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2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Overview
When the heavy work absolutely, positively has to get done, hard-hat-clad or Stetson-shaded foremen can count on the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD one-ton pickup to come through. From trailer towing to cargo toting to crew carrying, this 3- to 6-passenger full-size heavy-duty truck does it all with style and comfort, though such rivals as Ford’s F-350 and Ram’s 3500 offer a bit more all-around ability and overall refinement, respectively.
In any case, Chevy’s heavy-duty pickup should again come in three trim levels, the base Work Truck, the midlevel LT and the flagship LTZ, with each offered in either single rear-wheel (SRW) or dual rear-wheel (DRW) configuration. The Work Truck and LT levels are expected to be delivered in any of three different cab configurations, the 3-passenger Regular cab, the 6-passenger, 4-door Extended cab and the 6-passenger Crew cab with 4 independently opening doors. Regular cab trims sport only an 8.2-foot long bed, while the Extended and Crew cab trims can be delivered with either the long bed or the 6.5-foot standard bed. And, of course, all trims can be delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or available 4-wheel drive (4WD).
The Silverado 3500HD underwent a hefty redesign in 2009, therefore the 2013 edition isn’t much changed from 2012, but is nevertheless rumored to be offering a few added exterior colors and, in some trims, a redesigned rear suspension intended to help eliminate much of the annoying hop that most pickups exhibit when empty.
Again, the Silverado 3500HD lineup should sport the standard 322-hp 6.0-liter V8 powerplant to mate with a shiftable 6-speed automatic transmission for 380 lb-ft of torque. Look for the standard rear locking differential in both RWD and 4WD configurations, while towing with this peppy V8 is maxed out at 14,500 pounds using the proper equipment.
Available across the 2013 Silverado 3500HD trim spectrum is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that combines with a heavy-duty 6-speed shiftable automatic for 385 hp and a whopping 685 lb-ft of torque. Tow up to 17,400 pounds of trailer with this monster, while the turbodiesel ought to gulp fuel in far smaller sips than would a similarly sized gasoline engine. Finally, this blown diesel V8 also comes with a locking rear differential, as well as an engine exhaust brake that, in combination with the 6-speed automatic, should save a bunch of wear and tear on brake pads and rotors when towing.
Mileage figures, as is traditional, are unavailable for either engine, though the gas-burning V8 sports variable valve timing (VVT) and ethanol-friendly flex-fuel capability (FFV). Meantime, 4WD-equipped Silverado 3500s will likely see a reprise of manual hi-lo gear selection and auto-locking hubs in Work Trucks, while LT and LTZ versions should again boast Autotrac electronic hi-lo gear selection, auto-locking hubs and selectable auto-engage 4WD when wheel slippage is detected.
Make no mistake that the 2013 Silverado 3500 Work Truck is just that, and not a gussied-up farm adornment. In that spirit, once again expect 18-inch steel wheels (17-inchers on dualies), vinyl upholstery, cruise control, tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo with 4 speakers in Regular cabs, 6 speakers in Extended and Crew cabs.
The mid-level LT ought to remain tricked out with 18-inch alloy wheels, premium cloth upholstery and full power accessories, including heated outside mirrors, as well as simulated alloy cabin accents and a leather and simulated alloy steering wheel. A single-CD player ought once more to be complemented by satellite radio, while OnStar Directions and Connections service should once more ease communications and navigation.
The flagship LTZ, meantime, will likely boast heated, power-adjustable front bucket seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and memory for driver's settings. Bose premium speakers, with a sub-woofer, complement a USB connection, while Bluetooth hands-free technology further eases communications.
An integrated trailer brake controller should remain optional for all trim levels, as should the EZ-lift tailgate and a high-idle switch. LT and LTZ editions will likely remain eligible for the Z71 off-road package, not to mention remote engine start, a power sliding rear window, rear parking assist, hard-drive-based navigation, a universal remote garage door opener and rear-seat DVD entertainment. Finally, look for the LTZ to remain eligible for a power sunroof and 6-passenger front bench seating.
Standard safety equipment, like 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction control and stability control, should again complement the Silverado 3500’s sheer size. Standard daytime running lights, as well as the option of head curtain airbags, will likely be retained throughout the lineup, while the LT and LTZ can be expected to sport a standard post-collision safety system, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a remote antitheft alarm.
by Eric Tallberg
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