Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado debuts with diesel

Chevrolet is mixing things up with the 2019 Silverado.

The all-new full-size pickup is taking on the aluminum-bodied F-150 with an assortment of metals to keep its weight down and its capabilities where Chevrolet thinks they need to be.

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is 450 pounds lighter due to the extensive use of mixed materials.  The underlying safety cage features significant use of advanced high strength steels, each tailored for the specific application.

A mix of materials are used to optimize weight and capability.  (Chevrolet)

It does have an aluminum hood, doors and tailgate, but the body and bed floor are made from several different grades of steel. This is important marketing point given the literal beating Chevrolet has given the F-150’s aluminum bed in its advertising, by dropping a load of rocks and a toolbox into one to depict how it can potentially be punctured more easily than steel.

At the preview of the Silverado on Saturday, GM’s product development chief Mark Reuss took yet another shot at the competition, saying “I don’t think you can get much work done with an aluminum hammer.” GM's faith in steel hasn’t put much of a dent in F-150 sales, which are a couple of hundred thousand units higher than the Silverado's, but it's clearly sticking with it.

The all-new 2019 Silverado Custom Trailboss (new trim for 2019) adds off-road equipment to the Custom, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off-Road Package with a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires.

The Silverado features the first opening and closing power tailgate.  (Chevrolet)

All told, the new Silverado is 450 pounds lighter than the one it replaces when comparing Crew Cab trucks with V8 engines. This despite it being much longer with a roomier cab. The bed floor is also seven-inches wider than the old one, which Reuss said delivers best in class cargo volume, and it can be accessed by an optional power tailgate with remote opening and closing functions.

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado was introduced at an event celebrating the first 100 years of Chevy Trucks on Saturday, December 16 in Dallas, Texas. The 2019 Silverado 1500 is all new from the ground up and leverages Chevrolet’s experience building more than 85 million dependable, long-lasting pickups.

The LT Trail Boss has a 2-inch suspension lift and plenty of off-road gear.  (Chevrolet)

Full powertrain details have not been announced, but the Silverado will be available with a 3.0-liter inline-6 diesel engine and 10-speed automatic transmission combo that Reuss expects to outperform the upcoming F-150 diesel. The Ford has 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque and is expected to get at least 30 mpg on the highway.

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The all-new 2019 Silverado High Country interior features more passenger room, more storage space and more functionality — all the things that customers were clear they want. Every surface has been designed for function and ergonomics, from the rotary knob textures to the infotainment screen angle.

Cabin materials and functionality have been improved.  (Chevrolet)

Five other engine/transmission combinations will be offered, including new 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s that with cylinder deactivation systems that can shut the fuel flow to anywhere from one to seven of the cylinders as needed, in order to optimize power or efficiency.

Along with the added room, the Silverado’s cabin has 10-liter storage compartments hidden in the rear seat backs and a storage bin on the floor underneath them. Up front, you can get the Silverado with a wireless charging pad and both USB-A and USB-C ports for people who aren’t ready to cut the cord.

New to the now eight trim-level strong lineup are the sporty RST and LT Trailboss, which boosts the Silverado’s Z71 off-road package with a two-inch lift, 33-inch tires, skid plates and a blacked out grille and bumpers.

More details will be shared as the Silverado’s on sale date in the fall approaches.

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Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor. Follow him on Twitter @garygastelu