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Chevy Drops off All-New 2019 Silverado

By Frank A. Aukofer, December 30th, 2017

Usually when observing an anniversary you celebrate past glory. But Chevrolet transformed its 100th anniversary of building trucks by delivering a glimpse of the future.

At a recent spectacular introduction to Chevy truck loyalists, Chevrolet revealed the first showing of a bright red 2019 Silverado LT Trailboss four-door pickup truck.

The anniversary event's highlight came when a cargo helicopter bearing the Chevrolet "bowtie" emblem arrived overhead with the 2019 Silverado LT Trailboss four-door pickup hanging from cables. It hovered and deposited the truck in the infield of the Texas Motor Speedway where a driver jumped in and drove it onto the stage.

Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America, speaking to the assembled Chevrolet truck fans, said, "We wanted to recognize the customers who have made Chevrolet part of their lives, and have them help kick off the next 100 years of Chevy trucks." Several hundred Chevy truck owners attended the event, along with a group of automotive journalists.

Few details were disclosed other than rugged styling changes that everyone could see. Batey did say that the new Silverado -- which likely will not be available for sale until late in 2018 -- would incorporate more aluminum and lightweight steel to enhance strength and fuel economy.

The event featured a folksy interview with retired champion stock car race driver Dale Earnhart Jr., who now is a NASCAR analyst with NBC Sports. As might be expected, he emphasized his preference for, and his family's long relationship with, Chevrolet. He drove onto the stage in his personal 1988 Chevy S10, a replica of his first pickup truck.

Chevrolet also introduced at the Texas Motor Speedway the new 2018 Tahoe RST Edition with a performance package to include a 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, Brembo racing-type front brakes and Chevy's Magnetic Ride Control.

Leading up to the debut of the new Silverado, the journalists were offered rides in antique Chevy trucks and screeching hot rod pickups with professional drivers on an autocross course. They also rode shotgun with police officers in simulations of high-speed chases.

The police chases took place at the Bob Bolen Public Safety Training Center, named for a former Fort Worth mayor. The sprawling facility, with several buildings each the length of six football fields, provides training for Fort Worth officers in tactics, high-speed driving, computers and firearms skills, among others.

I had the opportunity to ride with and officer in a Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit SUV. The officer explained that in a high-speed chase the object is not to catch the fleeing vehicle but to keep it in sight, keeping pressure on the suspect and preoccupied with his pursuers, which inevitably will lead to him making a mistake that leads to a stop and an arrest.

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