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2021 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500: MULTI-FLEX TAILGATE, NEW TECH, MORE TOWING

The Improvements Can Be Seen On The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 As Well

2019 2020 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST
Image Via GM.

As promised, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 sees several improvements in an effort to steal the thunder from the all-new 2021 Ford F-150, and to clap back at FCA’s Ram 1500. What customers get for the 2021 model year consists of the same new towing technology as seen with the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 announcement last week; the addition of the Multi-Flex tailgate as previously teased; and towing capacity improvements to its 2.7L L3B turbo engine, as well as its 3.0L LM2 Duramax diesel, as we originally reported.

Up first for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the new Multi-Flex Tailgate, which operates in an identical way to the MultiPro tailgate offered on the GMC Sierra. The result gives the Silverado six unique functions, allowing for easier access to bed cargo, enhanced loading solutions and a standing workstation. The tailgate boasts a weight capacity of 375 pounds (170 kg), and some functions can be activated using a key fob or two tailgate-mounted buttons, one for the full gate and another for the second-tier loading and storage options. Best of all, it will be available on all 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 variants.

The Multi-Flex tailgate further augments the work capabilities of the Silverado truck bed, which already offers LED lighting, a 120-volt outlet and 12 fixed tie-downs.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Multi-Flex Tailgate
2021 Chevrolet Silverado Multi-Flex Tailgate

There’s no getting around that General Motors put a four-cylinder engine in its full-size pickup trucks to play CAFE’s game, but in an effort to make the 2.7L L3B turbo more appealing in the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (and 2021 GMC Sierra 1500), its max towing capacity has been boosted on every configuration. For example, the 2021 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Short Box with the L3B and 2WD is now rated to tow a maximum of 9,300 pounds – a 2,500 pound increase.

As anticipated, the 3.0L Duramax LM2 turbodiesel inline-six is confirmed to add towing capacity. With a bit of tweaking, rear axle toughness, and cooling improvements, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax is rated to tow a maximum of 9,500 pounds on 2WD body styles, which is a 1,900 pound improvement. It’s still well short of the 11,300 max tow rating found on the last-gen F-150 Powerstroke, let alone the 12,560 rating on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. But considering 96 percent of half-ton truck buyers tow less than 10,000 pounds, it makes sense for GM to prioritize fuel economy and value over max towing.

The diesel engine option sees a $1,500 price reduction for 2021 models. Fuel economy for the Silverado 1500 Duramax is expected to be unchanged, which is 33 mpg highway based on EPA testing.

LM2 Duramax Diesel
3.0L LM2 Duramax I6 Diesel Engine. Photo via GM.

All towing improvements follow the SAE J2807 standard. And, like the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, the 2021 Silverado 1500 receives the following technology upgrades designed to make towing easier:

Trailer Length Indicator: When enabled and driving forward with the turn signal activated, the center console screen displays a red overlay that’s twice the length of the compatible trailer, and shows when other vehicles are present, making lane-change maneuvers safer.

Jack-Knife Alert: This new feature tracks the position of the compatible trailer in relation to the vehicle. If the front of the trailer approaches the rear of the vehicle, an alert is displayed when there may be a potential jack-knife situation.

Rear Trailer View updates and Trailer-Angle Indicator: Rear Trailer View has been enhanced to include guidelines that assist when backing a trailer into place. The Trailer-Angle Indicator to show the relationship between the truck and compatible trailer. Rear Trailer View requires the customer-installed available GM auxiliary accessory camera. This is nicknamed the “Invisible Trailer”.

Rear Side View updates: Rear Side View already provides a split view of the left and right sides of the truck and compatible trailer that is automatically biased based on the trailer’s angle. In the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, drivers will have access to this view while driving in reverse, making it easier to see surrounding vehicles and objects while positioning a trailer.

Cargo Bed View enhancements: New Cargo Bed Zoom View and Bed Hitch Guidance are now available, which can be helpful for aligning and hooking up a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailer.
Select trailering features require a conventional-hitched box or camping trailer and additional setup may be required. Customers can see their dealers for full details.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Multi-Flex Tailgate
Image via Chevrolet.

Various 2021 Silverado trim levels also see changes, as summarized below.

2021 Silverado Custom and Custom Trail Boss: Custom Convenience Package and Infotainment Package are now standard, which include EZ Lift power lock and release tailgate, bed LED cargo area lighting, remote start, available SiriusXM, available OnStar and more.

Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trail Boss: These variants now offer a 40/20/40 split-bench front seat and a new Safety Confidence Package (late availability), which includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, steering wheel audio controls and 4.2-inch driver information center.

Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss: Available 20-inch black wheels with Goodyear Territory MT Tires (late availability).

LT and RST:  These trucks now have all the content from the All Star Edition standard, which includes the Convenience Package, Trailering Package and an auto-locking rear differential.

LTZ: The LTZ Convenience Package, Safety Package and 20-inch polished wheels.

High Country: Models with 22-inch wheels get Adaptive Ride Control for improved comfort.

Wireless phone projection through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: standard on LTZ and High Country and available on LT, LT Trail Boss and RST.

New Packages: All Star Edition Plus, Texas Edition Plus and LTZ Premium Texas Edition.

New Exterior Colors:
Mosaic Black Metallic (late availability and at extra charge)
Oxford Brown Metallic (available at extra charge)
Cherry Red Tintcoat (available at extra charge)

The 2021 Silverado 1500 will begin production in September and arrive at Chevrolet dealerships throughout fall 2020.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado Redline Edition SEMA 2019
2021 Chevrolet Silverado Redline Edition. Photo copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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