Video Interview: Jeff Luke, Executive Chief Engineer Full-Size Truck, Parts 1 & 2

2014-Chevrolet-Silverado-Action front II

We had the chance to get some time with the man responsible for both of the new GM half-ton pickup trucks: Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for full-size trucks. Because he was a little chatty, we decided to break the video into several pieces. Here are the first two and we'll have two more coming later.

Part 1

Part 2

Comments

This new Chevy is impressive. About time.

The only thing class leading about these trucks will be the new engines. Everything else still has GM trucks in 3rd place.

GOVT MO CO Sissy Sierra Pile of CRAP! WHY does Government Motors NEED 2 TRUCKS FINANCED BY THE TAXPAYERS!?? Pathetic and UN AMERICAN! Where's MY MONEY BACK!

@MoparRetard,

Why does Ram need Fiat to build a better truck, what a PILE OF CRAP Company.

FYI, the tax dollars you pay are no longer your money. So yeah, stop whining.

The Sierra looks really GOOD!

I cant help but like the external changes but I am having a hard time getting over having so much time (the longest truck redesign of the big 3) and coming up with a mediocre interior. I think the outside is great, performance will be great but that the interior needs to go back for some tweaking. I am not partisan to any truck manufacturer as I have owned all of them but this one did not make me want to run out and buy one..when Ram did their unveil of their new truck and interior I thought differently. Ford, well meh, outside needs a refresh (not just headlights) but the interior is very nice. Just my 0.02 cents worth.. I will however keep an open mind for when I actually see it at the upcoming Toronto auto show in February. Cheers

Why would GM stop selling the GMC? They sell over 100,000 per year. More than Toyota Tacomas but no one says Toyota should stop selling them. I think it's smart. If you don't like the looks of the Chevy, which I don't, maybe you'll like the GMC and still buy a GM. That's what I did back in 2003 when I thought the Chevy was just plain ugly but liked the GMC. If they didn't make the Sierra I would have not bought a GM truck.

Why is everyone making a big deal about this truck! A lot of this stuff is already been done by ram tundra f150 etc. Like the doors the tailgate side steps. CMON MAN other than the engines i dont see really anything to make me say wow i gotta have it!

It's funny when asked for the top 3 things he's most proud of that his team executed on these trucks, and he starts with the bumper step. Uh, how many years has GM been using that on the Avalanche already?

FYI, the tax dollars you pay are no longer your money. So yeah, stop whining.

-Typical comment from a screwball liberal GMC driver. Take your Sierra to France and take Obama with you. This is the United States Of America. I'll accept Chevrolet once the money is paid back. Everything else GovtMoCo related, forget about it. It was everything else that our tax money went to prop up. IE Buick, in direct relation to China and Europe. GMC was kept to support Buick dealers to support China and Opel Europe which is a Buick by default. I hate GM for doing this and thus GMC trucks. Chevrolet and Cadillac are the only true worthwhile American brand GM owns left. Those two could have survived just fine without the Federal Government.

I was hoping to hear him talk more about DURABILITY. As a truck owner that works them hard as crap, that's what I care about, and that's what I think ALL of the truck makers need to improve in one way or another. I don't want to worry about my power windows failing on me, or my truck failing to start for some electrical issue. (am I the only one that is worried about electric power steering that doesn't have direct physical linkage to the steering wheel?) Or my plastic ignition switch breaking. Or my weak sheet metal getting a dent just by leaning on it. Or my rear view camera failing. Or my grill shutters failing. Or my cv joints wearing out at 65,000 miles. Why do I feel like many of these durability issues have not improved over the last ten years and in some cases gotten worse? It's what really worries me about the new ram with all its new features. I welcome all of the gadgets and technology, but it makes me really really angry when something doesn't LAST like it's supposed to. My 09 truck has been in for repairs more than my 02 truck. My 96 truck wasn't real refined but was more reliable than either of them. Is it just me or is durability going to crap on these newer trucks? I miss the days when I could sit up on the hood (now i'm worried i'm going to dent it just by shutting it too hard). I miss the days when I could work the truck hard day in and day out without having a major problem. It wasn't as refined, but much better for WORK.

