General Motors is bringing a new look to its popular line of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickup trucks, and clues to the future designs are beginning to emerge.
The automaker was caught testing prototypes of the upcoming trucks outside its proving grounds in Milford, Mich. earlier this week. The resulting photos provide the best look at the futuristic new headlights for both models thus far.
The front end of the 2019 Silverado appears topped by a stack of jewel-like headlights, while the 2019 Sierra boasts an LED strip outlining the top, outer edge and bottom of the casing. It marks the first time that both models have been seen without full camouflage covering the headlights – an indication that these are production-ready designs.
Both prototypes may represent high-end trims that are fully loaded and luxurious. They were spotted testing alongside a Ford F-150 Platinum, one of the highest trims available on that model.
Once known for no-frills work site capability, pickup trucks such as the Silverado High Country and Sierra Denali have evolved into advanced and refined vehicles commanding hefty pricetags.
From 2012 to 2016, the average transaction price on a full-size pickup truck increased by more than 20 percent to $39,125, according to market research firm J.D. Power.
GM will attempt to gain ground in the bitter sales fight for that segment. Through the first seven months of 2017, sales of the Silverado dropped 5.8 percent to 308,000 compared with the same period in 2016, according to industry research firm Autodata Corp. Sales of the Sierra fell 7.6 percent to 119,000 as the new models prepare to launch.
The models combined do not equal the sales of the Ford F-150. The top-selling vehicle in the U.S. has seen sales increase by 8.3 percent to more than 499,000 vehicles through the first seven months of 2017.
The 2019 Silverado and Sierra are expected to break new ground for GM. The automaker could unveil an aluminum construction in order to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency. Spy shots captured in June showed a Silverado 1500 prototype operating on diesel fuel – a first for that model.
GM is also expected to incorporate its 10-speed automatic transmission developed in tandem with Ford, which is currently featured on the 2017 F-150 Raptor and will be standard on 2018 F-150 models.