In the realm of manly, heavy duty trucks that tow big, heavy trailers, boats and toys, there’s a fierce competition among carmakers to provide the best in payload, towing capacity and mechanics. And Chevrolet concentrated the changes to 2011 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models on those attributes rather than changing its exterior look. A new version of the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo diesel V-8 engine increases the truck’s strength and improves efficiency “significantly” according to Chevrolet — although they won’t say by how much.
The diesel version is now able to run on B20 bio diesel without modifications and there is now an 11% increase in highway fuel economy and a range of 680 miles due to its new 36-gallon fuel tank.
Although they have not yet completed testing, horsepower and torque are expected to exceed the previous model but some of the trucks technology features are more impressive. A new StabiliTrak electronic stability control system can sense when the attached trailer starts to sway and applies brakes and stability without driver interaction.
A smart exhaust brake system slows the truck/trailer combination on descents with no driver input and a hill start assist system prevents rollback by automatically engaging when sensors detect the vehicle is on a grad of 5 percent or greater.
A slew of technology lives in the cabin of the truck including mobile WiFi, USB connectivity, Bluetooth, XM Radio and navigation system with real-time traffic condition updates. And, for cold weather, there’s a cab heat-up feature that makes the engine idle faster in low temperatures to warm up the interiors quickly.
The truck wars continue as Ford comes out with their next version of heavy duty vehicles, but GM seems to be working hard to hold up its end of the big truck battle.