Its too bad manufacturing efficiencies won out over an upgraded Atlas I6. No matter, the old 4.3, despite being a slug, was a very durable slug.
Shame that GM will not be using SAE J2807. Perhaps once Ford updates in 2015, but they already could have made the change with the new engines 2 years ago. At least when a Tundra has a stated tow capacity, I can reference how they came up with it.
I o not like the look of the area around the center LCD. THat swoopy plastic area is too wide. Some more functional details might have been nice. Everyone designing truck interiors should look at the dashboard of a current Ford Transit-http://www.ford.co.uk/Commercialvehicles/Transit/Interior-Cab
storage bins and cupholders everywhere, but it still looks clean.

These new trucks just seem so fragile to me. Not just the chevy, but all of them. Remember "like a rock"? They actually lived up to that once. If they were to bring back that slogan it would be laughable with the durability of what they are offering now. These new trucks don't appear to be much better and when one of the chief engineers doesn't hardly mention durability I am worried. "look at my pretty bumper step."

Great interview and you got a great scoop!

GM will not use J2807 on their 2014 Silverado. They are waiting on Ford. Once again this proves GM is a follower, not a leader.

@Dave, How dare you throw down the gauntlet in a GM post. That is it. GM does not have anything to hide and has NOT said they are not using J2897. It has absolutely nothing to do with not being a leader. GM is just postposing it until everyone including Ford and Ram is doing it! Ford is too scared. There is more money in lying to your face! Wow!

Hate to break it to you Dave, GM already has tested its trucks to the new standard and have passed. Ford won't do it. Period. You are very jealous of GM. AND YOUR POSTS PROVE THAT EVERYDAY!

These new trucks are following in the footsteps of trucks that last longer then a Ford or Dodge pickup and cost less to maintain then a Ford or Dodge pickup. All you Ford and Dodge truck owners must enjoy having a hobby of spending extra money on your trucks and having to buy a new one more often then a GM truck owner.

I like these trucks better every time I se them. If GM can get the hp/trq numbers right I think they'll hit it out of the park.

4.3 320HP/320TRQ @23-24 MPG
Would be close enough to the ECO Boost to shave some sales of people that don't want the compilcation of a turbo engine. It would also whip out the Pentastar.

5.3 380HP/380TRQ @20-22 MPG
Would compete well with the Ford 5.0 and close enough to the Hemi it would win sales with better fuel economy.

6.2 430HP/430TRQ -----
Would be class leading and is fairly reasonable. Remember the new LT1 6.2 has been annouced with 450HP/450TRQ and a lot of folks are thinking that is conservative.

@MoparRetard

Are you one of those Dodge auto workers who was initially fired for drinking and smoking during a lunch break?

Correction:

@MoparRetard

Are you one of those Dodge auto workers who was initially fired for drinking booze and smoking pot during a lunch break?

@beebe - EPS or electronic power assist still has a direct link to the steering. Instead of hydraulics that continually use power to pump oil, this system uses electricity. If you are steering in a straight line less electricity is used. It isn't "drive by wire".

@Detroit Bob - I bet that everyone already knows the J2897 ratings. They won't release them. As Jeff Luke said, they are keeping a close eye on what Ford and Ram does. No one wants to give the other company an edge. Who ever man's up and adopts the standards first will get beat by the next player in line because they will tweek their trucks to gain an advantage.

@Greg - these trucks aren't out yet plus you don't even own a GMT 900 so how can you say the new trucks are more reliable than the competition?

Please post some proof other that your BS stories.

@Greg,

RAM is the longest lasting truck here in Canada..

The cost of maint..is bogus as it involves oil changes,tire rotations,headlight adjustment,windshield washer replacement and Chrysler dealers cost/charge more per hour than any other dealer.Even a oil change at a Chrysler dealer is more than any other company.So that is why Chrysler products have a so called high cost of ownership.

I have owned all brands and my Chrysler products have proved to be the most reliable.

Furthermore,Dodge RAM guys have to buy new trucks every few years because they just keep getting better and better more power,better mpg and better looking,smoother riding,better handling ...GM people can keep their rides 12 or so years because they dont change,this new 2014 GM truck looks the same as it did 6 years ago lol !! So why buy a new GM they look the same,just changed the headlights !!

