Chevy Previews Rear-Axle Steering on Silverado EV

We’ve known for a while that the upcoming Silverado electric truck would have a number of systems in common with the GMC Hummer, the latter due on sale later this year. But this week we learned that Chevrolet’s entry into the quickly-growing field of electric pickups will definitely offer one type of feature we’ve seen on the Hummer model so far, if not to the same degree of functionality: Four-wheel steering.

This week Chevrolet released a short teaser video showing off the benefits of this system, which is expected to be offered in some form as an option on the Silverado. We say in some form because Chevrolet has stopped a bit short of advertising this optional feature as a Crab Mode, as in the Hummer model, so it’s not a given that the rear wheels would actually offer the same extent of articulation as the Hummer. The turning radius diagram painted in the short video also seems to suggest that while the Silverado will offer rear-axle steering, the extent of help from the rear axle may not match the front axle. There is also no indication that the version of the system that Silverado will receive will permit the wheels to be turned in the same direction, allowing the truck to move diagonally.

Obviously, the two trucks will have different goals in the marketplace as well as different price tags, so the Chevrolet Silverado might not need to serve up Crab Mode to its target buyers as badly as the Hummer might. But with the flexibility of electric motors and the Ultium drivetrain, it makes sense to offer four-wheel steering as an option on the more expensive versions of the Silverado.

One other nuance you may have picked up in this short video is the wheel design, and also the fact that the wheels don’t quite turn in a realistic manner here. Yes, those are the drawbacks of having a “simulated vehicle” in the video—Chevy just has a CGI model of the truck here—most likely because they don’t have prototypes at the moment that look all that complete on the outside. The video wraps with one more sad trombone: “Availability to be announced.” That availability is actually expected to be the year 2023, which we know from previous hints about the truck.

The electric Silverado, which may receive a catchier formal name as production nears, will offer 400 miles of range when it goes on sale as a 2023 or 2024 model, and will compete with the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Tesla Cybertruck, the Rivian R1T and the electric Ram 1500, among others.

How does the electric Silverado need to be priced to interest you? Let us know in the comments below.

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