SAN ANTONIO – An all-new, stronger body structure and shear-style hydraulic body mounts bring a higher level of refinement to the Silverado, raising the bar for full-size pickups and giving customers a better balance of capability and comfort.
The stronger body structure complements the fully boxed frame and enhanced suspension systems, giving the new Silverado the confidence-inspiring heft and precision of a high-quality power tool.
“For many owners, trucks serve double or triple duty, as work vehicles, school shuttles and weekend haulers,” said Rick Gjestvang, program engineering manager. “The new Silverado is engineered to be more comfortable and accommodating for everyday driving, with refinements that don’t come at the expense of capability.”
High-strength steels in the body structure contribute to a more solid feel, while the new body mounts reduce noise and vibration in the passenger compartment for a smoother, more isolated driving experience. An enhanced package of sound-blocking features also makes Silverado quieter inside.
Every model now features inlaid doors, which fit into the body side opening instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise inside the cab and contributing to improved aerodynamics – an attribute that helps the Silverado slip through the air on the highway with less drag, which enhances efficiency.
On double cab models, the rear doors are now longer, for easier entry and exit, and are forward-hinged – like crew cabs – which also helps reduce wind noise. And thanks to the insertion of new, structural B-pillars, those models feel more solid. Crew cabs feature resized doors, including longer rear doors, which also make it easier to climb in and out of the rear seat. (Please see the Silverado Exterior Design release for more details.)
Approximately 67 percent of each new cab is constructed with high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. They are used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rockers and roof rails, as well strategic sections on the interior structure. Ultra-high-strength steel is used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody to help improve performance in crashes.
Additionally, a number of structural reinforcements and other components help stiffen the body to bolster the new Silverado’s confident, quiet performance on the highway, with noticeably reduced vibrations on rough surfaces. For example, an enhanced instrument panel support beam, which spans the width of the cab’s interior under the dashboard, features a new beam-to-floor brace that is four times stronger than before. It’s used with stronger instrument panel mounting brackets and a thicker tubular steering column jacket to enhance the steering column’s stiffness, reducing vibration that could otherwise be felt in the steering wheel.
The new Silverado’s pickup box is stronger, too, and designed to last longer. Its floor is made of roll-formed steel, which is more durable than the conventional stamped steel used by major competitors. The box also incorporates new, innovative features that offer smart solutions for the countless uses customers will find for it. (Please see the separate Silverado Pickup Box release for more information.)
Engineers, using advanced computational analysis to determine the optimal size, shape and placement of the components, were able to specify thinner-gauge parts for the high-strength and ultra-high-strength components, which are lighter than conventional steel parts. The roll-formed box steel is lighter than the material used for stamped parts.
Silverado also features an aluminum hood that saves 17 pounds per vehicle and all-new door structures that save 34 pounds on crew cab models.
Because of these weight savings, the new Silverado remains the lightest full-size light-duty truck on the market.
Shear-style body mounts enhance comfort, smoothness
New, shear-style body mounts on the 2014 Silverado significantly improve stiffness and contribute to a smoother ride. They also provide a more secure and consistent attachment of the body to the frame, for greater build quality and improved safety performance.
The new body mounts are bolted to the frame and provide dampening in both compression and rebound, meaning the tension generated during compression is released in a controlled manner, similar to a shock absorber. The previous hydraulic body mounts worked in compression only. In addition, the new shear-style mounts are significantly stiffer than the mounts used in the previous truck, helping to reduce vehicle shake.
A quieter cabin
The stronger cab structure, along with new and improved sound-abating elements, contributes to a noticeably quieter interior, making the Silverado more comfortable and refined.
“You notice the quietness immediately,” said Gjestvang. “The new Silverado ups the ante in the segment for refinement, with a level of quietness that makes it easier for passengers to hold a conversation between the front and rear seats.”
Creating a quiet interior included everything from adding thicker and denser insulation to incorporating innovative noise isolation strategies. The new inlaid door design is the largest contributor to the Silverado’s reduced wind noise in the cabin. Triple door seals and thicker, 5mm front side-door glass – and a 5.4mm windshield – further block exterior noise. New, low-profile flat-blade wipers also help reduce wind noise.
The outside mirrors were shaped in General Motors’ wind tunnel for greater aerodynamic performance, which helps lower wind noise as well as enhance efficiency. There’s also a new seal between the cab and the pickup box that helps reduce wind noise.
A dense, liquid applied sound deadener is also used strategically throughout the cab. It bonds with the steel to dampen resonance, preventing noise and vibration from reverberating through the interior, much like using your hand to quiet a ringing bell.
Beyond the body structure, a number of additional acoustically optimized elements contribute to the Silverado’s quiet strength:
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
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