2021 Chevy Silverado HD: Better towing, new Carhartt Special Edition

Updated Jan 11, 2021
2021 Silverado 3500 HD LTZ2021 Silverado 3500 HD LTZ

Like their smaller, half-ton siblings in the Chevrolet truck lineup, the changes coming to the Bowtie’s 2021 heavy duty trucks are not groundbreaking. However, there are several smaller updates to know about and at least two other more interesting changes to look forward to in this model year including improved towing and a new Carhartt Special Edition of the trucks.

But let’s focus on the increased towing capacity first. Chevy says its engineers increased the HD lineup’s towing capacity by 500 pounds, paving the way for a max tow rating of up to 36,000—which Chevy says is the best available rating among Class 3 pickups.

If you want that 36,000 pounds of towing capacity though, you’ll need a very specific truck: a Silverado 3500 HD Work Truck powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel in tandem with a 10-speed transmission, in a dually configuration with a regular cab and in two-wheel drive. Got that?

The full towing chart is below with the rest of the spec sheet on these trucks, but depending on the model, engine and cab, conventional towing ranges anywhere from 14,500 pounds to 20,000 pounds, while 5th wheel/gooseneck ranges from 16,120 to 36,000 pounds.

And in terms of engine/powertrain options, those are unchanged from 2020. You still have two engine options: the 6.6L gas V8 with 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque, or the 6.6L Duramax diesel with 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. Available tranmissions are the 10-speed Allison or the 6-speed Hydra-Matic.

 

Carhartt Special Edition

The second thing to look forward to is the new Carhartt Special Edition.  This package will be available on both the 2500 and 3500. Chevy says production on this edition will start soon. We’ve got a full walkaround and all the details of this package in this video:

In addition to the Carhartt edition, Chevy will also be offering the following:

  • Midnight Edition

    2021 Silverado HD Midnight Edition2021 Silverado HD Midnight Edition

    Available on black LT and LTZ trims, Midnight Edition offers a blacked-out appearance, including the grille bar, grille inserts, skid plate, Silverado badging and standard black 18-inch aluminum wheels with aggressive mud-terrain tires, or available black 20-inch wheels.

  • Z71 Sport Edition

    2021 Silverado HD Z71 Sport Edition2021 Silverado HD Z71 Sport Edition

    Available on LT and LTZ trims, the Z71 Sport Edition offers a monochromatic look with color-matched bumpers, grille bar and black door handles. Exclusively available in Red Hot, Summit White or Northsky Blue exterior paint, it also features black accents, including Silverado badging, skid plate, mirror caps, hood vent and black 18-inch wheels with mud-terrain tires or black 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

  • Z71 Chrome Sport Edition

    2021 Silverado HD Z71 Chrome Sport Edition2021 Silverado HD Z71 Chrome Sport Edition

    Available on LT and LTZ trims, Z71 Chrome Sport Edition features body-color bumper and grille bar with chrome accents to door handles, skid plate, grille insert, assist step and badging. Only available in Summit White and Black, Z71 Chrome Sport Edition comes with 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with Grazen metallic accents, or 20-inch polished aluminum wheels on LTZ.

 

Towing tech

Circling back around a bit to towing, Chevy continues to push forward on tech and camera systems focused on making towing and trailering easier. Like last year, you’ll still be able to get 15 different camera views at whatever you’re pulling.  Here’s what they’re offering:

Trailer Length Indicator: When changing lanes with the turn signal activated, a red overlay twice the length of the trailer is shown on the center console screen, which can help show when other vehicles are present.

Jack-Knife Alert: Tracks the position of the trailer in relation to the vehicle and provides an alert if a potential jack-knife situation is imminent.

Cargo Bed View Enhancement: Cargo Bed Zoom View and Bed Hitch Guidance are now available, which help to align and hook up a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailer.

Rear Trailer View Now Features Guidelines and Trailer-Angle Indicator: Enhanced to include assisting guidelines when backing a compatible trailer into place and a Trailer-Angle Indicator shows the relationship between the truck and trailer.

