GM Designer Stays True to Silverado Buyers

Tom Peters 1 II

With the recent introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and new-truck sales figures on the upswing, you'd think General Motors has several solid reasons to be optimistic. But cautious optimism may be a better position given the choice GM made long ago about whom to put in charge of the interior and exterior design of new trucks.

There's no question Tom Peters, lead designer for Chevy's performance-car and full-size truck design studios, understands what it's like to tackle an important project. In fact, at the same time his crew was putting the finishing touches on the new Silverado, he had another team finishing up the highly controversial 2014 Corvette Stingray. Some have said the new Stingray has no right being "too wild" and "too European" as Chevy's premiere high-performance sports car.

According to Automotive News, Peters was cognizant of the fact that Chevy truck buyers — who are very different from Corvette buyers — weren't looking for flashy, wild or crazy new designs. They were more concerned with function and getting a higher level of overall refinement out of their next truck, according to Peters.

That all makes sense to us, but we're not sure why that wouldn't apply to any manufacturer that makes pickup trucks. Those focused Stingray comments certainly shouldn't have restricted Peters from pushing a few boundaries and trying some more interesting design with a little more personality in terms of the 2014 Silverado.

During his design walk-around at a recent press introduction of the new Silverado, Peters said the guiding image for the new face of the Chevy half-ton was a "fist in the wind." Interestingly, as we recall, this is exactly what current-generation Tundra designers described when it was introduced six years ago. To date, the harshest critics of the 2014 Silverado have described the subtle grille changes as being more like a soft slap in the face.

Peters shared his thoughts about the new front-end design, which designers discussed, debated and reshaped to improve and more cleanly refine the overall front look of the Silverado.

Silverado frontend II

Surprisingly, the grille was not his favorite part, although he clearly appreciates the wider and sturdier look. His favorite focal point was how the front fenders and fender wells interact with the stacked headlights (we were looking at the High Country trim package at the time), and the wraparound bumper at each front corner. The bulging fender lines in particular are interesting, he noted, because the sheet metal actually folds into the body — although from a distance it looks like the whole fender bulges out from the body.

During his 30-year career at GM, Peters also has been involved with the Corvette Indy concept in the late 1980s, the Pontiac Aztek in the early 2000s, the Cadillac Sixteen concept in 2003 and the Chevy Camaro in 2009.

Whether the 2014 Silverado design becomes one of his huge or mild successes, Peters seems quite comfortable allowing others to decide its success for themselves. For now, it's probably not such a bad thing that the Silverado had a designer who wanted to stay as true as possible to its loyal customers; however, if we had to guess, he allowed his team to "play" a little more with the 2014 GMC Sierra. We'll know more about those details later this month when get our first chance to drive it.

Tom Peters 2 II

Comments

@Joe- You're the biggest Ram fan boy on this site. Give it a break, "GM Roots" my a$$! Dodge/Ram fan boys know how absolutely horrid of trucks Dodge use to build. One thing about GM is that their engines/drivetrains are 2nd to none! Their small block motors are the best out there and there's no arguing that if you know anything about the automotive industry! You see more GM/Chevrolet powertrains in racing cars than any other out there. Period.

