Rounding out its three truck strategy, General Motors recently debuted the HD heavy duty versions of its popular Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The HD models join the new midsize Canyon and Colorado models introduced just before the holidays, as well as the 1500-series models that debuted earlier last year.
HD Power & Looks
While the Silverado and Sierra HD models share the pretty looks of their junior siblings, there’s no doubt that the HD trucks add a whole new level of brawn to the family. This is made evident in several towing-friendly features that combine to deliver towing capacities up to 23,200 pounds.
The HD versions didn’t need to forgo appearance to achieve their impressive strength, though. Throughout the range of trim levels, the interior design, fit and finish, and quality are at a level only found in a high-end luxury sedan just a few years ago.
Available in 3/4-ton (2500HD) and 1-ton (3500HD) payload levels, the HD models can be built in regular cab, double cab, or crew cab configurations, with 8′ cargo beds across the board or a 6′ 6″ cargo bed on the double cab and crew cab models. The short-bed double cab configuration is only available at the 2500HD level.
Like the 1500-series models, the new double cab configuration replaces the previous extended cab on the HD trucks. The double cab’s rear seat area features wider, forward-hinged door-frames with structural B-pillars that enhance body strength and make access easier in tight parking lots. The crew cab models also feature wider rear doors, making it easier to get in and out of the back seat.
Name Your Fuel
The 2015 HD models offer multiple work-ready powertrains. The standard engine is an E85-compatible 6.0L FlexFuel V-8 with continuously variable valve timing rated at 360 Horsepower and 380 Pound-Feet of torque. A bi-fuel version of the 6.0L V-8 enables easy switching between gasoline and compressed natural gas. The 6.0L V-8 is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Duramax 6.6L turbodiesel and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission combination will continue to be available on HD models. Rated at 397 Horsepower and 765 Pound-Feet of torque, the Duramax engine features piezo-actuated fuel injectors for improved performance and efficiency, and a variable vane turbocharger that also acts as an exhaust brake to help control vehicle speed on long downgrades.
The Allison 1000 transmission features a driver shift control with tap-up/tap-down shifting and a Tow/Haul mode that reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.