Rear Side View Enhancement: Provides a split view, automatically biased based on the trailer’s angle, of the left and right sides of the truck and compatible trailer. This view was previously only available while driving forward and is now available in Reverse for better visibility when positioning a trailer.

 

Other available equipment and everything else that’s new

  • Bed View Camera display located in a rearview mirror screen insert now available on Work TruckCustom and LT.
  • Bed View Camera display located in the infotainment screen now standard on High Country and available on LTZ and LT.
  • SiriusXM radio and OnStar now available on Work Truck and standard on LT.
  • Safety Confidence Package available on Work Truck and Custom. Package includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Driver Information Center and Steering Wheel Audio Controls.
  • Wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard for LTZ and High Country, and available on LT.
  • Front center console with storage now standard on Work Truck and Custom.
  • Two new exterior colors available:
    • Mosaic Black Metallic
    • Cherry Red Tintcoat

 

Spec Sheet

ENGINES

Type: 6.6L V-8 gasoline or E85 FlexFuel
Bore & Stroke
(in / mm):
4.06 x 3.86 / 103.25 x 98
Block Material: Cast iron with nodular iron main caps
Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Valvetrain: Overhead-valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Fuel Delivery: Direct fuel injection
Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):
401 / 299 @ 5200 (SAE certified – gasoline)
Torque
(lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
464 / 629 @ 4000 (SAE certified – gasoline)
Type: Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel
Bore & Stroke         (in / mm): 4.05 x 3.89 / 103 x 99
Block Material: Cast iron
Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum
Compression Ratio: 16.0:1
Valvetrain: Overhead-valve, four valves per cylinder
Fuel Delivery: Common-rail direct fuel injection
Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):
445 / 332 @ 2800 (SAE certified)
Torque
(lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
910 / 1234 @ 1600 (SAE certified)

TRANSMISSION & AXLE

Type: Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic (6.6L gas)
Allison® 10L1000 10-speed automatic (6.6L diesel)
Gear Ratios (:1): 6L90 10L1000
     First 4.03 4.54
     Second 2.36 2.87
     Third 1.53 2.06
     Fourth 1.15 1.72
     Fifth 0.85 1.48
     Sixth 0.67 1.26
     Seventh 1.00
     Eighth 0.85
     Ninth 0.69
     Tenth 0.63
     Reverse 3.06 4.54
Final Drive Ratio: 3.73 (6.6L gas)
3.42 (6.6L diesel)

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

Front Suspension: Short long arms independent front suspension with torsion bars
Rear Suspension: Semi-elliptic three-stage multi-leaf spring
Steering Type: Hydraulic power-assisted recirculating ball; includes Digital Variable Steering Assist on LTZ and High Country
Brake Type: Hydraulic power-assisted Hydroboost brake booster, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Stabilitrak electronic stability assist
Brake Rotor Size (in / mm): Front: 14 x 1.6 / 355 x 40 (2500/3500)
Rear: 14.1 x 1.3 / 360 x 34 (2500/3500 SRW)
Rear: 14 x 1.6 / 355 x40 (3500 DRW)
Wheel Size: 17-in. steel or aluminum
18-in. steel or aluminum
20-in. aluminum
Tire Size: LT235/80R17 ALS and AT (3500HD DRW)
LT265/70R17 AT
LT245/75R17 ALS
LT275/70R18 AT
LT275/65R20 AT

FUEL TANK CAPACITY (approx.)

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
Fuel Tank (gal. / L): 36 / 136 – gas
28 / 106 – diesel
36 / 136 – gas
29.4 / 111 – diesel (std. bed)
36 / 136 – diesel (long bed)
36 / 136 – gas
36 / 136 – diesel

