You may have heard that the new-for-2015 Ford F-150 makes extensive use of aluminum in order to shed weight compared to the previous truck, coming in a claimed 700 pounds lighter than the outgoing version. You’re undoubtedly also aware that Ford has also promoted “high tech” powerplants in their bestselling trucks, with the 360 horsepower Coyote 5.0 DOHC as the only V8 offered, and a heavy emphasis on the EcoBoost turbo V6 as the “premium” engine choice.
Meanwhile, in the GM corner, the latest generation of full-size trucks still retain large-displacement pushrod V8 engines, albeit very advanced Gen V designs featuring direct injection and variable cam timing. Perhaps in response to the perceived technology gap, Chevy unveiled the “Toughnology” concept Silverado September 25 at the State Fair of Texas. The concept highlights the use of high-strength steel in the cab, and features graphics intended to evoke a “raw steel” appearance, right down to the steel molecule diagram on each side.
“The technology of advanced high-strength steel makes the Chevrolet Silverado stronger, lighter, more capable and more efficient – and that’s exactly what the Toughnology concept represents,” said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer. “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.”
The concept features the 5.3 liter Gen V EcoTec V8 rated at 355 horsepower, returning an EPA-estimated 23 MPG on the highway and providing a maximum trailering capacity of 11,200 pounds, per newly adopted SAE J2807 Recommended Practices.
Is this concept an affirmation of GM’s evolutionary approach to full-size truck design, or just sour grapes in the wake of Ford’s Great Leap Forward with the 2015 F-150? Let us know what you think in the comments below…