In a sea of customized and whacked-out project trucks meant to attract casual showgoers as they wandered the crowded aisles of the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, truckmakers have figured out the show is a great place to gauge interest about future design ideas and products they might want to bring to market.
Taking advantage of an enthusiastic audience, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 engineers took the opportunity to show off a "drop-in" bed product that would essentially give long- or short-bed truck owner more storage space, a hard-deck bed cover and more bed functionality. In fact, what Chevy has done is to essentially re-introduce the Avalanche.
Called the Chevrolet Silverado High Desert (based on the Silverado High Country, meaning a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 and eight-speed transmission), the concept truck is all about the bed. The truck looks like a stock crew cab with a 6.5-foot bed until you start looking closely at the three-section hardtop, a pair of storage bins in the bed walls and the Avalanche-style buttress between the bed and cab.
While investigating the truck, four current and past Avalanche owners approached and asked if this truck would leak every time it rained or had a ton of wind noise when on the highway. Our guess would be no, since the design is meant to be a drop-in and there would be no rear-cab-wall door seals to weather or wear down.
Chevy would not talk price but it was one display in the GM booth that had a constant crowd around it — until we chased them away to take these photos.
Cars.com images by Evan Sears and Mark Williams