Redesigned for 2011, the Silverado heavy-duty lineup rolls into 2012 with even greater towing and payload capacities to lead the segment, including:
- Best-in-class 1-ton Dually GVWR of 13,400 pounds (6,078 kg) and payload of 7,215 pounds (3,272 kg)
- Best-in-class 1-ton GCWR of 30,500 pounds (13,834 kg)
- Best-in-class 1-ton fifth-wheel towing capacity of 23,000 pounds (10,430 kg)
- Best-in-class conventional towing capacity of 18,000 pounds (8,164 kg)
There are 10 2500HD models and eight single- and dual-rear-wheel 3500HD models, including regular cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles offered in 2WD and 4WD. WT, LT and LTZ trim levels are offered. Highlights include:
- Fully-boxed, high-strength-steel frames
- 6.6L Duramax diesel delivers 397 hp (296 kW) and B20 biodiesel capability
- Standard 36-gallon (136 L) gas tank and engine efficiency enable up to 680 miles (1,090 km) between fill-ups with the 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel
- Smart exhaust brake feature provides greater control on grades and reduced brake pad wear
- An array of control features, including trailer sway control, integrated trailer brake control, hill start assist, automatic grade braking, intelligent brake assist and larger brakes
- Technology features including available mobile WiFi, USB connectivity, Bluetooth phone connectivity, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, OnStar 9.0 and navigation.
New and revised features for 2012 include a navigation radio with CD, USB port and an 80-gig hard drive (30 gigs of memory), heated and cooled front seats available on LTZ models, side curtain and seat-mounted air bags offered on 3500 SRW models and new interior color combinations for LT models. There is also a new Z71 appearance package for LT and LTZ models and new exterior colors: Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic (WT models), Black Granite Metallic (WT models) and Graystone Metallic (WT models).
Models equipped with the available Duramax diesel engine receive a new Diesel Emissions Fluid (DEF) messaging feature in the Driver Information Center, as well as a DEF tank shield and insulator. The standard Vortec 6.0L gas engine is now E85-capable.
The high-idle switch is now available on the the Heavy Duty Trailering package and Eaton® automatic locking differential is now standard on all Silverado 3500HD models. Also, a number of popular features offered on the WT trim level are now standard, including the cruise control, spare tire lock, EZ-Lift tailgate, locking tailgate and, exclusively on the 3500HD, the outside high-visibility camper-style mirrors.
Silverado HD exterior features
Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models are distinguished by a power dome-style hood with a louvered design, as well as a wide grille with chrome surround and full-width chrome steel front bumper. A lineup of 17- (Dually), 18- and 20-inch wheel/tire combinations are offered. Standard and available exterior features also include:
- New Z71 appearance package is available on extended cab and crew cab models when equipped with the Z71 off-road suspension. Content includes 18-inch forged polished aluminum wheels (20-inch wheels available on 2500HD LTZ), all-terrain tires, front fog lamps, body-color outside mirrors and door handles, body-color bumper, chrome grille with body-color surround and Z71 identification.
- Outside high-visibility vertical camper-style mirrors are standard on 3500HD WT and available on 2500HD WT.
- Heated outside mirrors are offered on all models; heated outside and power-adjustable vertical camper-style mirrors with turn signal indicators are available on 2500HD LT and LTZ and standard on 3500HD LT and LTZ models.
- Front recovery hooks are standard on all models.
- EZ-Lift locking tailgate feature are available on all models.
- Dual cargo lamps are standard on all models.
- Seventeen-inch steel wheels are standard on 2500HD Work Truck and all 3500HD SRW models.
- Seventeen-inch chrome-clad steel wheels are available on 2500HD Work Truck.
- Seventeen-inch machine-finish aluminum wheels are standard on 2500HD LT.
- Seventeen-inch forged polished aluminum wheels are standard on 3500HD LTZ with dual rear wheels and available on LT with dual rear wheels.
