We're likely to see more evidence that GM brands Chevrolet and GMC will be testing their heavy-duty pickup trucks during the next several months. With the all-new half-ton versions due to go on sale later this fall, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 models will finish testing soon. We expect the HDs to share many of the technology and design changes found on the lighter-duty pickups since the design and engineering team that worked on the half tons is working on the HDs.
From what our spy shooters have seen, the undersides of these new trucks look familiar. Here's what they had to say:
"Our first look at the 2020 Chevrolet heavy-duty chassis-cab flatbed gives us a nice peek underneath, revealing some new details of the rear suspension setup and the positioning of the diesel exhaust fuel tank for the carry-over Duramax diesel engine. The DEF tank on the current Duramax diesels is mounted quite low, visible on the front passenger side of the frame. The massive tank's placement has been criticized as awkward and ugly. The DEF tank placement on 2020 HD diesel trucks will change, as revealed in our profile shot of the chassis cab. The new DEF tank appears to reside close to the DEF additive filler cap on the driver's side behind the rear wall of the regular cab.
"This regular-cab long-box prototype shows the next-generation Chevy HD in its most work-focused form. The regular-cab HD here gets the 8-foot-long bed for the most versatile payload possibilities. GM touted new stamping methods with Chevy half-ton truck, which reportedly increased the usable bed width by 7 inches, so it's likely we'll see a similar gain in bed capacity on the HD models. If that's the case, this gargantuan long-bed option will be even more voluminous, making it ready to handle even larger, and possibly heavier, workloads.
"This regular cab shown here was gasoline-powered, so we're likely looking at the 2020 new gas V-8 version of what is now powered by a 6.0-liter Vortec V-8. It's safe to assume that the gas power plant under this HD's hood is likely to use the new dynamic skip fire technology to enhance the cylinder cut-off performance. DSF technology will be in some versions of the 2019 Silverado 1500 and it's almost a certainty that it will be part of the 2020 HDs' mpg-enhancing tricks.
"Our latest shots of the 2020 HD Duramax crew cab — which provide our closest, most-detailed look yet at the new HD trucks — were caught as the prototype made a lap around the GM Proving Grounds in Michigan. A close look at the camouflage at the center of the front edge of the hood reveals a mesh panel that will allow more air to enter the Ram Air slot hidden on the hood. The existing Ram Air hood scoop was added to GM's HD trucks in the last update and is reported to feed up to 60 percent of the cooling air required by the engine, increasing horsepower and torque. The camouflage mesh panel has fabric-fastener tabs at the front and back, which would clearly allow for the panel to be folded back and secured to allow more air flow as testing permits.
"The exhaust tips are consistent with prior GM HD diesel trucks, and it looks like we can see evidence of venturi air slits along the initial span of the exhaust pipe. The new shots give us our best look yet at the massive grille that appears to be in store for GM's next-gen HD trucks.
"A closeup look at the recently unveiled 2019 Silverado 1500 revealed some of the tricks that are also likely destined for the HD truck. The camouflage hides any evidence of the Silverado 1500's innovative aerodynamic air curtains in the front, but that's not surprising since that design revelation made it all the way to its debut without being leaked. Expect the same stamping and packaging innovations that debuted on the 2019 models to translate to the 2020 HD models for increased bed space, cab configurations and cabin space. It's clear from these prototypes that GM's next-gen HD pickups will be massive beasts to better match the Ford Super Duty.
"We've included a few of our earlier shots of the Chevrolet HD dually prototype that originally signaled the start of testing for GM's 2020 HD pickups. The crew-cab dually is a massive thing, impressive in size and amplified by what appears to be a larger grille destined for GM's next-gen HD trucks. The prototypes caught here appear to the Chevy Silverado HD variants, judging by the horizontal nature of the placeholder LED signatures that are in visible through the front camouflage."
KGP Photography images