Chevrolet Silverado HD Exhaust Brake System.

March 2, 2011
To prove the capability of Chevrolet's smart exhaust brake system on the new 2011 Silverado Heavy-Duty, Chevy engineer Brent Deep towed a 20,000-pound trailer for 245 miles on Interstate 70 between Denver and Grand Junction, Colo., without ever touching the brakes.

"It takes some courage to leave your foot off the brake," said Deep. That's especially true when you're trying to control the speed of a heavy load as you plummet down a steep descent. Nowhere are there more challenging descents than in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where altitudes ranging from approximately 5,000 feet to more than 11,000 feet at the Eisenhower Tunnel challenged Deep and the Silverado HD.

The available new Exhaust Brake System works with the Allison transmission's Tow Haul Mode and Automatic Grade Braking features to reduce the amount of conventional braking needed while towing or traveling downhill. Trucks with this system will go on sale this summer.

The Silverado heavy-duty lineup boasts 10 2500HD models and 14 single and dual-rear-wheel 3500HD models - including a new 3500HD Crew Cab with a 6.5 foot cargo box. WT, LT and LTZ trim levels are offered.

Other highlights of the 2011 Silverado HD include the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 that delivers 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. This is an available upgrade from the standard small-block 6.0-liter V-8 diesel rated at 360 horsepower. GM also claims an 11-percent improvement in fuel economy, a 63-percent reduction in NOx emissions and a range of up to 680 miles depending on the engine. The truck has a fifth-wheel towing capacity of 20,000 pounds and an increased Gross Combined Weight Rating of 27,500 pounds. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating jumps to 13,000 pounds, a 17 percent increase, and the Front Gross Axle Weight Rating jumps by 25 percent to 6,000 pounds. Snow plowing capability is now enabled for all 4WD cab configurations.

To compliment the engines, GM has upgraded its powertrains, including the new Duramax 6.6-liter diesel/Allison 1000 six-speed transmission that features the exhaust brake system, new front and rear suspensions, an improved brake system, hill start assist (single rear wheel model only), trailer sway control system assist (single rear wheel model only) and more.

On the exterior, the 2011 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models are distinguished by a power dome-style hood as well as a new grille and full-width chrome steel front bumper. A new lineup of 17", 18" and 20" wheel/tire combinations add to the aggressive look and 20" polished wheels are available. And thanks to the Smart Exhaust System, you won't get those pretty wheels all mucked up with brake dust.


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