Photos by Chris Doane Automotive
Things are heating up in Death Valley National Park on the California/Nevada border as more heavy-hauling GM pickup trucks were spotted doing hot-weather testing. Chris Doane and his team caught some of the engineers with their slips showing as they seemed to have forgotten to replace camouflage on the grilles. Here's what Doane's team sent us:
Thanks to the extreme heat in Death Valley, engineers removed the camouflage from the front ends of these prototypes, revealing the new face of these big rigs. We've also managed to snag a few photos of the inside of the cab.
Several different body styles were part of this test group, which included the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab, the Silverado 2500HD Extended Cab, the GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually and the Silverado 3500HD Dually.
Power for the heavy-duty models will likely come from updated versions of the 6.0-liter and 6.2-liter gasoline engines, and the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel.
While our sources are reporting an eight-speed transmission in the works for the Silverado 1500, the HD models will likely stick with a six-speed.
Watch for GM's HD pickups to start production in October/November 2013 at the Flint, Mich., and Fort Wayne, Ind., assembly plants.
We fully expect the interior and exterior of the new heavy-duties to follow the all-new look of the 2014 half-tons, with a few more updates and software changes that should make them better, smoother towing and hauling vehicles. As the final spy photo shows, another team of engineers is in charge of high-altitude tow test as well. We're hoping for an early media drive before the end of winter.