This week in Detroit was, in a pleasant reversal of years past, all about pickups. Sure, there have been plenty of truck displays at past shows, but Iâ€™m struggling to recall the last time two of the Detroit Three unveiled a significant revamp while the other trumpeted a noteworthy new engine.
The one that made me sit bolt upright in my chair was not a top rung Limited from Ford, Laramie from Ram, or High Country from Chevy, although those are tasty trims indeed. No, the version which captured my attention is the one shown above: the poverty-spec Work Truck.
Like the menu at Subway, the choices of new Silverado are broken up into three main groups â€“ High Value, High Volume, and High Profit. No, hang on. That last one is actually High Feature. Yes. High Feature. Sorry about that.
Chevy has stuck the Work Truck (W/T) trim on its most poverty-spec pickups for ages, with most of them destined for a lifetime of hard and difficult work, only to be mercilessly sacrificed to The Crusher once they were used up. Back in the â€˜90s, Chevy also imbued the W/T with a vast plastic grill and, seizing on the opportunity, shrewdly used Mike Schmidt to market it as a benefit.
Itâ€™s the grille on the 2019 Custom W/T that hooks me and reels me in. From the press images released by Chevy, it seems that at least two of the trims in the so-called “High Value” group will earn it: the W/T seen here and the Custom Trailboss. That GM saw fit to craft a completely separate and bad-ass grille only to bestow it on the most affordable model is bloody fantastic.
Plainly, Iâ€™m choosing todayâ€™s Ace of Base completely on looks, just like I hurriedly did when the 3:00 a.m. closing time came around at Peddlerâ€™s Pub in St. Johnâ€™s during my college years. Pricing for the new Silverado hasnâ€™t been released and probably wonâ€™t be for a good while, but the 2018 W/T stickers at a reasonable $28,700 not counting rebates. Assuming a slight price bump for the new model year, the W/T should still represent a reasonable value.
What we have been told is that the Work Truck will feature that fabulous C H E V R O L E T billboard across the grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim, and rough-n-ready 17-inch steel wheels for a good dose of durability. The interior will be available in either skin-searing vinyl or cloth seats. Itâ€™ll even have a 7-inch color touch screen, likely with a backup camera.
No mention is made of a V6 powertrain in any of Chevyâ€™s documentation, leading this author to believe the 4.3-liter has been jettisoned and the 5.3-liter V8 motor will be the base engine. Even better. Chevâ€™s V8s in its trucks are promised to shut down â€œany numberâ€� of cylinders as it deems fit in a bid to trim fuel consumption.
Iâ€™ll reserve final judgement until I see the Monroney but, realistically, unless the sticker jumps to the mid-30â€™s I canâ€™t see the Silverado 1500 Work Truck being booted off our Ace of Base list.
[Image: General Motors]
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make ourÂ automotive landscape a lot better. Any others youâ€™d like to see in our series? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer will probablyÂ sell for less.