General Motors said Monday that its redesigned Chevrolet Silverado will have better fuel economy and performance, but cost no more than the models they replace.
The 2014 GMC Sierra will also exceed its replacement for fuel economy and horse power but will cost about $500 more.
-- Photos: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra
The 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks will hit showrooms in the second quarter, giving GM a fresh offering as pentup demand and a recovering housing market bolster sales in the automaker's most important vehicle segment.
The regular cab version of the Silverado will start at $24,585, the double cab at $28,610 and the crew-cab at $32,710, GM said today. Those prices include destination charges. Silverado is GM's most popular vehicle.
For the corresponding versions of the Sierra, base prices are $25,085, $29,110 and $33,210.
GM plans to offer three powertrain options on the trucks: a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8 and a 6.2-liter V8, all with six-speed automatic transmissions. The remade small-block engines -- which feature direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation -- are based on the same engine that will power the new Chevrolet Corvette.
More than 75% of consumers are expected to choose the 5.3-liter V8.
That version will get 23 miles per gallon on the highway for 2WD models and 22 mpg highway for 4x4 models, which GM was bragged was "better than any V-8 competitor."
It gets 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, "with more than 300 lb-ft of torque available from 2,000 to 5,600 rpm for responsive performance under a broad range of real-world conditions," GM said.
GM said the Silverado's largest towing package would offer towing ratings of as much as 11,500 pounds. Its maximum available payload will be 2,102 pounds.
"Silverado's available 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 gives customers the best of both worlds," said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for Silverado, in a statement. "Customers get the proven power and dependability of a V-8 truck engine, with better fuel economy than a leading competitor's smaller turbocharged V-6."
About 60% of GM's large pickup truck sales are crew cabs.
Analysts have said GM took a safe route by opting not to make major design changes on the new trucks. New features include a twin-port grille, full-width bumper and dual power dome hood.
GM estimates that Ford's F-150 has a pricing advantage of $500 to $1,000 "on an apples to apples basis," Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said in a recent research note.
But the company "is hoping to close this gap with the new product," Johnson said.
Silverado sales rose 30% in the first two months of the year to 77,088 units, while Sierra sales rose 30% to 26,979 units.
Johnson expects the Sierra to compete with the F-150 for "high-end personal use buyers."
The mainstream 2013 Silverado gets fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon on the highway, according to GM's website, with pricing for the crew cab short-box starting at $32,710.
Chrysler Group's six-cylinder, eight-speed transmission Ram gets 25 mpg on the highway, a full 2 mpg better than its competition, which Ram has aggressively marketed.
Fuel economy for the Ford F-150 varies depending on the model: 17 city and 23 mpg for the 3.7-liter four-valve Ti-VCT V6; 15 city and 21 mpg for the 5.0-liter four-valve dual-overhead-camshaft Ti-VCT V8; 13 city and 18 mpg highway for the 6.2-liter two-valve single-overhead-camshaft V8; and 22 mpg and 16 city for the 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost.
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