V8 ute fans rejoice – the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is coming.
Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has all-but-confirmed plans to bring the US pick-up truck down under, converting it to right-hand drive at its Melbourne factory – alongside the bigger Silverado 2500 and 3500 as well as the Camaro sports coupe. In an email sent to HSV owners and supporters the company teased an image of the Silverado 1500’s unique headlight and grille and said it was looking forward to “launching BIG things in early 2020.”
Since it stopped modifying locally-made Commodores and focused on converting Chevrolet models, HSV has never made any secret of its intention to offer the smallest Silverado. While the 2500/3500 are targeting to those looking for heavy-duty utes with big towing capacity, the 1500 will appeal to lifestyle users.
HSV’s Melbourne facility already builds the Ram 1500 under licence for separate company, American Special Vehicles, and it has proved a sales hit. The Silverado 1500 is likely to be offered initially with V8 engine before a turbo-diesel comes on stream later.
Chevrolet offers two V8 options for the 1500 in the US; a 6.2-litre unit with 313kW of power and 624Nm of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, or a 5.3-litre V8 with 265kW/518Nm and a six-speed auto.
The arrival of the Silverado 1500 also opens up the possibility of HSV introducing the Suburban full-size SUV into the Australian market. The two Chevys share ladder-frame underpinnings, which would mean greater economies-of-scale for HSV, while also allowing the brand to enter the booming SUV market.
Chevrolet just launched the 2020 Suburban and shorter Tahoe models in the US, so it would seem likely that it wouldn’t arrive in Australia until 2021, after production of the Silverado 1500 is up and running.
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