The folks at Chevrolet are convinced that the 2020 Silverado heavy-duty pickup truck will substantially reduce towing anxiety among their devoted customers as well as newcomers.
They consider that there are two groups at risk: The working men and women who need the hauling and towing capabilities of a heavy-duty truck for their livelihood, as well as owners anxious to protect prized possessions like sport fishing boats or designer-home trailers.
There’s a country music song that says, “Worry’s like a rocking chair; it don’t get you anywhere. Back and forth and you’re still there. Worry’s like a rocking chair.”
Chevrolet calls its new anti-worry system the Transparent Trailer. It is designed to eliminate anxiety experienced by both independent truckers and the people who fret about their prized possessions.
Though the design was a collaboration between Chevrolet and an outside supplier, Ndikum Atang, the engineer who put the system together, installed as many as 15 strategically placed cameras on the trailer and the truck — for this review a Silverado 2500HD High Country crew cab with Chevy’s 445-hp, 6.6-liter turbocharged V8 diesel. It makes a humongous 910 lb-ft of torque — the twisting force that enables towing of 18,500 pounds and beyond.
The cameras are hard-wired — no trusting of wireless here — and are accessed from the now-ubiquitous center screen in the truck cab. Touch the screen and the driver can see right through the giant box trailer out back.
Of course, it’s an illusion. There’s a camera at the back of the trailer, as well as others, so the center screen can display both sides of the trailer as well as a transparent view, seemingly through an invisible trailer.
With a touch of the screen, the driver also can check the truck’s cargo bed, as well as look at the hookup between the Chevy 2500 and the trailer in enough detail to determine whether anything needs attention.
As important, another touch of the screen activates a camera inside the trailer so the driver can check the trailer contents—a car, a couple of motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles, or the tangle of beach chairs and umbrellas for the family vacation.
The system also enables a driver to back up his Silverado HD and place the towing ball precisely under the trailer hookup. This maneuver has been done by others before but this system also allows the driver to program up to five different profiles to simplify the process.
Though the Transparent Trailer system — a $1,800 option — gets the most attention, the 2020 heavy-duty Chevy pickups, in 2500 and 3500 load capability as well as dual rear-wheel 3500s, get the power to the wheels through an all-new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.
In addition to the 2500 turbo-diesel, with its extra cost of $9,750, you can also order the heavy-duty Silverado with a 6.6-liter V8 gasoline engine that delivers 401 hp and 484 lb-ft of torque. You won’t get the all-new Allision 10-speed automatic transmission but the six-speed automatic works fine.
The gasoline-engine 2500s can’t haul quite as much as the brutish diesel model but with a trailer weighing up to 16,900 pounds another tester moved as effortlessly as the diesel towing a ton more. Either way, there’s little of the back-and-forth lurching that sometimes characterizes a tow vehicle and trailer.
With the gasoline V8 and six-speed automatic, the Silverado 2500 4WD crew cab in LT trim had a base price of $46,195, including the destination charge. With a short list of options that provided 18-inch aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires and a spray-on bed liner, the bottom-line price came to $47,985.
The Silverado High Country turbo diesel had a starting price of $62,695. It came with a long list of features that rivaled high-priced luxury cars, as well as performance and convenience items specific to truck use.
Among them: the Transparent Trailer camera system, powered up and down tailgate, Durabed cargo box liner, assist steps both on the bed sides and rear bumper, power driver’s seat and heated towing mirrors with memory settings, and power sliding rear window.
Other luxury items included heated and ventilated leather upholstery, motorized sunroof, Chevrolet infotainment system with navigation, eight-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SXM satellite radio, Bose premium audio; dual-zone climate control, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Options, mainly the Duramax turbo-diesel engine, brought the suggested delivered price up to $76,215.
- Model: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD High Country Crew Cab four-door pickup truck.
- Engine: 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel; 445 hp, 910 lb-ft torque.
- Transmission: 10-speed Allison automatic.
- Overall length: 20 feet 10 inches.
- Height: 6 feet 8 inches.
- Passenger volume: 139 cubic feet.
- Standard cargo bed volume: 70 cubic feet.
- Weight: 7,467 pounds.
- Payload: 3,597 pounds.
- Towing capability: 18,500 pounds.
- EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: Heavy-duty not EPA required.
- Base price, including destination charge: $62,695.
- Price as tested: $76,215.
Disclaimer: This test drive was conducted at a manufacturer-sponsored press event. The manufacturer provided travel, accommodations, vehicles, meals and fuel.
Photos (c) Chevrolet