CHICAGO -- With the SUV portion of General Motors' redesigned full-sized truck platform beginning to reach showrooms, the automaker is ready to start rolling out the pickups.
First up is the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche - the vehicle that straddles the line between pickup and SUV. The new Avalanche was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday and reaches showrooms this summer.
The Avalanche uses GM's redesigned, stiffer truck platform, known as GMT900, and a powertrain lineup engineered for better fuel economy than the previous generation of trucks.
At launch the truck will be offered with two versions of a 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Two-wheel-drive trucks will get the 5.3-liter engine with an iron block, rated at 320 hp. Trucks with four-wheel drive will get the engine with an aluminum block, rated at 310 hp. Both versions will have cylinder deactivation technology.
Later in the year, Chevrolet will offer a 6.0-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing technologies. That engine will be rated at 355 hp.
The Avalanche retains its Midgate feature. When locked in place, the Midgate creates a six-passenger interior for the truck.
With the rear passenger seat and the Midgate folded down, the truck bed can swallow a standard-sized sheet of plywood. The full cargo bed is 2 inches longer on the redesigned truck.
New features include:
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at [email protected]