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2016 SEMA Show: 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Concept – Dud?


2016 SEMA Show: 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Concept - Dud?For a show full of lifted, slammed, wrapped and almost borderline ridiculously modified trucks, Chevrolet is bringing its Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Concept. Could it be the lamest OEM truck at the 2016 Speciality Equipment Manufacturers Association show? I think so.

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a pretty good looking truck with its recently refreshed front end and a powerful truck with the new 6.6L Duramax diesel engine. It also has a quiet ride and sports the 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Yet, all of this is great for the general consumers not for SEMA. No, SEMA demands more.

And this is where the Carhartt concept falls short. There is so much Chevrolet could have done with this truck. I mean, it is the same company that introduced the bad ass Colorado ZH2 concept and its trucks are often among the most eye-popping at the show. Instead, they played the conservative card.has

Now, don’t get me wrong. The truck does offer some great tie-in features with Carhartt. For example, the tonneau cover is made of the same sturdy material the clothing company is known for. Also, the interior has that same material incorporated into the seat bolsters, arm rests and door panels with each of these being sewn together with Carhartt’s triple-stitching method. Plus, the Carhartt logo is laser-etched into the headrests.

This is all fine and dandy, but the rest of the exterior is where it loses much of the SEMA appeal. The meager changes include Antique Nickel accents on the grille with matching mirror caps, fog light surrounds and 20″ 5-spoke wheels sporting off-road tires. It has a single-row LED light built into the grille and triangular tow hooks that sport the Antique Nickel color. Finally, it has a big Carhartt C painted on the door panels.

In the bed, it has the aforementioned tonneau cover and a toolbox with a swing-out tool chest which are both dealer add-ons. And it has electrical outlets along with the same triangular tow hooks in the front.

2016 SEMA Show: 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Concept - Dud?That’s it.

Yep, no big lift. No engine improvements. No LED light bar on the top or spotlights on the side. No rear-seat DVD players or X-box hook ups like other trucks. No… well… WOW factor. This literally could be a production ready model like the Ford Harley Davidson truck was for years.

For a company with a long history, it seems to be completely missing on the younger generation. When you look around, Ram is attracting attention with their Rebel TRX concept and Powerwagon. Ford has the F-150 Raptor. Toyota has the Tacoma TRD Pro. Heck, Nissan has even offered a cool SEMA truck before. This leaves Honda and GM as the conservative companies who don’t seem to be attracting younger buyers. I’m not sure that is a solid play.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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