This all-new 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is powered by an all-new gas V8 engine. It’s time to put this new truck and engine to an extreme towing test – the Ike Gauntlet™ : world’s toughest towing test.
The Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of the I-70 interstate highway leading up to the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels and the Continental Divide. It’s a 7% grade with the maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level.
We recently tested a new 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD with the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine on the same mountain with the exactly the same Cimarron trailer loaded to a total weight of 16,000 lbs.
This test is also part of our 2020 Gold Hitch awards competition. This Chevy Silverado HD is competing against the new Ram 2500 HD and Ford Super Duty F-250 for the 3/4-ton truck crown.
As always, this towing test is made possible by our friends at Transwest. Check them out for your truck, trailer, and RV needs.
2020 Chevy Silverado HD
The truck you see here is a 2020 Silverado 2500 crew cab 4×4 in a new Custom trim level. It’s basically a value-minded package that is one step above Chevy’s WT (work truck) base model. The Custom trim level offers a unique exterior look with a monochromatic upper grille, blacked out bumper, 20-inch wheels, and several other additions. When you throw in the side steps, power folding mirrors, roof marker lights, and a gooseneck / 5th-wheel towing package – the as-tested price comes out to just over $48,000.
The new 6.6-liter gas V8 is rated at 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to GM’s updated 6-speed automatic transmission.
The maximum towing capacity for this Silverado HD truck is 16,600 lbs, so we are pushing it to the limit with a 16,000 lbs trailer and approximately 3,100 lbs of tongue weight (this truck’s max. payload is near 3,500 lbs).
For reference, here is how the new turbo-diesel 2020 Silverado HD truck did on the Ike Gauntlet with the same load.
Ike Gauntlet – Downhill
On the way down, the maximum points any truck can get is 25 pts. We subtract a point for each time we touch the brakes. In this case, the truck needed 10 brake applications. This is better than a 2017 Chevy Silverado HD that towed a 13,000 lbs trailer. The older generation 6.0-liter Vortec V8-powered truck needed 13 brake applications on the way down.
Ike Gauntlet – Uphill
We are using Ike Gauntlet uphill updated benchmarks for all 2020 heavy duty trucks going forward. A perfect run up the mountain time is 10 minutes (not 8-minutes as for half-ton and midsize trucks). A benchmark trip meter-reported fuel economy is 4.0 MPG (not 6.0 MPG as for smaller trucks). Every 5 seconds over the 10 minute mark loses a point, and every 0.2 MPG below 4.0 MPG also loses a point.
The time up the mountain is 11 min 53 sec, and trip meter-reported economy is 2.4 MPG. As such, we deduct 22.5 pts on time and 8 pts on fuel economy.
After our subjective scores are also counted, the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD gas V8 gets a 2020 Gold Hitch score of 48.5 pts out of a maximum 100 pts.
This is the first new gas-powered 3/4-ton truck we tested this year. We will see how the new Ford and Ram trucks do very soon.