As far as their "cheap materials or interiors," that's a thing of the past. Look at GM's lineup across the board, all their vehicles have really nice interiors and they're getting better. So do you buy a truck for the interior or do you buy a truck as a workhorse? If you buy it for the interior materials, you're a pansy and should be driving a Toyota Camry. The Duramax has won just about every head to head competition thrown at it over the last 4 years, and nothing's going to change. The GM 5.3 liter engine is an absolute hoss. I've had that engine in my last 2 trucks, a 2002 Silverado and my current 2007 Silverado and they're unstoppable! No problems whatsoever. I have friends and in-laws with Ford and Dodge trucks that have had numerous issues from window motors going out repeatedly (Ford), transmission issues (Dodge), electrical components going out (Ford and Dodge) like radios, speakers, door locks, windshield washer pumps, etc. My current Silverado has 189,000 miles and the engine/transmission operate no differently than they did when I bought the truck in 2006. That's why you buy a truck!!! You pansies who think Dodge builds a better engine (not HP, durability!), are morons and you're clueless! Ford's new Ecoboost motor has all kinds of reliabilty issues, no way in hell I would EVER buy a TRUCK with a pansy ass sounding V-6 in it. If you do, you're just buying a car with a bed on it and you're not using the truck for what it's intended for. Let that intercooler get some moisture in it and you're in all sorts of trouble, from losing power to more serious engine issues down the road. Water/Moisture and engines don't do well together. Ford's 5.0 motor is a Mustang engine with truck gears, same with their non-turbo V-6. Ford's diesels are unproven and they've had al kinds of issues in the past which is why they've had 3 different diesel motors int he past 10 years...GM has had the Duramax since 2001 and it's only gotten better with time and has been unbeatable.

The new GM trucks have improved their motors even more than they were, and for real truck owners, that's a huge plus! If you're buying a truck because of the fancy dashboard or soft touch materials, you're just a pansy anyway and shouldn't be buying a truck in the first place. All you morons talking smack about how the new Chevy truck looks are clueless. Wait until you see one in person and drive it. How can you even have an opinion on them yet from just pictures? The dodge and ford fan boys and girls are going to hate them and talk smack no matter how stupid they sound (Joe). Nobody cares what you have to say. Go to your dodgefanboys.com website and do a circle jerk about them. Nobody cares what you have to say.

IMO the best design years for vehicles was the 60s to early 70s when all vehicles had character and they could easily be distinguished from another brand. I do like the retro designs ford did on mustang and dodge has done on a few of their models. For trucks i like dodge design best but their low quality and not standing behind their products keeps me from buying their products.

@ chris, I completely agree with ya.
i try to buy the best truck for the $$$ and this next chevy may be it. Till then will keep driving my 2010 5.7 Tundra, best truck for the $$ imo in 2010 here in phx az. where rust concerns are not an issue. Ford's ac hardly works, so on that alone i would never consider buying ford. with a level kit on front and airbags on the back, this new chevy could be my next 10yr+ truck. Cant wait to test drive one, the crew cab with a 6.5 ft bed.
Chevy if your listening, please send those trucks to phx asap.

I defiantly see a resemblance to the Grizwalds family truckster in the frontend.

@johnny, GM Inside News . com has it in the GM Truck forum.

@fordtrucks1

what I was implying was once I had come from a GM loyalist line of buyers but, now I've seen too many negative changes with GM so, I just decided to trade my 2011 sliverado in for a 2012 RAM 1500 and like it way better. thats all I meant. If you test drive a RAM at a local dealer or what ever comparing it to the rest I mean its obvious that its a great pickup from the start.
People talk about the new 6.2 v8 its not impressive thinking that a Hemi is only a 5.7 v8 smaller displacement at 395hp vs 400hp? ford has the technology to compete with ram but, they want to be fuel conscious. I wish ford would bring back a 5.8 v8 to replace their 5.0 v8.

420 HP and 450 TQ with 12,000 pounds of towing, if that's true numbers I can just hear some of people on here whining now WHAT 12,000 POUNDS ON A HALF TON! lol That some good power numbers though, now if it able to use E85 should be close to around 435 HP and 480 TQ. Yeah looks like the new 6.2L will be one hell of a gas engine!

RAM supposedly has a 6.4 v8 they want to drop in their RAM read that somewhere online but, if that happens lol there is no competition. I personally believe in a matter of 10-15 yrs a v8 is gonna be replaced with lightweight diesel & or diesel hybrids of some sort. CAFE standards say 2025 54 mpg what else could they do?? a lightweight diesel paired with 8 or 10 speed trannys with some kind of hybrid system either that or no more pickup trucks. Honestly v8 engine should have been replaced long ago with lightweight diesels anyway face diesels are better in everyday it compliments a pickup better than a sports car engine.