GM guys are totally gealous that their trucks didnt change...Same ugly looking turds they had for several years !

@TRX4 Tom
Here is an interesting article on the Amarok it claims to be getting 36.2mpg, this is combined cycle as well, which is a mix of urban/highway driving. The 2.2 Ranger is very close to that figure.

At Highway speeds at 100kmh I would be getting about 32mpg out of my BT50 with the 3.2 diesel.

I know there is a large full size audience in the US, but from what I have read there a people willing to comprise a bit of 0-60 acceleration for a diesel. We also have as big a difference in the price of diesel to petrol as you guys do.

In Australia SUVs are big sellers but our utes are increasing at a much quicker rate (except Ford and Holden), especially the dual cabs for families.

Here is the review. Sorry.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/first-drives/volkswagen-amarok-20-tdi

I may be looking at a 6.2L GMC Seirra as my next truck in a year or two. I will wait to see the offerings from Toyota and Nissan (I need the new 5.6L and 7-speed auto also change the front to a bigger grill and smaller bumper instead of the current design.)

The more I look at it the 6.2L Seirra has made the finals we which of the other two will join them.

Chevrolet and Cadillac are the only true worthwhile American brand GM owns left. Those two could have survived just fine without the Federal Government.


-This. We got swindled to support a bunch on brands that aren't even needed in the States. 2 trucks? Get real. Absolutely a waste of taxpayer dollars. I agree completely with that Mopar idiot on this 1 issue. It was all about China and Europe, not America as it was pitched. Chevrolet could have broken off with Cadillac away from GM and gone on just fine without screwing the taxpayers. This whole thing was a farce for other nation's benefit. I likewise have no love for the GMC and Buick brands. Nothing else needs to be said.

6.2L should be sweet based on its Vette inheritance. With the 8 speed it should clean house in terms of raw power/speed/towing. And keep in mind one bonus with GM small Crew cab (didn't get larger) is they didn't add weight.

Watched 2nd vid:

- So how d those "hand pockets" work when owners intall a bed cover?!?

- WOW a 6.5 ft crew box. Only 8MY after Ford. Ground breaking! EIGHT!

@DODGE RAM from Canada - funny that you are claiming "longest lasting truck" to a GMC man. GMC uses the same criteria as Ram Canada. Longest lasting based upon registrations.
There is no mention of repair and maintenance costs, just registration. One could spend 50,000 dollars to restore a 30 year old pickup and as long as it has remained registered - both GMC USA and Ram Canada count that as longest lasting.

Ram makes that claim from data collected from 1987 to current.

Odd considering the fact that "RAM" didn't become a stand alone brand until 2009.
I wonder why they don't look back further than 1987?

The butt ugly first gen trucks were in production until 1993.

Please read the fine print before you believe any advertising from any company.

@Greg: are you talking bout following in the footsteps of these trucks?

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=2002&make=Chevrolet&model=Silverado%201500&trimid=94716#VIP_TAB

Yeah Greg, those trucks were real jewells! A mechanics dream come true! Oh wait....are you just a mchanic hoping that GM puts out this same quality? Or maybe working in a dealership? Good job security!

Or is it in the footsteps of these trucks, Greg?

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=1997&make=Chevrolet&model=C/K%201500&trimid=-1

Feel free to look up heir listed reliability for Dodge or whichever. It's no JD Powers stuff!

I do like the bumper step, but the NEW 2006 Chevy I bought in December 2006 was a real pile. So no Chevys for me. I tried them. I also looked at Fords this last time, they had no 6.5 bed crews around and I wasn't about to buy a SCAB, I mean, a Super Cab, two get a bigger bed. I also looked at Toyotas alot. Couldn't bring myself to buy something that rode like a pogo stick wen empty.

