2012 Chevrolet Silverado: What To Expect, Part I

February 23, 2009
As far as our friends at Motor Trend are concerned, their coveted Truck of the Year award goes to the maker who introduces a new model. The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, all-new for that year, took the prize. The all-new 2008 Toyota Tundra took it last year. This year poses a challenge, which is to say, an actual decision, because the 2009 Dodge Ram and the 2009 Ford F-150 are all-new -- and both pretty darned good, solid, innovative trucks.

What will they do in 2012 when the Chevrolet Silverado will be new once more?

The 2009 Chevy Silverado is by every measure a great truck. But... it is getting a little long in the tooth. Perhaps this is magnified by the decision Chevy made to make the 2007 Chevy Silverado a traditional-looking beauty: stacked square headlights; wide, flat grille; boxy proportions. This decision, in my opinion, is a sound one. It means the design guys are paying attention to their loyal buyers. It means they're grounded in things like tradition and good taste. It means they realize that a Chevy truck will last a LONG time, so they better craft an exterior design that will last long too.

A styling step ahead

But a refreshening couldn't hurt, especially with the Tundra, Ram and F-150 all new in the past two years. The next Silverado will have to be a dramatic stage-grabber to snag attention away from these new trucks.

Look at the Toyota Tundra, for example. It's an exciting truck, with a high, contoured front end, a more futuristic trapezoidal grille, and various heights and depths to the fascia and hood. Also, the hood is short and high compared with the American big boys, which sets it apart on the road. It's the polar opposite of the 2009 Ford F-150--also a very modern take on the pickup, with a high, vertical fascia that is rounded, with flush grille and headlights. It makes me think of a streamlined railroad locomotive from the 1950s. And the 2009 Ford F-150, like the Toyota Tundra, has more interesting taillight shapes and treatment. The tradition in the pickup world is that the tailgate and taillights are an afterthought.

Most of all, the next Silverado will have to outshine the Ram. The 2009 Dodge Ram is a dramatic departure from the previous generations of Rams, which stuck to the big-rig look for the front end. The 2009 Dodge Ram forges ahead a distinctive, exciting, macho-looking front end that is sure to attract attention. It takes a bit of the Dodge muscle-car fascia, with the forward cant, big headlights, and big cross-hair grille.  And if you've seen one up close, it's HUGE.

So which route will the next Chevy Silverado take? And, just as importantly, when will it get here?

And will it be the 2010 Motor Trend Truck of the Year? We're guessing yes on the last one.

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.