Truck looks good. Better then the current disgrace. However, they do need to clean up the sides and ditch the built in flares. I don't know who thought that stuff would look good but it doesn't. The Ram and F-series look more appealing from the side. I can't say I'm all that impressed by the interior either. It's much better then what we have now and it's good but it's not great. The last truck from Chevrolet that was a homerun right out of the gate was in 1988. I remember it well. They haven't had a Great design since. This is an ok throwback to the 1973 to 1987 model at best minus the ridiculous flares. I just can't say I was all that into anything 1970's or 1980's from Chevrolet. Why these guys can't just build a clean looking truck again instead of some tonka toy cartoon looking mess is beyond my comprehension. I hope it sells if only to the Chevrolet diehards who will own nothing else. We can at least keep them in business until next time. Hopefully they at least upped the build quality. Next truck perhaps they'll get it right?

Still ugly compared to my super duty. Probably pulls much better though.

GM Designer Stays True to Silverado Buyers

-LOLOLOL!!!!! The good ole GovtMoCo bunch is designing the new Chevy huh? Ha!! Sorry for the Chevrolet crowd! GMC is a GOVT Funded Suckfest! I want my MONEY BACK! NO COMPANY NEEDS TWO TRUCKS! Screw GovtMoCo.

@moparmadness- pull your head out of your ass, you sound like an uneducated hillbilly......oh wait, you drive a Dodge? Nevermind, figures. Do you even know how to read? Do you realize that Chrysler took out billions of dollars in loans from the government just like GM did? Dumb ass! Google is your friend, try using it before running your stupid uninformed mouth. Your Dodge/Mopar should be called "government motors" too, dumbass.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/chrysler_to_repay_75_billion_o.html

I wish my F-150 looked this nice. Too bad Ford only releases an all-new truck every 20 years. Sucks to be a Ford man for sure!

My new chevy truck broke down, i'm buying FORD. They are the best in the industry, screw GM, they suck.

"Can GM build an uglier truck."

Of course they can, look at the hideous AZTEC. How can people drive that thing. YUK!

Gotta love 'em trolls always hiding under different names.

Damn you guys are lame.

Chris says "Nobody cares what you have to say. Go to your dodgefanboys.com website and do a circle jerk about them. Nobody cares what you have to say."

Well, I'm just wondering...if "nobody cares"...what is with your long-winded anger filled rant?

Settle down kid, at the end of the day...it's just machinery we're talking about here.

@Greg - "What more do you want?"

How about an intelligent post.......

@Joe - the 6.4 everyone is dreaming about may be just that, a dream.
Chrysler has said that it most likely will NOT be used in their HD's. The only confirmed use is in SRT products. A limited run SRT 6.4 would be the most likely place but not as a full line production option.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/03/chryslers-new-6-4-liter-v8-might-not-power-ram-heavy-duty-pickups.html

Get this racist troll out of here!

What a laughable bunch of trolls.........

Any of you idiots calling me a racist even know what that word means?

Ironic, the ones screaming the loudest are Sheep Herder's.


Gotta love 'em trolls always hiding under different names.

Damn you guys are lame.
Posted by: Frank | May 24, 2013 1:51:41 PM


I do give you credit for that Frank. You are a troll that doesn't hide under a different name and isn't afraid at all to be lame.

@Chris @Lou - Damn everytime someone mentions a truck brand you hate you go trollin' again relax racists. just don't bring a gun to a dodge dealer & kill innocent people because RAM is winning more awards than whatever truck you're driving around. RAM has the first lightweight diesel coming out dope! hope they aren't Motortrend's 2014 truck of the year for your sake as much as you hate RAM fan boys. what a revelation it is to know we have a politically correct hating auto-culture refusing to serve RAM fan boys just trying to sit at a lunch counter. F*** you biased troll whores!!!

@Joe - those wool panties must be itchy and making you crabby.

I have nothing against Ram owners, at least the ones that don't sound like stark raving sheep herders.