So my two cents… I think both of these trucks are right what was needed. Is everybody going to love them… NOPE, but they are an improvement over the current trucks, and will further raise the bar for the competitors. What that means is the others will work to overtake / match capabilities. So in the end we get better trucks. I appreciate the focus on this update. They fixed what was lacking (Drive train / Interior) and left well enough alone what worked. Is the redesign revolutionary; nope, but when was the last revolutionary change in trucks. The only 2 big changes in the last 20 + years I can remember was Chevy in 89 and ford in 97 with the F150. Sure there has been updates and advances but for good reason they are fairly conservative.
For the people complaining about the auto bailout. At least the government got payments back from the loans from both Chrysler and GM. Look into how much money went to the mortgage industry over the last 4 years. How much of that will ever be recouped?
I’m looking forward to the specs for the engines and drive trains to be released. Also appreciate the fact that GM built a purpose built V-6 engine rather than taking a SUV/Car V-6 and putting in into a truck. Nice to see the focus on torque for trucks.

These trucks don't seem to innovate new ideas like Ford and Ram. They seem to wait until other companies have proven success with something then they will adopt it. Just my observation. I think the Sierra looks better. Silverado still ugly to me. I thought it was laughable when the proudest thing they've done was foot wells in bumper.

I have to say i like the new chevy 1500 it looks good with the face lift... but the gmc looks god awful. Cant wait to see those mpg//hp numbers!

Isn't that corner step a little high? An older person or someone with a disability or weight problem isn't going to bend their leg that high. To get up to the bumper it is a jumpshot. Can't load straight on either. Got to go at it from the corner? Doesn't make sense. If you're going to make improvements, make improvements that make sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RQ6CBjGMpw

I wonder what Gary White said about the Ram with about 70 more ft pounds trq and 75 more horses in a heavier truck with 3.55 gears vs. 3.42, after the Ram beat it here n the 30 k shootout gas mileage event? Whatever he says, Howie will nod and agree.

Shoot Greg, just when I was going to say that they had no problems with heating and cooling or suspension, I looked at the 2006. Sure nuf, suspension issues. 2006 is the last year that they reported. That's funny, my 2006 didn't have those problems, I only gave it 25,000 miles in one year before I got sick of all the other tuff and the noise in the driveline. This from a truck that didn't get hot rodded, I didn't play offroad (I would have been stuck so fast with the highway oriented tires that get the mileage) and I didn't tow over 6,000 with. So for themost part, 25,000 of easy highway miles.

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=2006&make=Chevrolet&model=Silverado%201500&trimid=-1

Wow, those 2002 Silverados take the cake though! Follow in these footsteps?

Thie version is a little better. Interesting that he indicated in the vids that they used focus groups....you mean to tell me one of them said anything about the wheel wells and the dash layouts?

This version is better but still not there. Too car like still.

Sissy tires too.

For the people complaining about the auto bailout. At least the government got payments back from the loans from both Chrysler and GM. Look into how much money went to the mortgage industry over the last 4 years. How much of that will ever be recouped?
I’m looking forward to the specs for the engines and drive trains to be released. Also appreciate the fact that GM built a purpose built V-6 engine rather than taking a SUV/Car V-6 and putting in into a truck. Nice to see the focus on torque for trucks.


Posted by: Alan | Dec 17, 2012 11:44:09 PM

That is true. Also, the government still has not been paid back by Ford for the 6 billion that it borrowed in 2009 to refurb their factories and build more fuel efficient cars. When will they be paying this back? As a taxpayer it is only fair to ask. There was an article online a couple of months ago that stated Ford has yet to pay a penny of it back.

I like the exterior on both trucks, especially the extended cab Chevy. Although I would really love to see some two tone paint combos. But my main concern with the new truck is the interior.
I keep hearing more soft touch and that's great but those same dark colors stink! Please give us some more shades of brown and beige or red or even some blue if only in cloth! Black and "slate" are not colors! They are devoid of color! I love the bench seat but is the fold down arm rest going to be so wide it hinders your arm's motion during steering and what about the placement of the grab handle on the door panel? Is it centered and not obscuring any switches?
It was the interior quality and the "little things" that kept me from trading in my '06 for the current truck and if these issues have not been addressed then I guess my next new Chevy is a used '98 K1500.
Despite what Mr. Luke is saying, I don't believe GM is listening.

@ Alan Gm was 1988MY
- then I'd consider Ram 1994 IMHO and Ford MY1997 and Ford 2004MY.
And I don't like calling a refresh albeit a MAJOR one, "all new' (Ford 2009 and GM 2014 and every Superduty since 1999)

2 huge points on the interiors.

