idea of the GM IFS flaws.

So, Michigan Bob, take it from someone that actually uses their truck, the new GM HDs are great in many ways, but they are still sub-par off-road when compared to Ford and Dodge. Think I'm wrong, why don't you log off and actually TRY all three? Don't like it? Why don't you point out how great the IFS is to Ford and Dodge?

@-Steve M
I'm saying that the SFA gives you equal power on both axles not more power up front.
The IFS doesn't have the same kind of torque up front, it feels like it's only giving you about 25 to 30% pull.
I actually slid backwards down a 8% grade in my 2011 HD chevy off road in fourwheel drive while pulling 12k.
I had to put the trailer into a tree to stop it from dragging me down the hill, needless to say the fourwheel drive system on the chevy sucks when pulling a heavy load.

I want one but in sweden the trucks cost 100 000 usd need to stick whit my 6.2 diesel a while

@jessman

I am really confused. Sliding backward on steepish grade with a heavy trailer is an IFS issue? Sounds like a traction issue that any truck could have with the same tires.

I pulled my 10k trailer on snow and ice up similar grades this winter in the Sierras and the truck pulled beautifully as long as the tires had traction.

@js
Not sure your physics are correct but did the truck have a lift kit with big tires?

@- Steve
Don't be confused, it was a little slippery ( that's why I was in fourwheel drive ) had my fourwheel drive system worked I would not have lost traction.
I had to have someone pull up the hill and it just happened to be a ford.
The ford pulled me up the hill just fine, talk about embarrassing, now I own a ford :)

The fact that; Jeep (the 4X4 authority) is still using solid-axles and Ford & Ram are using solid-axled 4X4s, proves the superiority of solid axles when it comes to strength, durability, and effectiveness.

@johnny

"Not sure your physics are correct but did the truck have a lift kit with big tires?"

Stone Cold Stock 2011 HD reg cab, long-bed, 4x4 with a 6.0. Stock tires, everything stock, less than 20,000 miles.

My physics is sound. IFS toe-in is pretty common, and it is exaggerated by large tires, high-torque diesels and heavy trucks. I would never lift a GM IFS, way too many issues with component strength and longevity. For the price, install a SFA. Or get a truck that can handle larger tires stock (or with a minimal lift).

The old GMT400/800s had many more issues with the front suspension than the new 900-HDs.

sounds like jessman wasn't use to driveing a chevy had more power then he could handle causeing him to break the tire lose due to high hp and tq in which he lost traction not use to driveing a chevy he keep is foot to the floor which in a ford is fine because they can't spin the tires so instead of lifting outta the throttle he smoked the tires off till he slowed to a stop and started slideing backward still smoken all four tires screaming like a girl then crashed into a tree haha sorry couldn't help myself on that one and the guy who bent a tie rod did you hit a hell of a hole or big a$# rock going 100mph? drive my chevy hd off road everyday i go to work and aint bend nothing going on 120k miles now i guess some can't drive to save their life lol

@chevy guy

I was driving on an ungraded forest road, in 4Lo, at about 3-5mph, and was driving through a series of ruts with rocks, trees and off-camber areas. The front tires both dropped into a rut and I was trying to carefully creep out, but had to give a bit of throttle to bring the engine RPMs up against the torque converter to overcome the converter slip (stall) at low speed. I've been in worse in my Dodge and my SFA Suburban and never, ever had an issue, but I bent a tie-rod. It was in a stone-cold stock truck, in an area I've been to countless times for hunting. I'm not sure what you call off-road, but I'm telling you that in the type of situation I was in, GM tie-rod failures are well documented. Period.

I'll tell you what, if you think I can't drive, bring your Chevy out to AZ and we'll go on some real off-road trails!

i do some good offroading in the hills of pennsylvania to get to oil wells i need to plug some of the places i go theres not even a road no more i go scout out the area if i can then get my d5 dozer serive rig and plug the well and use my truck to haul in the stuff i need to do my job, and when im not in real nasty stuff im on ruff dirt roads my trucks all stock too. only time i see tie fail is if someone hit something going fast or putting big tires and tons of money into the motor to make high hp tq and they fail to spend the $200 for the upgraded tie rods

sorry my truck is a 2008

Don't know what is wrong what is rite but i know that every one has there own point of view and same goes to this one

does ford still use vacume assist 4 wheel drive?

i just seen afew of the 2012 chevy hd's and the painted grill and bumper in black look realy good. many people say the chevy's bodie style look's the same as 2008-2010 but look how long the ford has had the same body styel since what 1999 just different front clip .like diesle power mag sais they could do with out the tail gate bar to get in the bed of a ford then named gmc hd dolley truck of the yr



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