Racism -
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

If anything, I'm anti-moron. (just to clarify - moron not Mormon - that would be prejudice based on religion)

Lou if you didn't care you wouldn't post.

Calling others names doesn't mean you won the argument. It means that you have shown others your immaturity and your racist behavior.

@Josh L -
I've said this before and I'll say it again, the key to communication, or at least the key to having the receiver of the message understand the message, is to speak at the level of the receiver.
In other words, those that exist in a state of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed would not understand anything but an immature response.

Are you implying that trolls and Rambo Motard sheep herders belong to an identifiable race, a visible minority, a group with "special needs", a group that needs legal and/or medical protection?

Lou needs to stop his racist trolling and just talk truck material.

Lou has a tiny little schmeckle.

@Lou: Nah. Talking at their level only eggs them on. Stay over their heads and just let them keep digging their own holes deeper. When they finally get to the point that they're just repeating themselves with no new information, they've done your job for you.

@vulpine - true.

@ LOU IS A TROLL - nah leave that moron be haha he's got enough issues already. He'll need more than a " sissy fist in the wind " antic to get his pecker out of the dirt this time!

NO GUTS!

NO GLORY!

LOU!

@LOU IS A TROLL - Do you think the new Chevy suspension has really any improvement based on what articles have stated in tests and GM info? Seems like the same deal as my 2011. I thought on the road it was the smoothest truck ever until of course, taking it off-road its low-slung frame would occasionally hit ground where dips or crater-dips were. On the Z-71 it was just scary the lack of performance / overall handling on a 30 mile dirt road in wyoming. Not particularly trying to bash GM here its just some obvious things they should attempt to look at. If I'm correct Cadillac has magnetic air suspension?? They could have worked more toward that goal sooner as well as making maybe a their tailgate more like a car door, hinged on one side so, it gives the user wide open access to payload.

@Joe - PUTC seemed to like the ride of the 2014 Chevy.

2011 Z71 - 30 miles of dirt road?
What was scary?
What performance/handling issues did you have?
How rough was the road?
How long did it take to cover 30 miles?
What kind of truck do you have now?
How does the ride of your Z71 compare to what you have now?

I was a loyal Chevy owner for decades and never imagined myself buying another type of truck. So last fall when I was searching trucks, I went into is with the idea that I was going to buy a Chevy, but that soon changed. First off, end of the model year and Chevy was not offering any screaming deals to move 2012's. Two, the dealership I stopped at was not very interested in selling me a truck. So, I broadened my search to Ford and Ram. Ford was also too proud of their F-150 and their offer was laughable. So my search turned to Ram. Now Ram offered the best crew cab space of the three and the incentives to buy were off the chart. I'm not talking a couple of thousand, to make a long story short, the truck I bought was listed at 35k+ and I walked out with the keys at 22k. Now that is a deal. To date, the truck is running well and I have no issues. To me this was the best switch to a truck that is solid, powerful and meets all my needs for my family. Time to buy that travel trailer.

Give GM another bailout already! This is outrageous they need more time to bounce back from a rough recession. SO WHAT DOES IT MATTER! take it from us we need these pickup trucks desperately in a struggling economy blue collar ingenuity must prevail!

Joe and others, Lou has turned into a troll. Ignore him.

@Mike - the last post under my name (| May 26, 2013 2:23:24 AM) is a fake Lou.

Lou, You just went full retard. Never go full retard.

The others are not fake though.

@ LOU IS A TROLL - nah leave that moron be haha he's got enough issues already. He'll need more than a " sissy fist in the wind " antic to get his pecker out of the dirt this time!

NO GUTS!

NO GLORY!

LOU!

