Chevrolet and GMC have introduced the 2016 Silverado and Sierra with eAssist technology.

Chevrolet and GMC have introduced the 2016 Silverado and Sierra with eAssist technology.

Set to go on sale this spring, the models feature a rear tonneau cover and an active shutter grille that closes at speeds above 30 miles per hour to reduce drag and maximize fuel efficiency.

Bigger changes occur under the hood, as the trucks have been equipped with an eAssist mild-hybrid system that consists of a 5.3-liter V8 engine, an electric motor, and a compact lithium-ion battery pack.  The electric motor contributes an additional 13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque which brings the total up to 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

Besides being more powerful than the standard models, the pickups are more eco-friendly as they have been equipped with an engine start/stop system.  The electric motor also enables the trucks to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods of time thus reducing fuel consumption.  Thanks to these changes, the trucks can return 18 miles per gallon in the city / 24 mpg on the highway which is a modest increase of 2 mpg city / 2 mpg highway.

Production will be limited to 700 units - 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras - and the trucks will be available exclusively in California.

2016 Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra gain a mild-hybrid system