GM goes deep to revamp new light-duty pickups

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

It's no secret that General Motors is redesigning its full-sized pickups.

But does that mean all of GM's upcoming pickups will be extensively re-engineered?

GM's new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are slated to hit dealer lots next year. The trucks will offer better fuel economy, the result of improved aerodynamics, an eight-speed automatic transmission, less mass, engine improvements and other changes. A new chassis is expected, and the exterior and interior will be totally changed.

In 2010, the Sierra and Silverado 2500 and 3500, GM's heavy-duty models, received a long list of engineering improvements -- a new chassis, significant suspension and steering changes, plus a re-engineered diesel engine. Aside from a new hood and some minor tweaks to the grille and front fascia, your buddies couldn't tell this was a substantially different pickup. Even the interior was a carry-over.

The redesigned pickups arriving next year will be the light-duty 1500 trucks.

As for the "new" heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models, they will arrive a year or so later with a good portion of the major changes being cosmetic -- new sheet metal and interior treatments.

After all, most of the major changes for the heavy-duty pickups are already under the skin.