@LOU IS A TROLL - Do you think the new Chevy suspension has really any improvement based on what articles have stated in tests and GM info? Seems like the same deal as my 2011. I thought on the road it was the smoothest truck ever until of course, taking it off-road its low-slung frame would occasionally hit ground where dips or crater-dips were. On the Z-71 it was just scary the lack of performance / overall handling on a 30 mile dirt road in wyoming. Not particularly trying to bash GM here its just some obvious things they should attempt to look at. If I'm correct Cadillac has magnetic air suspension?? They could have worked more toward that goal sooner as well as making maybe a their tailgate more like a car door, hinged on one side so, it gives the user wide open access to payload.

@Joe - PUTC seemed to like the ride of the 2014 Chevy.

2011 Z71 - 30 miles of dirt road?
What was scary?
What performance/handling issues did you have?
How rough was the road?
How long did it take to cover 30 miles?
What kind of truck do you have now?
How does the ride of your Z71 compare to what you have now?

Low slung frame?

Please elaborate?

If you want to discuss trucks, lets discuss trucks.

@Johnnie Doe - you own a Chevy 1/2 ton, how is the ride of your truck offroad and on gravel roads?
Ever get scared?
Ever hit the frame?
Any performance/handling issues did you have?

I personally don't recall any of my friends complaining about any of those issues.

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Wow,more fake posts under my name. Funny.

@Lou - I will answer each question below.

PUTC seemed to like the ride of the 2014 Chevy. -

thats because mark williams didn't drive like a country boy instead he drove the truck for limited time duration and could have been paid off to make all three manufactuers look good despite personal opinion thats why he praises all the pickups anyway.

2011 Z71 - 30 miles of dirt road? - Yep Lou unlike urban cowboys their are real men that exist out there using a pickup the way it was designed to be used on rural dirt roads miles & miles of open country in middle AMERICA!

What was scary? - how poor the truck handled compared to a 4x2 RAM. early Jeeps had coil suspension prior to RAM trucks dope! thats why! jeeps are known for great A/T capability duh! Chrysler = Jeep + RAM duh! You make this so easy Lou really!

What performance/handling issues did you have? - truck would buck like a wild bronco when driving at highway speeds on a dirt road with a z71. sorry I would have expected a lot better! It was a fairly rough dirt road shouldn't have phased the legendary Z-71 " OFF ROAD " suspension " PERFORMANCE " package.

How rough was the road? same description as stated above.

How long did it take to cover 30 miles? - a lot longer than a 2005 wrangler jeep that the rancher's son had. over an hour at least that's grandma driving for those folks!

What kind of truck do you have now? - 2012 RAM Bighorn Hemi

How does the ride of your Z71 compare to what you have now? - no comparison RAM will kick its ass all day long.

Low slung frame? - Ahh yeah??? Just compare it to the rest of the pickups duh! So obvious chevy has a frame almost etching its bow tie into the ground (LOL). Did you see the spy shots of the HD's with that DEF tank? lord!!! (LMAO) what more proof do you need?? Wow! your such an absurdist.

Please elaborate? - nah just keep acting like a boy living in momma's basement taking advantage of the welfare system. good luck! hope you can even buy a 2014 sliverado.

If you want to discuss trucks Lou lets discuss trucks! (LMFAO)

@Joe - I was curious because one learns more from concrete examples than from vague complaints. We got off on the wrong foot so I thought I'd try again.
I covered 150 miles taking my kids fishing last weekend and only 30 miles were paved. It took me 1 hr 40 minutes in and the same out. I figured I averaged 45 mph overall. There were stretches where I was up to 65 mph and other stretches down to 10 mph.
All of the hills were washboard, there was lots of potholes, frost heaves and erosion ruts. There were sections where there was a lot of blow down so it was more like a pylon course.
Nothing bad enough to drag frame or require 4x4 engagement.
It was a fun drive. We say 6 deer, a moose, a lynx, we lost count on grouse and snowshoe hares. I was surprised that we didn't see any bears. We saw 3 bald eagles and one flew about 10 feet over my truck. You don't realize how big they get until you see one up close.
My brother drives logging roads day in and day out but he drives only 3/4 tons. 1/2 ton trucks don't live. He found that the coil front end Dodge and Ford HD's actually ride better than the torsion arm front end of the new GMC trucks.

