2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country
Chevrolet hopes to fill a hole in its pickup lineup with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country, which the brand planned to unveil in Texas Sunday night.
But Motor Trend got a quick look of the new pickup in Detroit a few days before the scheduled debut.
Chevrolet has never offered a limited edition pickup like Ford’s King Ranch F-Series or the Ram Longhorn, which appeal to customers because of their exclusivity and luxury features. No, Chevrolet always deferred to its sibling brand GMC as the home of high-end, check-all-of-the-boxes pickups. But Ford and Ram have continued to expand these high-end offerings, and Toyota will roll out an exclusive Tundra 1794 model with its new pickups later this year. So now Chevy hopes to cash in on these rolling offices that cater to business owners, executives, and other truck owners who want to reward themselves.
“About 30 percent of all pickup purchases are above $40,000,” said Lloyd Biermann, marketing manager for Silverado. “We felt like there were customers we’re not reaching that the High Country will reach.” While pricing was not going to be announced at the unveiling San Antonio, Texas, the truck will certainly cross the $40,000 threshold.
Maria Rohrer, Chevy trucks marketing director, said buyers of these kinds of trucks are more likely to consider a new brand. “Pickup owners are very loyal,” she said, “but there’s a lot of potential with the High Country to lure new buyers to the brand.”
Besides High Country branding on the doors, tailgate, headrests, and sill plates, the new model will offer a slew of standard features. The interior is covered in a beautiful brown leather, a grade above any leather used by other Silverados.
Behind the new chrome grille will be General Motor’s new 5.3-liter, direct injection V-8 creating 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The new small-block engine, which includes cylinder deactivation that turns the V-8 to a four-banger, will help the High Country achieve 23 mpg. (The bigger 6.2-liter V-8 is available as an option.) The High Country will roll on 20-inch wheels.
The High Country is only available in a Crew Cab configuration, allowing the driver to carry up to five people. The few available options will include a chrome rear bumper with GM’s new CornerStep, allowing a person to climb into the bed easily. An integrated trailer brake controller, sunroof, navigation and a rear seat entertainment system are also available.
Chevy executives said they picked the High Country name to give it a Western appeal while avoiding a strict regional moniker. Because the Lone Star State is the No. 1 pickup market, “it’s gotta play well in Texas,” said Rohrer. “But this name should play more broadly around the U.S.”
The executives added that they did not see the High Country cutting into GMC’s business, or that they are entering the high-end segment too late. For many years, Chevrolet considered its LTZ Silverado and Z71 Silverado as limited edition models that customers differentiated from standard Chevy pickups.
“GMC customers are a different kind of customer,” Biermann said. “The High Country is an understated pickup that provides some very upscale features. We saw a hole in our lineup between Chevrolet and GMC, and, quite frankly, we think this helps fill it.”
Chevrolet expects 3 percent to 5 percent of Silverado customers to select the High Country once it arrives. The new Silverado goes on sale later this month.