General Motors Co. introduces the Chevrolet 2020 Silverado HD pickup truck at the GM Flint Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan
General Motors Co. introduces the Chevrolet 2020 Silverado HD pickup truck at the GM Flint Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan
(Photo: Reuters/REBECCA_COOK)

Ford is widely held as the ultimate leader of America's pickup market. However, there is much to be discussed when ranking who will take the second spot. Recently, this war for second intensifies as Chevrolet claimed that its new 2020 Silverado 3500 outperforms its closest rival, the Ram Heavy Duty 3500.

 The issue started when 2020 Silverado lead engineer Tim Herrick claimed that the new Silverado 3500 accelerates faster than the Ram 3500. It is important to note that this claim came directly from Chevy's tests. Nevertheless, it managed to rattle some people, especially those on Ram's side.

Looking at the specs sheet, the two pickups have a couple of difference. For one, the Ram is powered by 400-horsepower Cummins inline-six engine capable of churning 1,000lb-ft worth of torque. On the other hand, at the heart of the Chevy truck is a turbo diesel Duramax V8 machine with 445-horsepower and 910lb-ft worth of torque. In the realm of performance trucks, that extra 45 horsepower is always a big deal.

Chevrolet claims that the 2020 Silverado 3500 can accelerate from zero to 60mph 2.6 seconds faster that the Ram, this is while towing a trailer weighing 18,000 pounds. That is a huge difference, considering the engines that power the two pickups. This is especially true since the Ram pickup packs more torque that its Chevy rival.

 In theory, the Ram should outperform its Chevy counterpart due to its much higher torque. While this is theoretically true, there are several factors that affect this figure flaunted by Chevy. Aside from torque, the pickups' engine horsepower also plays a significant role in this test.

As for additional specs, the Silverado packs a fancy 10-speed automatic transmission. The Ram Heavy Duty relies on an old-school 6-speed automatic transmission. Chevy also claims that the 2020 Silverado 3500 has a maximum towing capacity of 35,500 pounds, while the Ram is only rated at 35,100 pounds. Experts have noted that Chevy's testing data revealed that the new higher gear setup might have drastic effects on acceleration rather than just relying purely on torque which is the common belief. This highlights how Chevy is committed to new engineering techniques that may transform into real-world performance.

It is important to note that these tests were done in controlled environments. While these test results give people a benchmark of what to expect from these two equally exceptional pickup trucks, tests like this do not necessarily translate into real-world performance.