Trucks & SUVs

Chevy Can Produce A 2020 SS 454 Pickup If It Wants: Here’s How

If you are of the opinion that “there’s no replacement for displacement” then chances are you probably drive a pickup truck. While everything else on four wheels changes radically from time to time a pickup truck is still a pickup truck. It’s traditional, all-American, familiar, and sometimes even stylish. Those are traits that appeal to the old school vehicle buyer and don’t kid yourself, there are a ton of them in this land. What this is leading to is if optioned and marketed correctly wouldn’t a special Silverado with a breathed on 6.2-liter in a half-ton pickup be quite the package?

There are many that would forego mileage advantages for a modern SS 454

2020 Chevy Silverado Pickup | GM
2020 Chevy Silverado Pickup | GM

Because there are still so many of us that forego some mileage advantages for a V8 with displacement it’s all a matter of giving buyers choices. It’s like a manual transmission. In a Suburban it makes no sense. But in a Corvette? Well, yeah. In fact, over 25% of all Corvettes are sold with a manual trans. 

So, taking that idea to a Silverado muscle truck, wouldn’t it be worth a shot to market a special Silverado patterned after the iconic 454 SS? Over the life of the SS 454, Chevy made over 15,000. Not huge but back then there were a lot of options for other big-motor vehicles. Impala SS, Camaro, Firebird, Mustang, and Corvette come to mind.

A 2020 Silverado muscle truck with a big V8, sounds like an SS 454

Hennessey Goliath 700 Chevrolet Silverado
Hennessey Goliath 700 Chevrolet Silverado | Hennessey Performance Engineering

Now, the 6.2-liter V8 is the largest engine available in a pickup truck. Why not capitalize on that by building a special series of Silverado muscle trucks? We’ll go one step further; offer it as a single cab, short bed. And use a slightly detuned LT5 supercharged 6.2.

Chevy makes the single cab short beds, just not here. They are popular in the United Arab Emirates. Chevy chose not to spread the love. But it would only take a slight assembly line reconfiguration to add it to the mix.

Use a detuned version of Corvette’s LT5 and call it “SS Silverado”

TUSTIN, CA – JULY 18: The 2020 mid-engine C8 Corvette Stingray by General Motors is unveiled during a news conference on July 18, 2019 in Tustin, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Then there’s the LT5. Make it a limited edition run and see where it goes. Detune it so it doesn’t compete with the Corvette’s specs. Maybe 700 hp or 680 hp. Something in that range. It still keeps the Corvette’s LT5 substantially better at 755 hp. The more you look at it the better it gets. 

Unfortunately, GM has always had the rep of building vehicles it wants you to buy, not necessarily what you want to buy. It’s changing as we slowly lope to the beginning of the middle of the century.

Would Chevy do this? They should!

A 2020 Chevrolet Silverado on the assembly line
A 2020 Chevrolet Silverado on the assembly line | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

So, would Chevy ever do anything like this? It’s doubtful. But, the rest of the year and into 2021 is going to be tough for all of the car companies after the coronavirus crisis. This would only take an assembly line wiggle and some marketing. No tooling or expensive modifications would be necessary.

Every manufacturer needs to be creative. This creativity takes little to pull off. And don’t forget that an “SS Silverado” would be a halo truck. It will pull in truck buyers who may not be able to justify the single cab, short bed, or premium price. But those Chevy dealers will easily slide customers into a more popular, cheaper, Silverado. Everybody wins.