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The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Toughens Up with New Diesel and Expanded V-8 Availability

Andrew Wendler
Photo credit: Chevrolet

From Car and Driver

Just one year removed from its 2019 spiritual rebirth, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is slated to receive some significant upgrades to powertrain choices and towing technology, all in an effort to remain competitive in the country's hottest vehicle segment. A powertrain shuffle means that more than half of the available trim levels will have access to Chevy's 6.2-liter V-8 with a 10-speed automatic, for a price.

Photo credit: Chevrolet

To lend some context to the changes, we'll remind you that the Silverado trim hierarchy looks like this, bottom to top: Work Truck (WT), Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country.

For 2020, GM's venerated 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic transmission combo will now be optional on Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss trims. Both feature a 2.0-inch factory suspension lift and the Z71 Off-Road package, which brings Rancho monotube shocks, skid plates, a locking rear differential, and 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. That's essentially the same kit as the 2019 versions, but with the option of a big honkin' V-8 and 10-speed box in place of the 4.3-liter V-6 or 5.3-liter V-8 engines and their six- or eight-speed transmissions. The Custom Trail Boss with the 6.0-liter V-8 starts at $43,865; pricing for the LT Trail Boss trim has not been announced.

Street-is-neat types will be glad to hear that the Silverado RST with four-wheel drive will also offer the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed transmission as an option. Maximum towing capacity of the Silverado RST increases to 13,400 pounds when properly equipped. Power-hungry buyers can select an available Performance Upgrade package that adds a performance air intake and cat-back performance exhaust system, which raises the 6.2-liter V-8's output to 435 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque, increases of 15 ponies and 9 lb-ft.

Photo credit: Chevrolet

Originally scheduled to arrive in the 2019 model year, the slightly delayed 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine is here for 2020, available as an option on LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country models. Rated for 277 horsepower and a significant 460 lb-ft of torque at 1500 rpm, this one is ready for work.

The 2020 model year also widens the availability of the 10-speed automatic, pairing it for the first time with the maker's 5.3-liter V-8 on certain Silverado trims. Standard on the LT Trail Boss, it's available on the High Country trim.

In matters of smaller cylinder counts, the turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four and 8-speed transmission will now be available in the Silverado Custom trim.

Photo credit: Chevrolet

Also of note for the 2020 Silverado 1500 is the downward migration of some of the Silverado's HD's towing features and tech. That includes the available 15 camera views and the transparent trailer feature, which uses the tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera mounted on the rear of the trailer for a comprehensive view of the area behind the trailer. Smart trailer technology is also available for 2020, a feature that allows users to access the iN∙Command Control system via the Silverado's infotainment system or compatible Android and iOS devices. (iNˑCommand is a system from aftermarket outfitter ASA Electronics that permits Silverado owners to check the RV's water tanks or turn on the camper's A/C and water heater, among other features, before arriving at a campground.)

Finally, adaptive cruise control makes an appearance as an option for 2020. Capable of bringing the vehicle to a complete stop and integrated with the vehicle's stop/start capability, it's aimed at saving gas and taking some stress out of the long holiday weekend traffic jams.

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