If you need a full-size pickup, the current Chevrolet Silverado will certainly get the job done. But trucks these days are about so much more than just towing and hauling. From leather interiors to the latest technology and engineering, modern trucks are increasingly like SUVs that happen to have cargo beds in back.

That's why the completely redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is so important. Due at dealerships in early 2013, the new Silverado is Chevrolet's chance to build a true truck for the 21st century.

Remodeled Interior

The current Silverado debuted way back in 2007, and its interior looks more like something from the 1990s. Not surprisingly, Chevy has made contemporary cabin design one of its top priorities with the new Silverado. Early spy photos suggest major progress on this front.

Most notably, an available touch-screen display in the middle of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500's dashboard looks set to control a slew of high-tech features, presumably including Chevy's app-based MyLink interface with services like Pandora Internet radio. Plus, the interior just looks more attractive and contemporary overall. Hopefully the quality of the interior materials will likewise improve, as Dodge and Ford have set the bar high as of late.

More Capability, Less Gas

Of course, workhorse performance and solid fuel economy are still expected, and that's where the 2014 Silverado's slimmer figure comes in. Yes, we said slimmer--the new Silverado should be up to 500 lb lighter than its predecessor, a remarkable achievement that should be a boon for efficiency. Under the hood, the Silverado's bread and butter will continue to be the small-block V8, but this time direct fuel injection and a 6-speed automatic transmission will be employed to boost both performance and MPG.

Something to keep an eye on is whether Chevrolet will hop on on the modern-V6 bandwagon. The F-150 now offers Ford's 3.7-liter V6 from numerous car-based applications, and the Ram 1500 has followed suit with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6. Meanwhile, the current entry-level Silverado 1500 soldiers on with the ancient 4.3-liter V6. However, modern V6s don't have the robust low-end torque of their forebears, so they're not ideally suited to work-truck use. Chevrolet does have an excellent 3.6-liter V6 of its own from the Camaro, but there's been no official word as to whether it will be the next Silverado's base engine.

Crisper Styling

As of this writing, the 2014 Silverado 1500 has only been spied under heavy camoflauge. Still, we have it on good authority that the styling will be more dynamic this time around, trading the current truck's seriously squared-off edges for a smoother, more aggressive look.

Attention Truck Shoppers

As appealing as the new Silverado looks and sounds, the outgoing model is still a hugely capable truck, and there will no doubt be some incredible deals on leftover 2013s as dealers make way for the 2014's arrival. Depending on your needs, you might want to consider picking up a 2013 for a song around Christmastime. No, you wouldn't have Chevy's latest and greatest, but you'd definitely be shouting "Ho, ho, ho!" all the way to the bank.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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