- Eighteen-inch painted steel wheels are available on 2500HD Work Truck and standard on 3500HD Work Truck with SRW with the 6.0L engine (available with Duramax diesel).
- Eighteen-inch forged polished aluminum wheels are standard on 2500HD LT and LTZ models and on 3500HD SRW LT and LTZ models.
- Twenty-inch forged polished aluminum wheels are available on 2500HD LT and LTZ.
- Exterior color choices include: Black, Imperial Blue Metallic, Blue Granite Metallic, Summit White, Victory Red, Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic (WT models), Black Granite Metallic (WT models) and Graystone Metallic (WT models).
Silverado HD interior standard and available features
Silverado HD models are designed to be comfortable and convenient while on the job, with features that include 170-degree-opening rear access doors on extended cab models and numerous storage compartments that provide covered access for everything from work gloves to laptops.
For those who work out of their truck, Silverado HDs serve as mobile workspaces, offering mobile WiFi, USB connectivity, Bluetooth phone connectivity, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a navigation system. Multiple charge points enable multiple electronic devices to operate simultaneously.
Cold-weather customers warm up more quickly with the Duramax 6.6L engine, which has a starting time on par with gas engines. Its glow plug cycle time takes no more than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 F (-29 C).
Highlights of all models’ standard and available interior features include:
- Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on LTZ and available on LT; single-zone manual air conditioning is standard on WT.
- AM/FM stereo is standard on WT models (not available with SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
- Range of CD/DVD/MP3-capable audio systems is available on select crew cab models.
- Navigation radio with AM/FM stereo, MP3-compatible CD/DVD player and USB port is available on LTZ models.
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on WT.
- SiriusXM NavTraffic feature is available on 2500 LT and LTZ and 3500 LTZ.
- Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is standard on LTZ models and available on WT and LS.
- Driver Information Center is standard on all models.
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror is standard on 2500HD LTZ and available on 2500HD LT and standard on 3500HD LT and LTZ.
- Power-adjustable pedals are available on LT and LTZ models.
- Two auxiliary 12-volt power outlets are standard on all models and mounted on the instrument panel.
- Remote vehicle starter system is standard on LTZ and available on LT models.
- Vinyl seat trim and rubberized floor covering is standard on WT models. Cloth seat trim is available.
- Premium cloth seat trim is standard on LT models.
- Leather-trimmed front seats are standard on LTZ and available on LT models.
- Front 40/20/40-split front bench seat is standard on WT models and LT models.
- Front bucket seats with 10-way power driver and passenger seat adjusters are standard on LTZ models. Front bucket seats with six-way power adjusters are available on LT models.
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on WT.
- Power-operated sunroof is available on LTZ extended cab and crew cab models. The sunroof retracts above the roof on extended cab and inside the roof on crew cab models.
- Power-operated rear sliding window is available on LT and LTZ models.
- Interior trim colors include: Ebony, Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere, Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Titanium
Silverado HD powertrains
A Vortec 6.0L gas V-8 with variable valve timing is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission as the standard powertrain across the Silverado HD model range. This combination delivers excellent performance and efficiency, with an emphasis on low-rpm performance. New for 2012, the engine is E85-capable.
The Duramax 6.6L diesel and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission powertrain combination is available on all 2500HD and 3500HD models. Highlights of the Duramax diesel include:
- 397 horsepower (296 kW) at 3,000 rpm.
- 765 lb.-ft. of torque (1,037 Nm) at 1,600 rpm.
- NOx emissions reduced at least 63 percent over 2010 models.
