Even with truck sales down and fuel prices up, General Motors doesn't intend to let its competitors get ahead of its heavy-duty program. From Brenda Priddy's spy photog network come these shots of the next-model 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 diesel test mule.
The Silverado HD and its GMC Sierra HD twin first went on sale about 18 months ago, but GM plans a mild facelift that hints at major revisions under the hood, Priddy says.
Priddy explains that the temporary grille in these photos is cribbed from a current light-duty Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but that the revised front bumper is slated for production. The inlet in the middle of the front bumper feeds air to the transmission cooler and is about one-third larger than the current version. Priddy speculates that the enlarged inlet could signal big changes in the Allison transmission package, perhaps to include eight—or more—gears to improve fuel economy and towing efficiency.
The larger inlet could also provide increased airflow for the next-gen Duramax diesel, which will be overhauled to meet tougher nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards taking effect in 2010. Part of that overhaul could include a new exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system which reduces NOx emissions, although GM has stated that the 2010 Duramax will use urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to scrub NOx, thus requiring a less complex EGR system.
The current Silverado HD uses a six-speed transmission mated to a 6.6L Duramax. Competitor Ford, meanwhile, plans to launch the 2011 Ford Super Duty with a 6.7L Scorpion V8 and six-speed transmission, and Dodge will launch its next heavy-duty in 2010.