Chevrolet Debuts a Pair of Pickup Concept Trucks for SEMA

IMG_9433 II

For the last few years, Chevrolet has used the annual State Fair of Texas in Dallas as the backdrop for a preview of what it will bring to the huge aftermarket trade show held each November in Las Vegas and hosted by the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association.

Last year we saw the ultimate Black Ops zombie survival truck and an impressive first-responder firefighter special. Both trucks were decked out with flashy gear and add-ons. This year's preview revealed more subtle products that pay more attention to the accessories offered through dealerships than truly unique or futuristic project trucks.


'Toughnology' Silverado

Silverado Toughnology 1 II

Silverado Toughnology 4 II

The Silverado "Toughnology" highlights technologies that aren't getting much attention in the mainstream automotive media, according to a Chevrolet representative. For example, with all the attention on the use of aluminum in the 2015 Ford F-150, this Silverado concept attempts to remind pickup fans about the extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel throughout the frame, cab, body and interior, which, GM has always noted, is "much less cost intensive than more exotic materials."

This concept also showcases GM accessories like unique grille inserts, sidesteps, a hard tonneau cover, a carpeted bedliner, fender-flare accents and tinted headlights. The concept also offers an interesting graphic package, 20-inch wheels and tires, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, a wireless charging mat and Siri Eyes Free. By the way, the steel molecule shown on the side of the truck symbolizes the high-strength steel used in the doors.


Garage Colorado

Colorado Sport 1 II

Colorado Sport 4 II

The blank canvas for this midsize truck exercise, dubbed the Colorado Sport Concept, is a 2015 Z71 crew-cab long-bed Colorado with just about every newly designed GM accessory you could possibly imagine finding in a garage. The concept includes the 4G LTE package and adds lane departure and forward collision alert systems.The most obvious add-on is the GearOn Accessory System that offers a rack for carrying items like bikes above the bed and cleverly leaving room for a great deal of smaller gear in the bed underneath the rack. The concept also includes sidesteps, mud flaps, fender-flare lips and a bed cargo divider. The only pieces on the truck available through GM or offered as a factory option are the 17-inch deep black sport rims and aggressive mud tires.

To read the Silverado Toughnology Concept press release, click here.

To read the full Colorado Sport Concept press release, click here. images by Evan Sears



Those new Kid Rock commercials that play constantly have turned me against anything chevy makes. Enough already!!

Man, that airdam on the Colorado is low--and probably couldn't clear an upright beer can. Why the heck is it on an "off-road" Z71 package?

Chevrolet Debuts a Pair of Pickup Concept Trucks is right! The Colorado looks great.

The key word here is "PAIR"...they are the only American automaker with a big enough PAIR to put product up against Toyota. And from what I've read it blows away the Tacoma.

Ford's answer to Toyota was more like this....

@Dav - "clear an upright beer can"

Speaking about upright beer cans have you see the new specs for the Ecoboost in the aluminum 2015 Ford F-150? I just came across this video, it looks good.

GM has turned up marketing effort for these poor selling pickups. I see cameos of brand new silverados for the fishermen of National Geo's Wicked Tuna North Vs South. The obvious give-away is the effort to blur the Michigan license plates. And the guys walking to the back of the pickup to needlessly drop the tailgate, step on the bumper, walk onto the pickup bed, and lift a fishing reel that could all be done without any such effort. Now that's hilarious.

@Ken - "poor selling pickups"

I agree hopefully they'll keep the poor sales record going. Should be able to pick-up one of these nice pickup for a great price. As long as sales are weak.

As soon as the toothless boneheads discover these they'll be overpriced. Hopefully GM will tone it down and the prices will stay low!

Chevy needed to be more daring with the styling, it's not bad looking but if sales are slow now wait until the new 150 hits the streets.

they need to get off the kid with a spray can wild ideas. the trucks are ugly with this. it is a fact they are too big for pre 90's built houses attached garages. i can video tape about 10 just down the street that sit in the sun most of there lives because they donjt fit in the gargage. how do you think these designs will look after 3 years of sitting in the sun lol.