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
Wheelbase
(in. / mm):
141.55 / 3595          (long bed) 149.4 / 3795 (std. bed)
162.48 / 4127 (long bed)
158.94 / 4037 (std. bed)
172 / 4369 (long bed)
Overall Length
(in. / mm):
235.5 / 5982          (long bed) 240.45 / 6107 (std. bed)
256.46 / 6514 (long bed)
249.95 / 6349 (std. bed)
266 / 6759 (long bed)
Overall Width (in. / mm): 81.75 / 2076 (SRW)
96.75 / 2457 (DRW)
81.85 / 2079 (SRW)
96.75 / 2457 (DRW)
81.85 / 2079 (SRW)
96.75 / 2457 (DRW)
Overall Height
(in. / mm):
79.94 / 2030 (2500HD)
80.94 / 2056 (3500HD SRW)
80.24 / 2038 (3500HD DRW)
79.95 / 2031 (2500HD std. bed)
79.8 / 2027 (2500HD long bed)
80.87 / 2054 (3500HD SRW)
80.2 / 2037 (3500HD DRW)
79.82 / 2027 (2500HD std. bed)
79.65 / 2023 (2500HD long bed)
80.87 / 2054 (3500HD std. bed)
80.67 / 2049 (3500HD long bed)
Front Track
(in. / mm):
68.1 / 1731 68.1 / 1731 68.1 / 1731
Rear Track
(in. / mm):
68.3 / 1736 (SRW)
75 / 1905 (DRW)
68.3 / 1736 (SRW)
75 / 1905 (DRW)
68.3 / 1736 (SRW)
75 / 1905 (DRW)
2500HD Ground Clearance
(in. / mm):
10.19 / 259 10.19 / 259 (standard bed)
10.15 / 258 (long bed)
10.12 / 257 (standard bed)
10.08 / 256 (long bed)
3500HD Ground Clearance
(in. / mm):
11.82 / 285 (SRW)
10.47 / 266 (DRW)
11.18 / 284 (SRW)
10.39 / 264 (DRW)
11.18 / 284 (standard bed & SRW)
11.14 / 283 (long bed & SRW)
10.39 / 264 (long bed & DRW)

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
Headroom
(in. / mm):
43.11 / 1095 43.03 / 1093 (front)
39.88 / 1013 (rear)
43.03 / 1093 (front)
40.12 / 1019 (rear)
Legroom
(in. / mm):
44.53 / 1131 44.53 / 1131 (front)
35.24 / 895 (rear)
44.53 / 1131 (front)
43.4 / 1102 (rear)
Shoulder Room
(in. / mm):
66.06 / 1678 66.02 / 1677 (front)
64.88 / 1648 (rear)
66.02 / 1677 (front)
65.3 / 1659 (rear)
Hip Room
(in. / mm):
60.9 / 1547 61.18 / 1554 (front)
60.24 / 1530 (rear)
61.18 / 1554 (front)
60.24 / 1530 (rear)

BASE CURB WEIGHT^

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
2500HD – 2WD        (lb. / kg): 6105 / 2769 – gas
6968 / 3161 – diesel
6421 / 2913 – gas (standard bed)
6542 / 2967 – gas (long bed)
7272 / 3299 – diesel (standard bed)
7438 / 3374 – diesel (long bed)
6533 / 2963 – gas (standard bed)
6633 / 3009 – gas (long bed)
7430 / 3370 – diesel (standard bed)
7597 / 3446 – diesel (long bed)
2500HD – 4WD
(lb. / kg):
6418 / 2911 – gas
7281 / 3303 – diesel
6736 / 3050 – gas (standard bed)
6829 / 3098 – gas (long bed)
7587 / 3441 – diesel (standard bed)
7726 / 3505 – diesel (long bed)
6824 / 3095 – gas (standard bed)
6922 / 3140 – gas (long bed)
7721 / 3502 – diesel (standard bed)
7886 / 3577 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD SRW (lb. / kg): 6231 / 2826 – gas
7247 / 3287 – diesel
6689 / 3034 – gas
7682 / 3485 – diesel
6647 / 3015 – gas (standard bed)
6779 / 3075 – gas (long bed)
7577 / 3437 – diesel (standard bed)
7849 / 3560 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD SRW (lb. / kg): 6528 / 2961 – gas
7545 / 3422 – diesel
6971 / 3162 – gas
7964 / 3612– diesel
6947 / 3151 – gas (standard bed)
7064 / 3204 – gas (long bed)
7877 / 3573 – diesel (standard bed)
8134 / 3690 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD DRW (lb. / kg): 6520 / 2957 – gas
7439 / 3374 – diesel
6977 / 3165 – gas
7903 / 3585 – diesel
7068 / 3206 – gas (long bed)
8070 / 3661 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD DRW (lb. / kg): 6817 / 3092 – gas
7766 / 3523 – diesel
7259 / 3293  – gas
8185 / 3713 – diesel
7352 / 3335 – gas (long bed)
8300 / 3765 – diesel (long bed)

