Chevrolet has just announced it will continue offering its bi-fuel option on the 2016 Silverado 3500. The setup allows customers to power the truck using either Compressed Natural Gas or standard gasoline. Directed at fleet customers, the bi-fuel option is only available on regular cab Silverado Chassis Cabs but can be had with either 2WD or 4WD.
Compressed Natural Gas has never gained traction in retail-aimed vehicles, but for large fleet companies and government municipalities, CNG makes a lot of sense.
It is cheaper, easier to transport, and far cleaner than any gasoline and even EV cars that fill their batteries with coal-fired electricity.
Amid a flurry of other green and eco messages touting GM’s improving eco-friendly manufacturing, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson also announced on Wednesday that Chevrolet will be offering the all-new Impala sedan with CNG capabilities.
General Motors is expecting slow initial sales of around 750 to 1,000 units during the first year, but expects the marketplace to become more open to CNG-powered vehicles as time goes by.
There is no word yet on pricing, but other CNG vehicles see an additional $7,500 to $9,500 in costs over its gasoline-powered counterpart.
The move to offer a fleet-targeted CNG Impala an interesting one as GM has tirelessly worked to reposition the more upscale 2014 Impala far away from the mass-production, cash-only/rental-car feel the previous generation of Impalas suffered from. However, the new Impala does offer fleet customers more room and refinement than other vehicles in that market segment.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Impala CNG and the standard 2014 model with gasoline engines.
With the roaring applause still ringing from the recent debuts of the new Silverado 1500, Tahoe and Suburban, Chevy has also revealed a pretty heavy revamp for the 2015 HD trucks.
It seems the welcome reception to all the other new bow-tie trucks means that the 2014 model year will be very short: GM pushed up the HD release so that all the factories can start gearing up for the hugely-improved 2015 model year.
The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis. Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases in all rigidity measurements, cabin quietness and ride comfort.
The new nose looks pretty great, actually. Chevy’s truck styling really seems to be very sharp these days. Projector beam lamps update the nose nicely, and a very dramatic chrome grille has far more shaping and structure to its surfaces.
Improvements to cooling and aerodynamics are hoped to increase highway fuel economy, where these big trucks really start to chug whatever fuel they are using at anything over 65 mph.
Drag is a real issue for these machines, and any HD owner will tell you that an 80 mph cruise with a trailer can switch the usual miles per gallon into gallons per mile.
Other changes include a totally-redesigned cabin, seats, infotainment and the whole vehicle’s electronic architecture. Under the hood, the engines are carryover but have a new engine management that integrates all the towing and stability safety features into its work flow.
What this boils down to for buyers is better economy, higher payload and towing stats, and a cruise control that now claims to be able to maintain a set speed even with a heavy trailer out back. Previous cruise controls for many cars will pop off and fail to keep a speed if doing so might make the engine stall.
So it is truck-a-palooza at Chevrolet this winter. Are buyers swayed by the new looks and vastly superior cabin?
Click past the jump for a closer look at the new sheetmetal, plus all the mechanical specs of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and Silverado 3500HD.
Comfort, safety, durability and power are the key reasons for upgrading to these heavier pickups from the lighter-duty Silverado that is all new for 2014. Even while the new model has projector beam headlights and some extra cabin tech, the 2500HD and 3500HD Silverado’s continue with only detail tweaks for 2014.
These updates include a new standard final drive ratio that boosts tow ratings by 4,500 pounds across the board, and a bi-fuel option that can run on normal gasoline or clean and affordable natural gas at the flip of a switch.
Chevy packs quite a bit more strength into these $30,000 to $50,000 2500 HD and 2500 HD trucks than their fierce cross-town rivals from Ford’s F-Series Super Duty and the Ram Heavy Duty choices.
These trucks have the rock-solid capabilities that would have required heavy and specialized machinery even a few decades ago.
Two quite unique buyer groups exist for these Texas-sized pickup trucks: people using the HD trucks to earn a living, and people who are so rich that they need to be able to transport all their toys to the cabin - at the same time. 10,000-plus tow maximum’s and fifth-wheel trailer hitches available, the Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks are only of the only ways to move a family of five, a large boat, jet ski’s and ATVs all in one trip.
These days, the Silverado HD series will happily get filthy doing the dirty work from dawn to dusk, but it must also deliver far more friendly service during the off hours. This is the real challenge for all pickup trucks, and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models are the last bastion of (at times) crude manners and a DuraMax exhaust drum wider than a telephone pole.
All this while hauling its drivers and their families in comfort and safety that still seems unimaginable at times for these big work trucks. Is the aging 2014 Silverado HD still up to the task in the face of a revised 2014 Ram Heavy Duty with an air suspension in back? How about versus the ever-popular Ford F-Series Super Duty and its huge cabin space?