The General Motors strategy is clear: Release the new half-ton engine and truck specifications information in bite-sized pieces to get as much attention as possible. And as painful as it might be for truck lovers, we don't blame them one bit. There are some good bites here.
After completing all the required EPA fuel economy testing on their bread-and-butter all-new 5.3-liter V-8 engine, both Chevy and GMC are releasing more specification information on their coming half-ton pickups. No, we won't be getting all the information on the trucks and their two other optional engines (the smaller 4.3-liter V-6 or the bigger 6.2-liter V-8), but we will be getting some - not the least of which is the 5.3's power output curve, as well as maximum towing capacity and pricing.
We're told Chevy expects the new naturally aspirated all-aluminum EcoTec3 5.3-liter V-8 will be in three out of every four new Chevy Silverados. That statistic seems to contradict the current belief that many buyers could be gravitating toward more powerful and fuel-efficient V-6 choices like Ford's EcoBoost and Ram Truck's Pentastar.
Peak outputs for the middle GM engine are impressive though; the Society of Automotive Engineers rates it at 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pounds-feet of torque at 4,100 rpms. However, from the GM-supplied power curve (see graph below), it looks like 90 percent of the 5.3's torque output sits nicely in the towing/hauling sweet spot between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm. (It should be noted these ratings were conducted with 87-octane fuel, so it is possible those numbers could be a touch higher if run with higher-octane fuel.)
Additionally, EPA fuel economy numbers for both trucks with the middle 5.3-liter V-8 are 16/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined for a two-wheel-drive regular cab shortbed. The numbers are slightly less for the 4x4 model at 16/22/18 city/highway/combined. These numbers put the 2014 Silverado/Sierra with the V-8 option just a touch ahead of Ford's EcoBoost V-6 (see chart below) and well ahead of any other half-ton V-8 option.
As expected, the new GM half-ton trucks will have the highest maximum towing capacity among the competition (see chart below), listed for both as 11,500 pounds, but only with a new tow package that won't be available until later this year when the full lineup of truck configurations is available. Likewise, the new GM pickups will have improved payload capacities with a maximum payload rating (also requiring a special ordering package that won't be available until the end of the year) of 2,102 pounds. Ford still owns the payload title for half-tons.
Finally, preliminary pricing for both the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra has also been announced, with modest price increases on select models. And in some cases, there are no price increases at all when compared to 2013 pricing (see the 2013 versus 2014 chart below). No doubt there will be more to come.