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Heavy-duty Chevy Silverado 3500 imminent

Load lugger: The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD’s load capacity is so large that it will require a first-level truck licence for vehicles with a gross vehicle mass above 4.5 tonnes.

August kick-off date for RHD Chevrolet Silverado 3500 at HSV factory

30 Jul 2018

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) has confirmed an August production start for its right-hand-drive Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD LTZ pickup – the hairy-chested load-lugging king of the new Silverado range.
Like the Silverado 2500HD that is now in full production at HSV sister company Walkinshaw Automotive’s new Clayton South factory in Victoria, the 3500HD is running a bit behind its original launch timetable, but the company is now gearing up to start filling dealer orders for the flagship of the Silverado range.
Priced at $147,990 plus on-road costs – $13,000 more than the Silverado 2500HD LTZ with which it shares its all-wheel-drive V8 diesel powertrain, crew-cab configuration and most cabin features – the 3500HD LTZ is a niche product aimed squarely at customers with a need to tow big things.
HSV is still awaiting final Australian Design Rules (ADR) certification for the 3500HD’s load-carrying capacities, but with its dual rear wheels and heavy-duty rear suspension, these are bound to be well above those of the 2500HD which is certified for a load capacity of between 875kg and 975kg in the rear tray and braked towing capacity of up to 5.89 tonnes with a flat-bed-mounted pintle hitch.
HSV engineers say the maximum load capacity for the 3500HD should be 2.25 tonnes – more than double that of the 2500HD – while the pintle-hitch braked towing capacity should max out at a whopping nine tonnes.
Customers should note that these figures put the 3500HD in the serious truck league, above 4.5 tonnes of gross vehicle mass, thus requiring a light-rigid heavy vehicle licence.
The Silverado 2500HD, on the other hand, can be driven on a car licence because its gross vehicle mass squeezes in at 4491kg.
The 3500HD requires essentially the same RHD modifications as the 2500HD, namely a new dashboard and steering system, revised HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling) unit and modifications to the firewall to suit these systems.
Various buttons such as window switches and the Bluetooth microphone also have to swap sides. As well, some items such as non-compliant seatbelts and tail-light lenses also have to be changed to meet ADRs.
The 2500HD comes in four specification levels – WT (work truck), LTZ, Midnight Edition LTZ and Custom Sport LTZ – but the niche 3500HD will come in only one – the mid-range LTZ.
Full technical data and specifications are not yet available, but HSV has confirmed that the 3500HD LTZ will share the 2500’s crew-cab layout with seating for five, along with the beefy 6.6-litre V8 turbo-diesel engine that produces 332kW of power and 1234Nm of torque.
It will also come standard with a heavy-duty Allison six-speed automatic transmission and electrically operated all-wheel-drive transfer case.
Wheels on the 3500HD LTZ are 17 inch, compared with the 2500HD LTZ’s 18-inch items. Tyres will be designed for the heavier loads, especially at the back where dual wheels will be standard.
The fatter wheel combos at the back require fatter wheel housings, taking the 3500HD’s overall width to about 2432mm – 49mm wider than the 2500HD’s already fat 2388mm hips.
The 3500HD will get the American-style chrome exterior trim treatment, including bumpers, grille and door handles, side steps and more.
And in line with the LTZ specification, luxury features will include 10-way electrically adjustable heated and cooled perforated leather front seats, 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, dual-zone climate control, wireless mobile phone charger and even a small electric sliding pane on the back window so the family pooch can poke his or her head in while driving.
Safety equipment should include collision warning, lane departure warning, stability control, traction control, trailer anti-sway and hill-start assist.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado pricing*

2500HD WT (a) $114,990
2500HD LTZ (a) $134,990
2500HD LTZ Midnight Edition (a) $139,990
2500HD LTZ Custom Sport Edition (a) $139,990
3500HD LTZ (a) $147,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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