I'm not here to put GM down, heck I drove a couple of GM pickups for 10 years until going back to Ford, and I test drove a 2014 Checrolet Silverado. My 08 F-150 has a aluminum hood, so Ford has been playing with aluminum for a while, and I don't see GM getting ahead of the curve with any of they're design or concept ideas nowadays. They need to think outside of the box because I like GM's 88-98 pickup body style better than what they have out now. I hope they do well, competition is a good thing.

Ryan says: ...08 F-150 has a aluminum hood, so Ford has been playing with aluminum for a while, and I don't see GM getting ahead of the curve with any of they're design or concept ideas nowadays.


Have you ever hear of the 1951 Buick Le Sabre concept car? It had an aluminum 215 cubic inch GM V8 engine. Supercharged. Admittedly that was a concept car, but the 215 aluminum engine was in full scale production more than 50 years ago; GM was doing advanced designs with alloy before you were born. Long before Ford.

Do your homework.

I've done plenty of homework, that was way back in the 1950's. Let's stay current, say the past 2 decades to present time, and I thought we were talking about pickups not cars. Talking about concept cars on is getting awful desperate.

Why is it GM uses so many negative commercials, like the time they had Huey Long smirking and making fun of the guy in a Ram with a heated steering wheel? And then a couple years later GM finally got their pants pulled back up and came out with their own heated steering wheel. Likewise the trailer brake controller Ford came out with. I guess if you're not best in anything then your only choice is to knock those who are better than you. Pretty degrading, GM, and the reason I walked away from GM, never to return. All those recalls aren't helping, either.

Those are some nice aluminum wheels on those toughnology gm trucks.

GM is showing that they are the true leader in the truck world. I offer two great mid size trucks that nobody can match. GM is selling two full size pickups that last longer then any other pickup made and last month out sold Ford and Ram. GM sells four different full size suvs on a truck frame that nobody can even come close to competing against them. It sure looks like GM is winning over the competition in every class offered in the truck segment. Sorry Ford and Ram but second is not that bad.

@greg - "Sorry Ford and Ram but second is not that bad."

Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn't have given you worse advice.

First of all Ford easily outsells GM. I hate Ford and I can tell that Ford outsells GM.

Secondly who give a Sh%t about sales. How do sales (especially fleet sales) reflect on the quality of a vehicle? RAM was named motor trend's truck of the year 2 years in a row, while the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra have been recalled six times so far in 2014, giving them the dubious honor of being the year's most frequently recalled

Greg believe me, I don't want to make a monkey out of you. Why should I take all the credit?

GM is and always has been a follower. Already working on aluminum body trucks. Why do you think they have that silly ugly crease above the fenders? The steel they use is so thin it has to have bends for some strength. That's what I hate most about GM, they criticize other manufacturers then a year or two later come out with some half assed similar design. I was a fan and they screwed me about 30 yrs ago. I swore I'd never buy another GM product, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. If they file bankruptcy for good tomorrow, good riddance. Couldn't happen to a more deserving company.

This is just marketing by GM.

Really how much better would one of these pickups be overall?

GM is rolling with the newly found enthusiasm of the Colorado.

Chev using the long wheel base Colorado indicates to me that these are not serious off road pickups.

The best bet for an off roading Colorado is the shorter wheel base version. The same applies for the Silverado.

These are just marketing eye candy.

I think that a buick rendezvous would perform better offroad than either of those.

Lets get the truck off the ground
Lets get the Grandma step off the truck
what the hell with the air damn..
Lets get some younger people in your design dept.

So basically GM is arguing against their future plans and 2018 Silverado.

Typical GM. Shout from the rooftops about a concept that won't be delivered on anytime soon. GM did the same thing about the Raptor fighter. GM shouted from the rooftops about the All Terrain Concept and then never delivered on the All Terrain. Turned out to be a sticker package only!

They shouted from the rooftops about keeping the prices on 2014 the same then quickly increased prices $2000. GM called out heated steering wheels and the man step and then added versions of their own a few years later. GM can talk about concepts all they want doesn't mean it is better or that they will deliver on it. At best the next truck is 4 years away and Ford will have an 8 year lead on light weighting.

