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Detroit show: No plans for Chevy Silverado 1500 in Aus

Go to jail: Hopes for an Australian launch of the just-revealed Chevrolet Silverado 1500 have been dashed by HSV, but the door remains open.

HSV rules out converting Chevrolet Silverado in new-gen 1500 form – for now

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Chevrolet logo16 Jan 2018

FOLLOWING the reveal of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this week, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) confirmed it has no plans to convert the full-size pick-up in Australia alongside its larger 2500HD and 3500HD siblings.

Speaking with GoAuto, HSV general manager of marketing Damon Paull said that the Silverado conversion program announced last month will not be impacted by the new model's international debut.

“The launch line-up will feature five models ... but at this point the 1500 won't be part of that launch,” he said.

As previously reported, the Silverado will be imported in 2500HD WT, 2500HD LTZ, 2500HD LTZ Midnight, 2500HD LTZ Custom Sport and 3500HD LTZ guises and converted to right-hand drive at a new facility in Clayton South, Victoria for sale in Holden showrooms.

When questioned if HSV had ruled out converting the 1500 altogether, Mr Paull said: “No, I don't think we can discount it, but not at the launch point.”

Nevertheless, Mr Paull added that the aforementioned 2500HD and 3500HD variants remain on track for staggered launches later this year.

“(April) is when we're expecting to start production (of the 2500HD). Hopefully shipping to dealers by the end of that month would be our ambition,” he said.

“I am not 100 per cent sure, but you can probably look at July for availability of (the 3500HD).”

This decision could open the door for another conversion company, like Performax International, to swoop in and offer the Silverado 1500 to keen Aussie customers, but HSV may decide to expand its program in the future.

General Motors (GM) executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain Mark Reuss said: “With the all-new Silverado, we've taken the best truck on the road and made it even better.”

Specifically, the new-look, sleeker 1500 has had a steady diet of aluminium, helping to lose up to 450 pounds (204kg) over its predecessor, while also claiming to be seven per cent more aerodynamic.

Six engine and transmission combinations will be available in the United States, including an all-new 3.0-litre Duramax turbocharged six-cylinder diesel, and 5.3- and 6.2-litre petrol V8s with cylinder deactivation.

The 3.0-litre and 6.2-litre units are paired with a new 10-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission – co-developed with Ford – featuring idle-stop functionality that helps improve fuel efficiency.

Chevrolet says the 1500 provides segment-leading cargo volume in every bed length, allowing it to easily devour flat items like plywood that measure 1200x2400mm.

Furthermore, the bed floor is now made of stronger high-strength steel, while its 12 fixed tie-down points are twice as robust and complemented by nine moveable anchor points. A power tailgate is another exclusive for its class.

Riding on a wheelbase that is up to 100mm longer, the 1500 is 41mm longer overall, equating to an extra 76mm of rear legroom, as well as shorter overhangs.

Underpinned by a brand-new suspension, the 1500 has an independent set-up in the front and a live axle at the rear.

Offered across eight grades split into three categories – High Value, High Volume and High Feature – the Silverado is available in Custom Trailboss, RST and LT Trailboss forms for the first time.

Technologies like a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, wireless smartphone charging, and OnStar services return but will be joined by new safety and convenience features to be announced at a later date.

The Silverado 1500 will be manufactured at a facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with its US launch to take place during the local Autumn months.

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