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Auto blogThu, 12 Sep 2013
General Motors has officially captured the horsepower crown for mainstream pickup trucks with its 6.2-liter V8. The big mill, available in both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, comes to market with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, handily outdoing its two cross-town competitors, Ram (5.7-liter V8, 395 ponies and 407 lb-ft) and Ford (6.2-liter V8, 411 hp and 434 lb-ft).
The new GM 6.2 will take a bit of an investment, though. Those that want the extra thrust will need to go with either the LTZ or High Country trims from the Chevy, or the SLT and Denali trims from GMC, which are the two highest trim levels for the respective vehicles. Trim levels aside, if you're in the business of towing, GM has you covered. Optioned with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Trailering Package, owners will be able to pull 12,000 pounds, a hugely impressive figure.
We still aren't certain as to what sort of economy the new engine will get, but it'll probably be a bad bet for the fuel conscious. As for availability, expect to see the 6.2-liter trucks in showrooms later in the fall.
Think back to the launch of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. At the time, General Motors happily trumpeted that its fullsize pickup could tow up to 11,500 pounds when properly equipped - impressive stuff, no doubt. But now, revised tow rating practices have been put into place, called SAE J2807. And with these new methods of testing, GM can now officially rate both the Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin as being able to tow up to 12,000 pounds.
Of course, not all Silverado and Sierra models are capable of this feat. In fact, because of SAE J2807, most of the truck models have actually had decreases in tow ratings from the 2014 to 2015 model year. For example, a 2014 Silverado Crew Cab with the 5.3-liter V8, 5.7-foot box and 3.73 rear axle was rated at 11,200 pounds in 2014, but has since been reduced to 10,800 in 2015. Same goes for the Sierra.
But for 2015, both the Silverado and Sierra can be had with a more powerful 6.2-liter V8, as well as a Max Trailering Package that includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning, improved cooling and a new trailer brake controller. There are also four- and seven-pin, bumper-mounted connectors, a trailer hitch (duh), and a G80 locking rear differential. This configuration, with either model, is the only way you can actually tow 12,000 pounds.
On May 27, a week before General Motors applied for a trademark for the word "Zora," GM filed a trademark application at the US Patent and Trademark Office for "GearOn," characterized as a "truck bed cargo system comprised of tiered storage cross rails, utility rack stanchions, cargo dividers and cargo tie down rings."
We have no idea what it will be or if we'll see it used on anything, but GM Authority reckons it could be GM's name for a pickup truck feature to rival the BoxLink system Ford introduced on the 2015 F-150. BoxLink has been described as having "dozens of configurations of stowable cargo ramps and lockable die-cast aluminum tie-down cleats," giving owners the ability to arrange the bed in they way they need and load unwieldy items like motorcycles without needing extra equipment.
Getting purely speculative, a month ago GM pickup truck engineers said there would be more and more regular updates for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra starting next year. Beyond the suspected capability and fuel economy changes GearOn could be one of the "neat things coming in a whole host of areas."