2014 Chevy Silverado

2014 Chevy Silverado uses expensive materials to make a tougher more durable truck

Chevrolet is employing materials once reserved for luxury cars and sports cars to make the 2014 Silverado more long lasting. The trick is to do it affordably.

The 2014 Chevy Silverado is built to be durable, and lightweight. Rather than simply add more steel to the areas that need strengthening, Chevy has adopted the formula used by automakers in their sports sedans and luxury crossovers to reduce mass while at the same time increasing strength. Trucks are meant to take abuse that cars and crossovers would never be expected to endure, and therefore, unlike the unit-body construction used in those vehicles Chevy uses a body-on-frame design. Now, materials once reserved for sports cars and luxury vehicles are finding their way into America’s work vehicle, the pickup.

Chevy Uses High Strength Steel
Chevy wanted to build the 2014 Silverado to be the best truck in the market, but also affordable. One way to reduce the amount of steel used in a vehicle component, but still make it stronger, is to employ steel that has a higher tensile strength. Tensile strength is a material's resistance to bending or folding and materials that have a higher tensile strength are considered stronger. These steels are also more expensive to make as a raw material, and also more expensive to work with. Therefore, it is impractical to just use that material throughout the vehicle. The graphic shown illustrates how many differing types of steel go into the Silverado. The yellow colors represent the highest tensile strength components. The A pillar (the support from the hood’s corner to the roof corner) and the B-pillar, (the support that runs vertically from the door sill to the roof) are the most important strength areas in a crash. Thus the the toughest steel is employed there.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Share this content.