GM did not go with a flat load floor on the 2014. That is a mistake.
http://shows.autospies.com/gallery/auto-show-photos.asp?imageId=166231&galleryId=523

GM says the rear doors are larger on crewcabs, not the interior cabin itself. I presume this means GM does not have a larger crewcab.with more leg room like the Fords. Only the doors grew in size, not the cabs.
http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2012/Dec/1213-2014-silverado.html

GM had a chance to take out Ford's interior but missed the mark.

You know, Mark, you keep blaming Obama for things Bush did--like bailing out the car companies.

Get your history straight.

@beebe: I can't answer all your questions about 'breakable parts', however, I have to point out that electric power for steering is nothing new--it's been available on cars and SUVs for over a decade now with no notable issues. Not only does it take direct load off of the engine itself, but it tends to be more consistent, not changing in effectiveness as the engine speeds up or slows down. As such, it is not only more efficient for gas mileage, but safer as well.

Another article says the 2014 Silverado added 2" of rear seat leg room on crewcabs. The 09 F-150 added 4.5".

Silverado rear leg room 38.7" + 2" = 40.7"

F-150 rear leg room = 43.5"

Ram rear leg room = 39.4".

Ram falls into last place. Silverado is second. After new models from GM and Ram, Ford still has the roomier crewcab with the fully flat load floor.

This is what they should have done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9txtExrkQA

I am really surprised GM didn't go all the way and try to outdo Ford with what was supposed to be an all new truck and interior.

@Scott - The wheel wells look great. I’ve been driving trucks for years and square wells to me have a more manly look. Most of the manliest looking trucks were built in the 70s and 80s and had square wells, as well as square bodies and real steel fenders- not that fake aluminum stuff used today. You say these are sissy tires? I don’t know man, but I have yet to see any car (since you compared it to being car like) sport tires and rims as aggressive as these.

Dave, have you ever thought that bigger cabs is not always better? To get that 6'5 bed on a crew Ford makes for a pretty big truck, with a wide turning diameter. Sure, if you haul people around on a regular bases that are like 6'2 or so....
I do fine with a quad cab. It's big enough for people to sit in (once in awhile) and keep tools and carry stuff locked and out of the weather. In the case of the quad/supercab Ford/extended cab Chevy, the Ram and Tundra double cab are tied in that class. Unless the Chevy ext cab was made larger, they are but a place for kids.

If Ram thinks it is needed, they will take the Mega Cab they already have that beats all but the Crew Max in legroom (I think it's a half inch shorter, but it makes up for it in height.) It's still out there on the HD Rams. Of course the HD Rams will never get as good themileage as a 1500 due to being heavier, pushing more wind, less aero, and no MDS. But you never know, they could do that and this "My cab is bigger then yours" talk would be over.

The flat Ford floor can be nice, but I like my storage areas under the seats, thank you. So stuff doesn't go rolling around the floors. I have a folding flat storage area, rarely do I need it.

This is the problem with smaller crewcabs. Watch this guy try to get in the current Chevy. There is not much room back there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KPQirFUyOU

TRX4

I agree that bigger isn't always better. I have looked at the current Ford crew cabs and each time my thought is "crap this thing is 3-5 inches too long." For reference I am 6 feet 5 inches tall with 38 inch inseam so I have very long legs and see no reason to lounge in a recliner in the back seat. A truck this size won't fit into a garage let alone trying to turn around or manuever in a parking lot. the flat floor also has a major drawback in that instead of lowering the tunnel hump they raised the footwell panels. this creates a situation that even though the leg room is enormous a tall persona still is eating their knee caps.

I preferred my Dodge (it was a Dodge at the time) that had the folding platform under the rear seat so you could have a level surface. Yeah there wasn't as much height as Ford but the 2 inch difference never created an issue for me. That being said I do wish that the "extended cab/club cab" was about 1.5 inches longer so leg room was around 36-37 inches. that is a real swwet spot for passenger comfort, even on a medium or long trip, and for overall size of the chassis.

I like that the new GM twins will have a front hinged door but I'd want to see if the extended cabs have any more leg room than the previous generation. I want the 6.5 foot bed but I also want a truck that fits in the garage and won't take roughly the same turning radius of a Nimitz class carrier.



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