^With standard 17-inch wheels on 2500HD and 3500HD DRW; standard 18-in. or 20-in. wheels on 3500HD SRW.

BASE GVWR^

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
2500HD – 2WD
(lb. / kg):
10000 / 4536 – gas
10550 / 4785 – diesel
10050 / 4559 – gas (standard bed)
10200 / 4627 – gas (long bed)
10700 / 4854 – diesel (standard bed)
10900 / 4944 – diesel (long bed)
10150 / 4604 – gas (standard bed)
10300 / 4672 – gas (long bed)
10800 / 4899 – diesel (standard bed)
11000 / 4990 – diesel (long bed)
2500HD – 4WD
(lb. / kg):
10250 / 4649 – gas
10900 / 4944 – diesel
10350 / 4695 – gas (standard bed)
10500 / 4763 – gas (long bed)
11000 / 4990 – diesel (standard bed)
11200 / 5080 – diesel (long bed)
10450 / 4750 – gas (standard bed)
10650 / 4831 – gas (long bed)
11150 / 5058 – diesel (standard bed)
11350 / 5158 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD SRW (lb. / kg): 10750 / 4876 – gas
11500 / 5216 – diesel
11100 / 5035 – gas
11850 / 5375 – diesel
11000 / 4990 – gas (standard bed)
11150 / 5058 – gas (long bed)
11750 / 5330 – diesel (standard bed)
11900 / 5398 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD SRW (lb. / kg): 11100 / 5035 – gas
11800 / 5352 – diesel
11400 / 5171 – gas
12150 / 5511– diesel
11350 / 5148 – gas (standard bed)
11500 / 5216 – gas (long bed)
12100 / 5489 – diesel (standard bed)
12250 / 5557 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD DRW (lb. / kg): 14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel
14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel
14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel
3500HD – 4WD DRW (lb. / kg): 14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel
14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel
14000 / 6350 – gas
14000 / 6350 – diesel

^When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment. Specifications include standard 17-inch wheels on 2500HD and 3500HD DRW; standard 18-in. or 20-in. wheels on 3500HD SRW.

MAX PAYLOAD^

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
2500HD – 2WD
(lb. / kg):
3979 / 1805 – gas
3715 / 1685 – diesel
3762 / 1706 – gas (standard bed)
3792 / 1720 – gas (long bed)
3561 / 1615 – diesel (standard bed)
3595 / 1631 – diesel (long bed)
3751 / 1701 – gas (standard bed)
3800 / 1724 – gas (long bed)
3553 / 1612 – diesel (standard bed)
3536 / 1604 – diesel (long bed)
2500HD – 4WD
(lb. / kg):
3965 / 1799 – gas
3715 / 1685 – diesel
3747 / 1700 – gas (standard bed)
3854 / 1748 – gas (long bed)
3546 / 1608 – diesel (standard bed)
3657 / 1659 – diesel (long bed)
3760 / 1706 – gas (standard bed)
3862 / 1752 – gas (long bed)
3563 / 1616 – diesel (standard bed)
3597 / 1632 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD SRW (lb. / kg): 4481 / 2033 – gas
4215 / 1912 – diesel
4373 / 1984 – gas
4130 / 1873 – diesel
4316 / 1958 – gas (standard bed)
4333 / 1965 – gas (long bed)
4135 / 1876 – diesel (standard bed)
4013 / 1820 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD SRW (lb. / kg): 4534 / 2057 – gas
4217 / 1913 – diesel
4391 / 1992 – gas
4148 / 1882 – diesel
4365 / 1980 – gas (standard bed)
4398 / 1995 – gas (long bed)
4185 / 1898 – diesel (standard bed)
4078 / 1850 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD DRW (lb. / kg): 7442 / 3378 – gas
6523 / 2958 – diesel
6985 / 3168 – gas
6059 / 2748 – diesel
6894 / 3127 – gas
5892 / 2673 – diesel
3500HD – 4WD DRW (lb. / kg): 7145 / 3241 – gas
6196 / 2811 – diesel
6703 / 3040 – gas
5777 / 2620 – diesel
6610 / 2998 – gas
5662 / 2568 – diesel

