Company News

Chevy, Ford Unveil Trucks at Detroit Auto Show

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Once a year, the auto industry gathers in Detroit and, for the American manufacturers, it proves a chance to show off their latest and greatest.

Two brands, Chevrolet and Ford, held their announcements over the weekend to announce redesigned trucks.

Chevrolet kicked off the North American International Auto Show press days by unveiling the redesigned 2019 Silverado Saturday night. Beyond its updated look – Chevy has begun introducing exterior designs to all its models that feature fluid curves on the sides and slightly boxier front ends – the Silverado will be about 450 pounds lighter than its previous design and retain its best-in-class bed volume.

The redesign, noted Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of full-size trucks, comes with the centennial of the first Chevy truck to hit America’s roads.

“Truck customers value capability and functionality above all else,” he said during the reveal. “We set out to create the best tool for the job at hand, one that makes work more productive and more enjoyable, no matter what they call ‘work.’ ”

In addition to the cargo space, the baseline Silverado 1500 will also feature a high-strength steel floor, powered controls for the tailgate (controlled via buttons on the key fob), a 120-volt outlet, a dozen fixed tie-down points and nine movable tie-down spots.

Inside, the 2019 Silverado crew cab will have extra space in the backseat, while all models will come with 10-liter bins on the backs of the front seats and a 24-liter bin under the back seat. Other Chevy features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple Car Play, Android Auto and wireless phone charging are also available.

“Truck customers told us they want the perfect truck for them and not a ‘one size fits most’ truck, compromised for the masses,” said Mike Simcoe, General Motors’ vice president for global design. “That insight shaped our design strategy with eight distinct models, each with a unique personality to fit different customers.”

The new truck will be available in eight trim packages, including three new packages, sorted by Chevy into three levels: High Value, High Volume and High Feature.

In the High Value class are the base-level Work Truck trim, the Custom and the new Custom Trailboss, which features off-road suspension and tires. In High Volume are LT and the new RST and LT Trailboss packages, the latter of which comes with the off-road kit, custom shocks, skid plates and Goodyear Duratrac tires.

Finally, in the top-level options, are the LTZ and High Country trims, with chrome accents, heated rearview mirrors and leather seats. The High Country includes the new powered tailgate.

No price points were announced during the media event in Detroit.

On Sunday afternoon, Ford also eschewed the traditional NAIAS media days, held today and tomorrow, for its own reveals on the show floor, unveiling the Ranger, a new package for the Edge and the return of the Mustang Bullitt.

The Ranger returns after an eight-year hiatus from the Ford lineup. The mid-size pickup, smaller than the F-150, features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new truck, executives noted, underwent the same testing as its bigger brother.

“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s vice president of product development and purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”

Among the available options are off-road packages Trail Control, which serves as a sort of cruise control for off-road drivers where the truck assumes some control over accelerating and braking to allow the driver to pay attention solely on steering.

Three trim packages are available for the Ranger: entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and the top-level Lariat.

During its media show, Ford announced the 2019 F-150 will have an optional PowerStroke diesel engine.

Ford also announced the new ST package for one of its best-selling SUVs, the Edge. The performance variant of the model comes on the heels of the company’s best-ever sales year for SUVs.

“Edge ST puts a new animal on the road – a performance SUV with a track mentality,” Thai-Tang said. “From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive.”

The ST package comes with a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and Ford’s sports-tuned suspension. It also features some of Ford’s automated driving systems, including brake assist, evasive steering and adaptive cruise control.

Concluding the reveals on Sunday was the reintroduction of one of Mustang’s most recognizable packages: the Bullitt. Based on the Mustang appearing in the eponymous 1968 movie starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset, the newest version of the package comes in two color – Shadow Black and Dark Highland Green, the color of the Mustang in the movie – and features five-liter V8 engine that puts out 475 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, as well as an eight-speed manual transmission. The model’s top speed is 163 mph, eight mph faster than the Mustang GT.

Inside, it features references to the “Bullitt” movie, including a white cue ball shifter head and a unique welcome screen on the infotainment system that features the car rather than the usual Mustang pony. It also comes with chrome trim around the grille and black exhaust tips.

“This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer. “As a designer, it’s my favorite Mustang, devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything. It’s just cool.”

The North American International Auto Show media days continue today and Tuesday, with presentations from more than 30 auto manufacturers and suppliers.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.