Gale Banks Engineering's 800hp Twin Turbo Silverado
The power-mad turbo techs at Gale Banks Engineering are at it again. By the time you read this, we should've tested this bad-to-the-bone turbocharged Silverado, presumably hazing the tires all the way through the quarter-mile. Stay tuned.
Chevy Truck '05 Roundup
New for '05, the slick, little Super Sport Roadster gets a Gen. IV 6.0L LS2 V-8 engine with 390 hp backed with your choice of a standard Hydra-Matic 4L65-E four-speed automatic transmission or the optional Tremec M10 six-speed manual transmission; the engine cosmetics also get a tune-up with a new engine cover.
In addition, the company has retuned the steering system for more precise on-center feel and reduced low-speed effort; revised the exhaust routing (two pipes from the muffler for a quasi-dual exhaust - whatever that means); changed to a "dead pedal" design to accommodate the manual transmission option; and replaced the traction control button with an embossed SSR logo (manual transmission only). Other additions include self-supporting gas-hood struts and a sound system with CD player and MP3 playback capability (1SA package only). That's not all: GM designers built a line of New Regular Production Accessories (RPAs), including but not limited to an auxiliary gauge package (volts, delivered torque, outside temperature) and a Windbreak. They also added a body-color package that includes body color on auxiliary gauges (volts, delivered torque, outside temperature), engine cover insert, and pickup bed strips. And finally, they added a new exterior color, Aqua Blue, to replace the Ultra Violet.
The chrome exterior package is now available on LS models, and LS and LT models get freshened interior trim. The OnStar safety and security system becomes standard on all models, and the availability of the power-adjustable pedals option is expanded. Steering wheel-mounted radio controls come standard on all models, and the 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard on all K1500 (4WD) models. As for the sound system, ETR AM/FM stereo with CD player, touch-screen navigation radio, and Homelink Universal programmable transmitter options are now available on all models, except the base LS. And Sandstone Metallic, Bermuda Blue, Metallic are the new exterior colors.
There's not much to change here, since the model was introduced last year. The only thing worth mentioning - and this, just barely - is the new Superior Blue Metallic exterior color.
Chevy Silverado/Silverado Heavy Duty
The most significant news for the Silverado is the introduction of the hybrid version of the 1/2-ton 1500 Extended Cab model. We'll review this next month. In addition, GM's squeezed a few more ponies: 310 hp from the Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8, which is available on the 4WD Extended Cab with standard box. The company is adding a power sunroof package (available late 2004 on Extended and Crew Cab models) with universal transmitter and overhead console, and are making front disc/rear drum antilock brakes standard on all models, except with Quadrasteer. The model line also gets a 3.23 rear axle ratio standard on 2WD models as well as a 145-amp alternator standard.
The Snow Plow prep package includes a 160-amp alternator, and there's a new hood and grille design for Heavy Duty models as well as new exterior colors, Dark Blue Metallic (all except Silverado SS) and Silver Birch Metallic (Silverado SS). OnStar driver safety and security system, featuring Gen. VI hardware with analog/digital coverage and upgraded hands-free capabilities, becomes standard on light-duty LTs; available on LS; standard on heavy-duty Silverado LT Extended Cab and Crew Cab; and available on 2500HD and 3500HD models.
Civilians can only buy two-door Blazer models; the four-door models are for fleet sales only. The General's offering a smoker's package that includes ashtray and lighter as standard on all models. It gives another spin on the Blazer, doesn't it?
Chevy's touting improved fuel economy for the Tahoe, a 2WD model available on the Z71 off-road package, an improved cooling system, and enhanced passenger comfort with quieter operation. The rear liftgate with lifting rear glass is standard on all models, and OnStar driver safety and security system is standard on all equipment groups. Touch-screen navigation radio is available, and the LS and LT models get revised interior trim. A 160-amp alternator replaces the 145-amp version as standard, and an upgraded tire-pressure monitoring system with individual tire alert is available. Redesigned assist steps for improved aerodynamics and durability is added, 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels are now included on the LT package, and the new exterior colors are Sandstone Metallic and Bermuda Blue Metallic.
Chevy Trailblazer, Trailblazer Ext.
The Trailbalzer gets the Gen. IV Vortec 5300 V-8 with Displacement on Demand technology (Ext. only) and side-curtain airbags, offering side-impact protection for front- and rear-outboard occupants. The OnStar driver safety and security system is available, as is an MP3 radio feature on LS, along with navigation radio touch-screen upgrades. The seats are also upgraded for more comfort and better finish quality. The new exterior colors are Superior Blue Metallic, Emerald Jewel Metallic, and Graystone Metallic. The new interior colors and combinations are Ebony, Ebony/Light Cashmere, and Light and Dark Gray.
Along with the Tahoe, the big Sub' gets improved fuel economy, and a 2WD 1/2-ton model becomes available on the Z71 off-road package. As we read it, the Suburban gets about the same entertainment/navigation/OnStar/interior trim/exterior upgrades, including the new rear liftgate with flip-up rear glass as standard on all models. It also sees some tuning of rear axle ratios with the 3.42 ratio becoming standard on 1/2-ton models only; the 3.73 ratio is standard on 3/4-ton models only. A revised tire-pressure monitoring system with individual tire alert system is now available on 3/4-ton models (does not include spare tire). An engine oil cooler is only available with 3/4-ton models with the Vortec 8100 V-8. The transmission oil cooler is only available with trailering equipment or 3/4-ton models. The new exterior colors are Sandstone Metallic and Bermuda Blue Metallic.