^For comparison purposes only. See the owner’s manual and the label on the vehicle door jamb for the carrying capacity of a specific vehicle.

MAX TRAILERING^ – CONVENTIONAL

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
2500HD – 2WD
(lb. / kg):
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
18500 / 8392 – diesel
2500HD – 4WD
(lb. / kg):
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
18500 / 8392 – diesel
3500HD – 2WD SRW (lb. / kg): 14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
3500HD – 4WD SRW (lb. / kg): 14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
14500 / 6577 – diesel
14500 / 6577 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
3500HD – 2WD DRW (lb. / kg): 16800 / 7620 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
16400 / 7439 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
16300 / 7394 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
3500HD – 4WD DRW (lb. / kg): 16800 / 7620 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
16390 / 7434 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel
16240 / 7366 – gas
20000 / 9072 – diesel

^Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.

MAX TRAILERING^ – 5TH WHEEL/GOOSENECK

  Regular Cab Double Cab Crew Cab
2500HD – 2WD
(lb. / kg):
17370 / 78791 – gas
18510 / 83961 – diesel
17050 / 77331 – gas (standard bed)
16930 / 76791 – gas (long bed)
18200 / 8256 – diesel (standard bed)
18040 / 8182 – diesel (long bed)
16940 / 76831 – gas (standard bed)
16840 / 76381 – gas (long bed)
18500 / 83922 – diesel (standard bed)
18500 / 83922 – diesel (long bed)
2500HD – 4WD
(lb. / kg):
17060 / 77381 – gas
18190 / 82501 – diesel
16740 / 75931 – gas (standard bed)
16740 / 75931 – gas (long bed)
17890 / 81141 – diesel (standard bed)
17750 / 80511 – diesel (long bed)
16650 / 75521 – gas (standard bed)
16650 / 75521 – gas (long bed)
18500 / 83922 – diesel (standard bed)
18500 / 83922 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD SRW (lb. / kg): 17200 / 7802 – gas
21500 / 9752 – diesel
16700 / 7575 – gas
21490 / 9747 – diesel
16700 / 7575 – gas (standard bed)
16700 / 7575 – gas (long bed)
21500 / 9752 – diesel (standard bed)
21330 / 9675 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD SRW (lb. / kg): 16950 / 7688 – gas
21500 / 9752 – diesel
16500 / 7484 – gas
21210 / 9620 – diesel
16530 / 7498 – gas (standard bed)
16410 / 7443 – gas (long bed)
21300 / 9662– diesel (standard bed)
21040 / 9543 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 2WD DRW (lb. / kg): 16800 / 7620 – gas
36000 / 16329 – diesel3
16400 / 7439 – gas
31500 / 14288 – diesel
16200 / 7348– gas (long bed)
31400 / 14243 – diesel (long bed)
3500HD – 4WD DRW (lb. / kg): 16710 / 7579 – gas
31760 / 14406 – diesel
16270 / 7380 – gas
31340 / 14215– diesel
16120 / 7312 – gas (long bed)
31180 / 14143 – diesel (long bed)

^Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.

1Requires 17-in. wheels.
2Requires 18-in. or 20-in. wheels.
3When equipped with gooseneck hitch. Trailering rating is 32,000 lbs. / 14,515 kg with fifth-wheel hitch.

NOTE: All towing capabilities measured using SAE J2807 metrics.