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Auto blogTue, 02 Apr 2013 18:55:00 EST
New York Auto Show, Jim Farley interview, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado fuel economy, Ford fuel economy app challenge
Episode #327 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Jeff Ross talk about this year's New York Auto Show, Chevrolet's latest assault in the pickup truck fuel economy battle, and Ford's reward for developing a better fuel economy app. Dan also has an interview with Ford's Jim Farley about the future of Lincoln. We wrap with your questions and emails, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #327:
During game five of the World Series, Chevrolet was set to do a spot of marketing for the 2014 Silverado - fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis would hold up placards that spelled out the words "Silverado Strong," a theme that Chevy has been promoting since the Silverado's launch with the song "Strong," by Will Hoge. The St. Louis promo was ultimately called off, though, over concerns that it'd be insensitive to the visiting Boston Red Sox. (You can see the image of what the stunt would have looked like above, courtesy of one timely Reddit user.)
Now, the Busch Stadium stunt might not have been a big deal, had the St. Louis Cardinals not been playing the Boston Red Sox. Following the tragic events in Boston during the marathon back in April, the phrase "Boston Strong" gained traction among the city's citizens, especially at sporting events. So, you can imagine that Chevy's appropriation of the phrase might not sit well with some fans.
The stunt was ultimately shelved after images of the signs went viral before the game, leading to a bit of a public backlash. Chevy spokesperson Michael Albano said of the promo that it was meant to show the brand's "commitment to baseball and its fans." But after the images went viral, the company "realized there was the possibility that we may offend some of the very fans we were trying to honor," Albano told Automotive News via email.
Chevrolet has thrown down the next hand in the pickup truck poker wars and revealed at least a couple of potential aces - depending on which numbers matter most to you. The 2014 2014 Silverado 1500 with its 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 gets 335 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, is mated to a six-speed automatic, can tow 11,500 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Package and costs the same as the outgoing Silverado, $24,585 (*including $995 destination fee). Chevy says the Silverado also stands atop the fuel economy charts when comparing any competitor with a V8 engine - and some competitors with V6 engines. The two-wheel drive model returns 16 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, 19 mpg combined in two-wheel drive guise and 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined as a four-wheel drive.
For context around those numbers, the most fuel efficient V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 pickups lose about two mpg in every metric compared to the Silverado, the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost returning 16 city, 18 highway and 22 combined in two-wheel drive. However, that EcoBoost does have 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. You can get a Ram 1500 with a 3.6-liter V6 that gets 25 mpg highway, but it has 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The 2013 Ram with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and its 395 hp and 407 lb-ft drops one mpg in every category to the Silverado. Its tow rating is 200 pounds beyond its nearest competitor, the F-150 with the Max Trailer Tow Package.
Elsewhere, the new Silverado gets a quieter cab with a redesigned interior, a new bed with improved load-management possibilities, disc brakes all around, tweaked steering and suspension, along with free standard scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles.