Think the Silverado HD is a serious piece of truck? Well it is, but now Chevrolet is making an even more serious version.
Announced on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in the truck business, Chevy is preparing to launch new 4500 and 5500-series models to compete with the Ford F-450 and F-550, and it will be branded as a Silverado.
Currently served only by the Express van platform and Isuzu-based Low Cab Forward line, the new Class 4 and Class 5 models will put GM back into a segment where it last competed in 2009 when it discontinued the Chevy Kodiaq (a.k.a. GMC TopKick) as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.
“We are earning new business because we have more solutions to help businesses grow,” said Chevy’s commercial product director John Schwegman. “The Silverado 4500 and 5500 will stand out because we’ve designed the trucks around how customers work.”
The manufacturer has confirmed that both the 4500 and 5500 models will be offered, in standard and crew-cab configurations, with two- or four-wheel drive, and an array of payload capacities and wheelbases – all powered by Duramax diesels and Allison transmissions.
“They will be powerful, highly maneuverable and among the easiest trucks on the market to upfit with specialized bodies, such as dump bodies, rollbacks, freight boxes and more,” said Schwegman.
What Chevy hasn’t said, however, is whether a consumer version will be offered with a pickup bed, like Ford does with the F-450. No other competitors in the pickup market (neither Ram, Toyota, nor Nissan) currently compete in the medium-duty commercial truck segment, leaving Ford and now Chevy (with GMC potentially to follow) to compete essentially only with each other in this class.