All these guys making fun of aluminum will not be laughing when Ford does the same thing they are doing now, outsell them and rub there faces in it. Then you will see ram and gm scrambling to play catch up.

From the GM pres release:

"High-strength steel, which is pressed while still in molten form, can be up to 30 percent lighter than carbon steel with the same strength."

Keywords: UP TO 30%, and same strength. How much up to? And it's just the same strength as their current flimsy steel.

That's the problem. Ford's military grade aluminum is even lighter, but not just the same strength but stronger than carbon steel.

Also what's Toughnology's weight vs the new F-150? They never said what the weight was so the toughology is all smoke and mirrors right now. The media should ask them for the weight.

@Big Al from Oz
I do agree with you. It's mostly a marketing thing.

I think that there is another dynamic to this, that GM marketing is in the awkward position of trying rationalize the products GM is producing.

As I side note, I don't necessarily try to find fault with GM, nor do I wish that they do poorly with these new trucks.

I think that GM has made their mark in history enough to where people will give them the respect that they deserve. Who doesn't respect a 350 or 454 engine?

Moving forward, I look at all GM's products with the amount of respect that they deserve, while at the same time, I give criticism where I believe that it is needed.

In all honesty, I hope GM gets past the point of just trying to sell these truck where they can actually give buyers a reason to feel proud of the trucks they are driving.

If you want to take a first step in light-weighting, you can do it with high strength and advanced steels, but there are limits to that. If steel really was better on strength, weight and was cheaper than why is Chevy using aluminum in the hood and tailgate of this concept?

If you want big weight savings, you need to go for a different solution, such as aluminum. There is a limit to how much steel can be strengthened and made thinner.

The next generation of lightweight steel won't be ready for production until around 2018 anyway.

Chevy already uses a lot of these high strength steels and aluminum in the current 2014 Silverado. They only lost about 200 lbs empty, but added it back on with stuff. So they ended up losing nothing overall.

Toughnology is more of a promo for their current Silverado because it didn't get a lot of media attention. Maybe they should have done more media from the start? The Wall Street Journal reported that General Motors is now working on a largely aluminum-bodied pickup truck for late 2018. So you can take whatever GM negative stuff they are saying about aluminum and throw it in the garbage. In 2018 they will be singing a different tune.

Here's a few more obvious attempts at GM trying to catch the Master.

heated steering wheels

bedsides - said it was the wrong way to go, and jump shot and then increased the bedsides on the 2014

Ecotec vs Ecoboost

Cheesy bumper step vs Ford tailgate step (next generation will be on the 2015 F-150).

Copied dash cluster as on current F-150.

@Ken - "poor selling pickups"

Even with all of G.M's recalls they are gaining more market share than Ford.

I agree that this is a marketing thing by GM so they can justify their current truck, but I don't think the Thoughnology is getting much interest. On GM Authority it got no response except one spam post. GMI didn't even cover it.


Posted by Mark Williams | September 8, 2014

I did read an article a year or two ago where GM was investing some millions of dollars with another company trying to develop a cheaper and faster way to produce carbon fiber. I would not be at all surprised to see their and other brands next new trucks being a combination of high strength steel, aluminum and carbon fiber.

GM will use a combination just like they are doing now and even this concept which is supposed to promote steel still has the current aluminum hood and tailgate. It's most like they are just promoting their current truck with a new grill, than some future truck.

GM says:
"During the Silverado's development, we evaluated all materials and chose those that would provide the best strength to support capability while still delivering a strong value to customers.

"High-strength steel had clear advantages and is a contributor to the overall package that made Silverado the 2014 North American Truck of the Year."

"The 2015 Silverado 1500 with the EcotTec3 5.3L V-8 engine is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg on the highway and offers a maximum trailering capacity of 11,200 pounds, per newly adopted SAE J2807 Recommended Practices. With the available 6.2L V-8 engine and all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, the Silverado's trailering capacity increases to 12,000 pounds."

"The Silverado Toughnology concept wears most of its high-strength steel under the skin, just like every production model."

