Geneva is cool and all, but Chevy has a new truck
Chevy Expands Cab-Forward Lineup with Isuzu-based 6500XDby Mark McNabb, on
Chevrolet is expanding its range of commercial-grade trucks with the new Low Cab Forward 6500XD. This medium-duty truck isn’t found at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Rather, it helps General Motors expand it reach into the commercial segment, thanks in part to Isuzu.
This isn’t the first Low Cab Forward Chevy has announced. GM re-entered the LCF segment in 2015 thanks to that partnership with Isuzu. A longtime player in the LCF market, Isuzu benefitted from GM’s extensive sales and servicing departments. The duo launched several flavors of the LCF, including the 3500, 3500HD, 4500, 4500HD, 5500, and 5500HD models – each coming with several engine options and wheelbase lengths.
The new 6500XD features a taller suspension and frame, making it compatible with loading docks. It comes powered by an Isuzu-sourced 5.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel making 520 pound-feet of torque. It’s backed by an Allison 2500 Series, six-speed automatic transmission with a power take-off unit. Heavy-duty Dana axles are present, too. Eight wheelbase lengths are available, ranging from 16 feet to 30 feet, allowing the 6500XD to be upfitted with a 30-foot box. Payload ratings range from 11,374 pounds up to 13,786 pounds, while the gross vehicle weight rating sits at 25,950 pounds. Axle ratings are 12,000 pounds up front and 19,000 pounds out back.
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Ed Peper, the U.S. VP for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations said this about the LCF truck: “Our goal is to offer the best work solutions and customer care in the business. Our Low Cab Forward dealers and Upfitter Integration Group will work hand-in-hand with customers and their upfitters to spec the right truck for the job. After the sale, our dealers will be there to support customers with extended service hours and work-ready loaners.”
The Upfitter Integration Group Peper is talking about is GM’s liaison between those aftermarket companies which provide upfit equipment and customers. Upfit equipment includes items like enclosed box beds, flat beds, wrecker beds, and other specialty add-on equipment. Also included in the mix are GM’s engineering and marketing teams for answering questions on the trucks. The Upfitter Integration Group also provides customers with detailed manuals, technical bulletins, and best-practice manuals. In short, GM is trying to simplify the process of buying a LCF truck and outfitting it with aftermarket equipment.