The ride on the Rams is pretty much overrated by the media who don't fully test the trucks and Ram fanbois.

Ram did the worst in the autocross in previous shootouts according to PUTC. We will find out how the 2013 does in the new shootout.

Off-road during the 2013 Ram First Drive, PUTC said the new Rams off-road mode 2 led to a stiffer ride which they didn't like too much.

Some say the Ram coil springs has the best on road ride (as long as you aren't making any sharp turns or going around corners with a load), but of course you sacrifice payload.

The Rams may be the best ride for some but others it may not be because it all comes down to preferences. What do you prefer?

@Bob - I'd like to get a chance to try the new Ram and the new Chevy on gravel roads.
I'd be more inclined to go with the Chevy since they've always had a good reputation for reliable drivetrains. The GMT900's never impressed me when it came to body and interior quality.
I currently have a 2010 XLT SuperCrew 6.5 box 4x4. It has a decent ride on and off pavement. I liked the ride of the Ram in 2010 but the sales guy didn't let me take out for long. The Tundra seemed to have the best power and best engine/tranny combo but rode pretty rough empty. it was also damned expensive.
I've driven the past gen F150 before the frame was updated and the shocks located outboard. I hated the ride on a gravel road. It was very loose feeling. I have none of those issues with my current truck.

I hopefully will not be in the market for a new truck for a while. I figure that all of the "next gen" trucks will have some real world miles on them before I buy again. It is a great time to be a truck buyer. We have some great choices and all of the current trucks are decent.

@Bob - I do agree that the air ride may not all that it is cracked up to be. 4Wheeler magazine managed to get a "suspension overheat" warning light while offroad testing. I Googled the problem and it has been reported in all of Chrysler/Jeep vehicles equipped with it.
The air ride is an attempt to be something for everyone. Air ride may give a great ride on easier terrain but as mentioned, to get more lift, you need more air which means a rougher ride. Air also heats up and expands with a rough ride or heavy load. That affects ride. I'm not sure how those bags will hold up in -45C weather and what happens if the system entrains moisture?
Coils give the best ride but don't handle overloading as well as leaf springs. Torsion arms have been around a long time but I don't think that they can be tuned to ride as well as a coil.

@bob - yep I live in western tennessee now theres no short supply of tight turns but, I have to fess up a little because the RAM is a taller broader truck than ford or chevy it does tend to lean somewhat more in a tight turn. As for overrated ride nah. assuming you have owned a RAM pickup before to be making a stab at them right? As for the 2013 RAM I only can go by what you or other articles state about the new air suspension. The reality RAM is hardly overrated when ford & chevy dominate a loyalist customer base that were mostly bought up during the glory days of their brilliant reign of marketing commercials. Now people have gotten accustomed to their preference and can't stand the fact someone else is giving them a tad of competition.

@Lou - Alright, what city & state were you fishing in? I'm just curious I'm very much experienced traveling the untitled states I do for a living driving a tractor trailer all the time. I can tell if you're fabricating a story or not, no offense Lou. I just don't believe everything I hear from people these days. I'll google map what territory you were fishing in. If you give me your location google zooms in real good to trace 100 or 150 miles of dirt road. Being that most land owners never buy that kind of acreage and the US Gov' says a lot of national parks, wildlife conservations are off limits I just want to you to confirm where you were thanks.

@Joe - I don't blame you. These blogs tend to be full of full of sh-t people.
I live in British Columbia Canada. I can easily travel 100's of miles on gravel roads. Most of our remote lands are public land therefore open to everyone. My sister in law lives 350 miles from me by paved highway and my sons and I plan on visiting her by traveling the backcountry. It would be over 400 miles of back country roads which are mostly gravel. I'm closer to Alaska than I am to Washington State.
I'd rather not be more specific since my current employer is freakish about security and hates blogs.
I'm guessing that I'm close to 3,000 miles away from where you live.

Good night.



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