The Chevrolet Silverado full-size ute will become an official member of the Holden/HSV stable in the second quarter of 2018.
The design and engineering outfit is reinventing itself after 30 years focused predominantly on creating hotter versions of the home-grown Commodore.
The Chevrolet Silverado range will comprise five variants, from the base 2500HD WT to flagship 3500HD LTZ. It will also include a Midnight Edition and Custom Sport Edition.
Every Silverado is powered by a 6.6-litre Duramax V8 turbo diesel with 332kW and 1234Nm, although those figures are subject to confirmation nearer to local launch.
The mighty torque output gives the four-wheel drive ute immense towing capacity, ranging from 3.5 to 6.1 tonnes – also indicative only at this stage – depending on spec.
Payload capacity will also be significantly higher than that of mid-sizers, with the big Chevrolet offering between 1140kg and 1848kg depending on variant.
The 3500 variant has the highest towing capacity, albeit with a reduced payload capacity. It will feature a longer, aptly-named “long box” tray, compared to the 2500.
The Chevrolet Silverado features anti-lock disc brakes all round and an automatic locking rear differential, while the diesel V8 is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The engine’s outputs easily surpass those of Ram Laramie 2500/3500 trucks converted to right-hand drive by HSV parent company Walkinshaw Group, as part of a joint venture set up in 2015 with importer Ateco Automotive.
The Ram’s maximum towing capacity is superior, however, at 6900kg.
HSV boss, Tim Jackson, said the Silverado enters a segment “whose potential is relatively un-tapped, and we believe has high growth potential”.
“Whether it be the farming or mining sectors, those who need to pull a large caravan or horse float or simply those who want awesome towing and load carrying capability, Silverado is the pinnacle of the GM range,” said Jackson.
HSV has yet to confirm pricing for the Chevrolet Silverado, but it’s expected to undercut the RRam currently offered at $139,500 driveaway.
America’s best-selling full-size ute – actually, its best-selling vehicle all around – the Ford F-150, is also converted to right-hand drive in Australia by specialist companies like Performax International and Harrison Trucks.
The Nissan Titan is also converted by Performax, though Nissan is considering official importation.