"The 2015 Silverado 1500 crew cab model earned a 5-Star Safety Rating – the highest rating – in government crash testing."

"The Silverado also strategically uses aluminum, including the hood, which saves 17 pounds over a conventional stamped steel hood."

"We put the best materials to use where they'll do the most good," said Luke. "Every panel, inside and out, is designed to support the Silverado's capability and carry on its position as America's most dependable, longest-lasting truck."


That was all in the Toughnology PR and it is all GM trying to justify the current 2014 truck, not some future truck or future plans.

"Carpeted bedliner." Oh, for Pete's sake.

I just tossed a tractor rim onto my bedliner, to take it to town.

What on earth? Some of us still use trucks for WORK. Sigh...

It is interesting to consider what PR tells us vs. what is really happening and that is a whole discussion in and of itself.

As an enthusiastic truck guy as well as someone who likes all kind of cars, I take great interest in these kinds of events. I live in Southern California, so I always make a point to go to the LA auto show.

They last few times I've been at the LA Auto show, I asked the GM people few questions they obviously weren't comfortable with. I am not out to intentionally be a jerk or anything like that, but I like straight-forward questions and answers.

I really do enjoy talking to the PR people from each brand about the competition's trucks, so that I can hear different perspectives, even if it is somewhat "scripted".

Most of the time I manage to get myself involved in some interesting conversations, however, the few times that the conversation hasn't gone well is when I've talked with GM PR people, and they obviously weren't comfortable with my questions.

Is in company culture? Is it the realization that their brand might be lacking in certain areas? Who knows. I honestly don't care. The Ram and Ford people are always interesting to talk to, so that gives me a better impression of those brands.

All these guys making fun of aluminum will not be laughing when Ford does the same thing they are doing now, outsell them and rub there faces in it. Then you will see ram and gm scrambling to play catch up.

Posted by: Truck Crazy | Sep 28, 2014 6:47:41 PM



Stay thirsty my friend. lol

they need to get off the kid with a spray can wild ideas. the trucks are ugly with this. it is a fact they are too big for pre 90's built houses attached garages. i can video tape about 10 just down the street that sit in the sun most of there lives because they donjt fit in the gargage. how do you think these designs will look after 3 years of sitting in the sun lol.
Posted by: brandon d | Sep 28, 2014 10:37:20 AM
Mine is 5 years old and still looks like new,and I've never waxed it yet!

@Hemi V8

Like I told you when you posted that in the last post.

The Ram in that test had a sticker payload of 957 lbs to the 1,520lbs in the F150. The towing capacity of the Ram was only 8,300lbs where the F150 was 9,600 lbs. The Ecoboost also outperformed that Ram in 0-60 by .6 seconds, 0-90 by 1.9 seconds, the 40-60 mph, the 1/4 mile, and the figure eight obstacle. They also used the required mid-grade fuel in the Ram which cost more than the regular octane the used on the F150 Ecoboost (although it is a busted test unless they did the exact same driving like the PUTC and Canadian truck king Challenge). The F150 also had a 36 gallon fuel tank to the 26 gallon in the Ram. Do you need me to go on or is that enough?

Right, are we using Fords magic tow and payload dust or did they remove the drivers seat. lol

Lets not forget the Hemi Ram spanked the Ford Eco burst loaded and unloaded up hill. Ram also handled better with 1,000lb payload. :--)

I will keep my awesome award winning proven Hemi V8 over your wimpy hair dryer V6 turbo.

