2019 Chevrolet Silverado: A Tale of Four Tailgates
It’s not unusual for a pickup truck to feature a dozen or more grille and wheel designs, but four different tailgate lowering systems is rare. Yet that’s what we find on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. There’s an el-cheapo one that just plunges down like they all did on pickups of yore. Two feature torsion bars that damp the lowering and assist lift; one of these features power release (like on the new Ram). The coolest one replaces that torsion bar with an electric motor and gear reduction in the bottom of the tailgate and a pair of power-assist closure latches like the ones that pull the Corvette doors closed once you gently latch them.
Touch the electronic latch on the tailgate or double-tap the tailgate button on the key fob and the latches release, then the motor spins to slow the descent of the lightweight aluminum gate. To close it, use the remote, find the switch, or just manually lift the tailgate part and the motor brings the gate up until the latches catch and pull the door closed. There are force switches that reverse the motor if any resistance (like from fingers) is felt, and obviously it won’t close if something is resting on it.
And yes, it IS still possible to remove the tailgate. Just unplug the power and camera connection near the middle of the base of the tailgate, then undo a retaining bolt at the right-side pivot (the motor reacts against this solid mount when raising and lowering the gate). The left side is a free rotating pivot. The change to aluminum for the tailgate saves way more weight than the motor and power latches add back in, so you’ll have an easier time manhandling this gate off and on. Loads on the tailgate are carried by the same cable straps you find on any pickup.
The full power tailgate will be standard on High Country models and optional on LTZ models. Pricing has not been released yet.