Chevrolet's Product Plans 2012-2014: Refreshed Crossovers, More Efficient Large Trucks
The next 30 months will be a busy time for Chevrolet, as the General Motors brand rolls out refreshed or updated versions of most of its current products. From 2012 to 2014, Automotive News also reports that Chevrolet will kill off two of its smallest truck offerings.
Equinox: Chevrolet's small crossover will go unchanged until either 2013 or 2014, when a new generation is due. It could gain an eAssist hybrid option by 2014. With 149,949 sales in 2010, the Equinox was Chevy's top-selling SUV/crossover, and the brand's fourth best-selling vehicle overall.
Traverse: Like the Equinox, expect the Traverse to be redesigned by 2013 or 2014, with a major interior revamp in store for this crossover. A 3.0-liter V-6 engine will replace the current 3.6-liter unit when the new generation debuts around 2016 or so.
Tahoe and Suburban: Despite earlier rumors, these giant SUVs will continue to be built upon GM's large-truck platform and will not switch to a crossover design. Fuel-economy might be improved by the addition of eight-speed automatic transmissions, and possibly an advanced four-mode hybrid system. The new SUVs will debut atop a new truck chassis by 2014.
Avalanche: This truck will almost certainly vanish after the 2013 model year. It was introduced back in model-year 2002 and sold mostly on the premise of its flexible midgate — the Avalanche could be configured as a pickup, an SUV, or some combination of both. Just 20,515 Avalanches were sold last year; we doubt it will be sorely missed.
Colorado: The compact Colorado truck will be killed off in mid-2012 when the Shreveport, Louisiana factory that builds it is closed. Will a successor follow? It's unclear. Chevrolet unveiled the Colorado Show Truck back in March, but hinted the next-generation Colorado it previews was designed for places like Thailand, South American, and other emerging markets. However, rumors suggest that Chevy will sell the next-gentruck in the U.S. as early as 2013.
Silverado 1500: As for Chevrolet's larger trucks, a number of enhancements will help make the Silverado more fuel-efficient and thus more competitive with the Ford F-150. We've heard GM hopes to shave at least 500 pounds per pickup truck by 2016, all while retaining the content and safety features mandated by buyers and NHTSA alike. We wouldn't be surprised if the new trucks use more aluminum, magnesium, and other lithe alloys in order to achieve that metric. New powertrain designs will also help cut fuel use. GM's next-generation V-8, which will feature direct fuel injection, E85 capability, and a reported "advanced combustion design" will likely be one staple. Other reports suggest other six-cylinder engines are under consideration, including a turbocharged variant. As with the Tahoe/Suburban, an eight-speed automatic transmission — perhaps the very one scheduled to be built in Toledo, Ohio — and an evolved version of GM's 2-Mode hybrid are expected to be offered. Don't expect these revisions to happen overnight, as GM executives have previously indicated the company won't rush the line to market. As it stands, expect the next-gen Silverado to debut in late 2013 as a 2014 model.
Silverado 2500/3500: GM extensively reworked what's beneath the skin of its heavy-duty pickups for the 2011 model year, so now it's time for a cosmetic reboot to match. An overhaul is expected to arrive in either model year 2014 or 2015. We're also told a successor to the popular Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V-8 should arrive around 2015 or so.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)