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Sep 28, 2014 5:48:37 PM

Chevy build a better way to see the USA
I agree with you about the paint fading in the sun and NOT waxing it.
Wax will fade the paint even more.
Auto and Truck makers are using a water base paint cause of environmental concerns and lower cost and wax is too harsh or not designed for these paints.
The darker colors such as black looks worse when it fades and loses its shine.
If you feel you must wax it use a non-abrasive wax such as "Buffalo Milke"

The secret nobody is talking about is the pickup truck market is all used up.
Everybody is driving a newer pickup that's less than 3 years old and they are in debt up to their ears with a $600 monthly payment.
The 2015 new pickup customers are going to be fewer people and its going to be a battle.
That's one of the reasons why I predict Ford is going to lose cause their new 2015 F-150 design is too big of a risk with higher prices, higher insurance costs, the consumer is going to play it safe with a unchanged proven design such as the Ram 1500 cause they feel comfortable knowing what they are getting.
The 2015 F-150 people don't know if that extreme design change will be better or worse. The 2015 F-150 won't sell!
I predict the Sept 2015 sales numbers:
#1 Ram 1500
#2 Chevy Colorado
#3 Chevy Silverado
#4 Ford F-150
#5 GMC Canyon

What I'm saying is the customer base won't be there for 2015 pickups cause everybody already owns a newer pickup.
The total number of all pickups sold will be much fewer than the past years, the market will be extremely competitive.
One exception: The SUV market is on fire and the Colorado-Canyon will fall into that SUV market and attract SUV customers. GM has a winner

LouBC would even agree with me!

Now for a concept maybe GM should have bolted this engine in the Colorado.

It's the same basic engine as the 3.6 V6 fitted. But it appears nicer than the EcoBoost and I would dare say give the Colorado some mumbo. Maybe this engine could fit into a Silverado.

I wonder how long before someone fits this CTS engine into a Colorado?

- this Silverado concept attempts to remind pickup fans about the extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel throughout the frame, cab, body and interior, which, GM has always noted, is "much less cost intensive than more exotic materials."

Lol! "We aren't cutting edge, but at least you get a cheap truck!"

Al, how would that engine be "nicer" than an ecoboost in a truck? It requires 93 octane fuel, ecoboost has forged rods and crank while maintaining a longer torque curve that comes in at lower rpm. I personally don't like the intercooler sitting on top of the engine. BTW, a simple tune can put the ecoboost numbers far above the CTS.

Bragging about their steel is awful. Especially when they used terms like "Much less cost intensive". This translates into "Hey, we're cheap asses" - "And oh ya, we're gonna charge you more for it too". Their high strength steel isn't high strength at all. Not one bit. The stuff is like tinfoil it's so flimsy. And it's showing premature rusting terribly already on the GMT900's. We're talking holes starting over the rear wheels already on those models. Body shops can't fix the dents, creases, or even rust on this metal. Beds are an automatic 'Replace' to the tune of over 4 grand.

On the positive side it's nice to see Chevrolet actually put wheel well molding protection on their Silverado. Too bad it's just a concept. Don't want to step on GM Sierra toes in an effort to compete with Ford and Dodge.


"investigation into an estimated 4.9 million Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep SUVs, pickups and minivans from the 2007-14 model years.

The safety advocate group said the failures resulted in engine stalls; air bag nondeployment; unintended acceleration; FIRES; and random horn, headlight, door lock, instrument panel and windshield wiper activity, according to the documents."

why didn't they show up close pictures of the "gear On" system?

makes no sense mentioning it if we can't see how it works!

Don't take the comment to heart. Remember I'm not a fan boy.

The CTS turbo V6 looks like a very nice engine. It also shows that GM has some decent turbo engines.

If it was detuned to match the EcoBoost it probably could run on regular or require premium when under load. It's horse for courses.

I'm also looking at the best way to modify the truck. This might be cheaper than putting a V8 into a Colorado.

Also, if I buy a vehicle and it said it runs on potato peels and it does what I want that's what I'd do.

In Australia every service station I go to has sold premium unleaded.

If you bought a vehicle with a performance engine you'd also expect some differences.

"What I'm saying is the customer base won't be there for 2015 pickups cause everybody already owns a newer pickup."

Wrong. Perhaps everyone who owns a truck as a status symbol or testosterone-booster has a newer one.

I buy used and keep them forever; old buddy bought my '95 F-150 in 2011, and I switched to a Z-71 Silverado that's an '03. I'd still have the Ford but it kept getting stuck w/o 4wD on the farm. Maybe one of these newer trucks, at least a contractor model without all the doo-dads, will fit the 6 or 7 years.

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