EXCLUSIVE: One of America’s biggest-selling pick-ups – the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – is just weeks away from arriving in Holden showrooms.
An eagle-eyed CarAdvice reader has caught on camera one of the first examples to hit Australian roads.
The photos appear to have been taken right outside the Holden Special Vehicles production facility in Melbourne.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in the photos has already been converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive. It is unclear if this is an early prototype to validate the local engineering changes, or if it is a customer-ready vehicle.
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will be sold via Holden Special Vehicles’s 65 dealerships, which are part of Holden’s national network of 204 showrooms.
HSV dealers have been told there will initially be only one version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 sold in Australia.
It will be the mid-luxury LTZ grade and powered exclusively by a petrol 6.2-litre V8 (which overseas has an output of 313kW/623Nm) matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The photos show HSV has elected to import the larger crew cab variant, giving it superior cabin space to its rivals, paired to the shorter of the two cargo tray options.
A diesel option, as well as other Silverado 1500 variants such as the Z71 (pictured at the bottom of this story), may join the local line-up at a later date.
Holden dealers have been told the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is expected to be priced about $110,000 plus on-road costs, which will position the pick-up $8000 higher than the Ram 1500 Laramie priced from $102,000 plus on-road costs.
However, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ is set to be one of the most technically advanced vehicles in the pick-up segment in Australia.
In addition to advanced safety features such as autonomous emergency braking – which the Ram 1500 and most double cab utes in Australia lack – the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ will come with a tech pack that includes rear cross-traffic alert, a digital instrument display, a power tailgate, and advanced trailer sway control technology.
Towing capacity is expected to range from a maximum of 3500kg using a 50mm tow ball, to 4500kg using a heavy duty hitch.
The arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes after record sales of the Ram 1500 last year and a shift to 24-hour production locally.
Ram sold 2200 US pick-ups in Australia in its first full year on sale, in 2018, and last year that figure climbed to 2800.
It is unclear if the arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with its more powerful V8 and more advanced technology will put a dent in Ram 1500 V8 sales.
However, Ram Trucks Australia is also working on introducing the new-generation Ram 1500 – to sell alongside the current “classic” edition – some time in the next 12 to 18 months.
Although they are rival brands, both US pick-ups from Ram and Chevrolet are engineered and converted to right-hand drive by Holden Special Vehicles’ parent company Walkinshaw Automotive.
The assembly lines in Clayton, south-east of Melbourne, run side-by-side; the Chevrolet Camaro is also converted to right-hand-drive under the same roof.
Representatives for Holden Special Vehicles declined to comment about the timing or the introduction of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, however a spokesman said: “We look forward to announcing some exciting news shortly”.