- High-pressure (30,000 psi/2,000 bar) Piezo-actuated fuel system for greater fuel efficiency, improved performance and reduced emissions
- Exhaust brake system that enables controlled vehicle slowdown on downhill grades without actuating the brakes
- Selective catalytic reduction after-treatment system using diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection to provide the best overall diesel characteristics and performance – with a range of about 5,000 miles (8,000 km) between DEF refills
- Combustion and after-treatment have been optimized to provide about 700 miles (1,125 km) between diesel particulate filter regenerations – a 75-percent improvement over the previous system and significant contributor to improved fuel efficiency, as the regeneration process requires additional fuel
- B20 biodiesel capability for an alternative fueling option
The Allison 1000 features driver shift control with tap up/tap down shifting and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature. Also, the tow/haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
Silverado HD chassis and suspension
All Silverado HD models feature fully boxed frame assemblies – 18 different assemblies that accommodate all of the range’s configurations. Redesigned last year, the frames have increased cross sections and use more high-strength steel for greater durability, higher towing capacity and improved ride and handling compared to pre-2011 models. The front sections are hydroformed. Additional chassis and suspension features include:
- Front axle weight rating up to 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) front gross axle weight rating (FGAWR), enabling a snow plow to be used on all 4WD cab configurations with the available snow plow prep package.
- Short-long arm/torsion bar front suspension features forged steel upper control arms and precision-machined cast iron lower control arms.
- Five different torsion bar rates support five different front gross axle weight ratings to help stabilize the range of trim heights of various models under load, while enhancing appearance, handling, durability, tire wear and alignment. The trim height is adjusted on each bar via a single bolt, easily allowing the height to be changed to account for the weight of a snow plow or other accessories.
- An upper shock mount attachment design that’s positively connected to the frame with two fasteners, eliminating squeaks and clunks, while supporting higher load capability and increased durability.
- Asymmetrical leaf-spring design that minimizes axle hop and enhances traction control efficiency.
- Two-stage leaf-spring design on 2500HD models and three-stage design on 3500HD model. All models feature 3-inch-wide (76 mm) leaf springs.
- Z71 Off Road suspension is available on LT and LTZ models and includes includes 35mm deflective disk twin-tube shock absorbers, off-road jounce bumpers, 33mm front stabilizer bar and a skid plate package.
- Four-wheel disc brakes with hydroboost are standard on all models.
- Four-wheel, four-channel ABS is standard on all single-rear-wheel models and a three-channel system is standard on dual-rear-wheel models.
- A Silverado 3500HD crew cab/long box can tow up to 23,000 pounds (10,432 kg) with a fifth-wheel hitch.
- The maximum payload (3500HD) is 7,215 pounds (3,273 kg).
- The frame-mounted hitch for conventional trailering has a box-tube design and supports up to 18,000 pounds (8,164 kg).
Silverado HD safety and crash-avoidance features
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all single-rear-wheel models.
- Large, four-wheel disc brakes with four-wheel ABS are standard on all models.
- High-strength steel tubular frame cross member that enhances safety and improves crashworthiness.
- Seat pelvic/thorax and head curtain side air bags available on 2500HD
- Available rear vision camera system.
- Trailer sway control system on all single-rear-wheel models.
- Hill start assist is standard on single-rear-wheel models.
Trailer sway control system provides an added measure of confidence when towing a trailer. The system senses conditions of trailer sway and intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path. The system will use electric trailer brakes when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness of the truck and its performance requires no input from the driver.
The hill start assist system is automatically engaged when sensors detect the vehicle is on grade of about 5 percent or greater. It holds the brakes for about 1.5 seconds or until the gas pedal is pressed, preventing rollback – it is particularly effective when towing, giving the driver time to switch from the brake pedal to the gas pedal without rolling.
Silverado is offered with OnStar as standard on all models, except Work Truck, where it is optional. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar subscribers also can use the service to be Good Samaritans by sending help to other motorists, and to call for help in other non-crash emergencies.
The OnStar RemoteLink app allows Silverado owners to control OnStar functions from a smart phone.
- OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada.
- Six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for easier route guidance on all Silverado models. The feature is easy to use because all directions are sent to the car by an advisor, without the need to stop. Turn-by-Turn can be cost-effective, since map updates and aftermarket navigation systems are not needed.
- Stolen Vehicle Assistance helps police track the vehicle.