GM unveils Silverado, Sierra

Nov. 1, 2006
GENERAL MOTORS introduced its all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for 2007, announced changes to the Express/Savana, and discussed the new 100,000-mile powertrain warranty

GENERAL MOTORS introduced its all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for 2007, announced changes to the Express/Savana, and discussed the new 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are offered with three cab styles, three cargo box lengths, and several specially tuned suspensions.

They include a strengthened chassis and enhanced towing package to provide a towing capacity of 10,500 pounds.

The Silverado and Sierra light-duty models arrived in the fourth quarter of this year. Sierra Denali and Silverado and Sierra heavy-duty models will be available in the first quarter of 2007. The heavy-duty trucks have increased capability - including more powerful gas and diesel engines. Production of the new trucks is shared among several North American assembly plants, including Oshawa, Ontario, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Pontiac and Flint, Michigan, and Silao, Mexico.

Silverado and Sierra are sleeker and more aerodynamic, including a faster, 57-degree windshield angle, reducing wind noise, and improved fuel economy. Tolerances between panels are greatly reduced - including a 50% reduction in the space between the cab and cargo box.

Complementing the trucks' three cab designs - regular, extended and crew cab - are three cargo box lengths, including short (68“), standard (78“) and long (96“ foot). New features include 170-degree-opening rear access doors with fully retractable power windows on extended cab models and new theater-style folding rear seats. Additional design features include improved lighting, a stronger cargo box with more cargo capacity, and reduced-effort tailgates.

Boxes deeper

The pickup boxes have been redesigned with enhanced versatility, increased strength, and greater capacity. A one-piece wheelhouse and inner box side add strength and smoother, more integrated appearance. The boxes are 1.18“ deeper in the front and 1.57“ deeper at the rear, with stronger inner walls that offer improved performance when fitted with ladder racks, tool boxes, and other accessories.

A new cargo management system is available on all Silverado and Sierra models. Three rails that run the length of the box sides and the forward box wall are secured with high-strength anchors and incorporate upper and lower tracks. Four adjustable tie-down brackets are included with each system and can be located anywhere on the tracks, each rated for a load point of 500 lb.

The rails enable the use of an overhead utility rack rated at a 500-lb loading capacity, a sliding diamond plate toolbox, a sliding bed divider, diamond plate side storage boxes, or a bicycle mount. These accessories use either the upper or lower rails, allowing numerous combinations that can easily fit together or bypass one another as they slide along the rails. The tool boxes and bicycle mount use a codeable lock, enabling the vehicle key to be used for locking and unlocking these accessories.

The fourth generation of the small-block V-8 engine family is the power behind GM's all-new full-size trucks, delivering segment-leading horsepower and fuel economy through advanced technology such as Active Fuel Management (AFM) and variable valve timing (VVT). A FlexFuel engine is available - and partnered with fuel-saving AFM - giving customers the choice of powering their truck with E85 ethanol, gasoline, or a combination of both fuels.

GM's fuel-saving Active Fuel Management bolsters the trucks' capability with the segment's best fuel economy. Highway fuel economy for models equipped with the 5.3L AFM V-8 now are estimated at more than 20 mpg for both 2WD and 4WD models.

The chassis and suspension support Silverado and Sierra's class-leading capability, including segment-best towing capacity of 10,500 lb and a maximum payload of 2,160 lb.


An all-new chassis, with wider front and rear tracks and new coil-over-shock front suspension design, is supported by tailored suspension packages that provide smooth, sure-footed ride, and handling characteristics in all driving conditions. Features include:

  • A new, fully boxed frame that is significantly stronger and stiffer - 234% increased torsional stiffness and 62% increased vertical bending stiffness - with a hydroformed front section, enhancing both the smooth ride characteristics and crash protection.

  • Wider front and rear tracks - approximately 3“ wider in front and 1“ wider in rear - enable increased stability, as well as a smoother, more controlled ride, particularly when cornering or with a full load.

  • A new coil-over-shock front suspension is mounted to the frame via a high-strength, precise attachment system for exceptional rigidity.

  • New rack-and-pinion steering system delivers precise, responsive steering with enhanced on-center feel. It is mounted on the front frame section's engine cross member.

  • A Hotchkiss-type rear suspension with splayed shock absorbers - angled outward and upright - provides more controlled damping and is a key contributor in the trucks' firmly-planted driving feel.

  • Exclusive Eaton automatic-locking rear axle provides extra traction when needed.

  • Silverado and Sierra are built on new, stronger fully boxed frames that are designed to provide increased crush protection during a crash. High-strength steel reinforcements are strategically located on the frame to enhance crashworthiness. They also feature new compatibility brackets that ensure better interaction with lower-riding vehicles during a crash.


An E85 5.3L engine has been added to the Express/Savana, with “flex fuel” badging. It is not available with the LH door. The CNG-capable engine has been cancelled.

Inner door trim panels are optional. The sliding door retains the inner panel.

A 2007 emissions diesel engine will be introduced February 5, 2007, and is unchanged at 250 horsepower and 460 lb-ft.


GM also briefly discussed its new powertrain warranty, with coverage up to 100,000 miles or five years across its entire 2007 car and light-duty truck lineup in the United States and Canada.

GM's new warranty coverage is fully transferable, with no deductible. GM also has decided to expand its roadside assistance and courtesy transportation programs to match the powertrain warranty term.

The warranty covers more than 900 components related to the engine, transmission, transfer case (if applicable), and final drive assemblies.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.