Apparently General Motors is hustling to get their next Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks out the door a little closer to the 2015 Ford F-150 launch, having just moved production "nine months sooner" to Fall 2018 with their new SUVs to follow in 2019.
Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman of Reuters seem to have a line on some GM suppliers, who told the reporters the next half-ton Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups will be "dramatically lightened." The trucks are reportedly "being developed under a program known to suppliers as T1XX, or T1 for short."
We already knew GM was fitting their 6.2 V8 trucks with a new eight-speed transmission, and Reuters is hot on the rumors that the company will add a very small engine with "turbocharging and start-stop technology" (a la the new Ford 2.7 EcoBoost) to improve average fuel economy for their next-generation truck line.
I'm not totally convinced this change in production timeline is all to narrow the gap between the new F-150 release and their next truck redesign; even with this shortening of the timeline they're still four years behind the Blue Oval's aluminum truck going on sale.
Naturally GM has declined to comment but as fuel economy regulations get tighter going into 2017, some type of significant innovation in efficiency is going to be required and lightweight construction with a small-displacement turbo engine seems like a solid starting point.
It'll be interesting to see if Ram goes turbo as well, or if they can cover their "high-mileage" base with the EcoDiesel 1500.