The 2500 and 3500 come with a 6.0-liter V8 engine standard, though a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 is available. All Silverados come with a heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2500 and 3500 can be had as either a regular, extended or crew cab, with a standard or long bed, and with either a 2- or 4-wheel drivetrain. Dual rear wheels are available on some models. There are three trim levels, WT, LT and LTZ.
The standard engine is a 6.0L V8 engine that is capable of 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A 6.6L turbo-diesel engine capable of 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque is also available. A new fully-boxed chassis has been introduced for 2011, which GM says is 125 times stronger than the unit it replaces and allows for a smoother ride as well as a much greater towing capacity. When equipped with the diesel engine, the trucks are now capable of towing up to 20,000 lbs.
In addition to the redesigned frame, new stronger front and rear suspension systems have also been added, yielding a 25% increase in strength on 4x4 models. Now rated at 6,000 pounds, all 4x4 front suspension systems can easily support a snow plow when properly equipped. Rear leaf springs have also been updated, with the 2500 utilizing 2-stage leaf systems and the 3500 making use of 3-stage springs.
Some standard features cross all Silverado lines, such as driver and passenger air bags, 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring. GM's OnStar system is standard on the LT trim and better. It includes crash response, roadside assistance and remote door unlock services. There are two suspension packages available for the 2500: the Z85 handling and trailering suspension and the Z71 off-road package, which adds high-performance shocks and a bigger stabilizer bar.
Equipment availability is dependent on trim. Pretty much anything available in a pickup is available on a Silverado -- power everything, remote keyless entry, heated mirrors, privacy glass, bed liner, front tow hooks and chrome or aluminum wheels. Navigation is available as is rear-seat entertainment for the crew cab models. Heated power seats are available, as is cruise control, sunroof and a rear window defogger.
High-tech touches such as a rearview camera and rear parking assist are optional, too and would probably come in handy on a big truck like the Silverado. MP3-compatible stereo with XM satellite radio can be found on some models and a Bose system with USB interface is available.
For 2011, the Silverado HD line gets several updates, including greater towing and payload capacities as well as an all-new chassis. A new front bumper and grille have also been fitted. New 18- and 20-inch wheels are available on single rear wheel models. The base 6.0L V8 returns largely unchanged, while the 6.6L Duramax diesel now delivers 397 horsepower and an impressive 765 pound-feet of torque. 3500 models are rated to tow up to 20,000 pounds and have a payload capacity of just over 6,300 pounds--all while delivering an 11 percent increase in fuel efficiency. Both the 2500 and 3500 are still available in a multitude of configurations to suit every work or play application imaginable.