The Vortec High Output option was first introduced in 2004 to a limited market (mainly consisting of Texas and several surrounding areas); it was available nationwide for MY 2005. It was available for both the Chevy and GMC 1500 series trucks. This special edition package (under option code B4V) included several options previously not found on the standard 1500 model, most notably the LQ9 6.0 L V-8 engine (the same used for the Silverado SS, the 2005-2006 GMC Denalis and the Cadillac Escalade). The LQ9 motor was rated at 345 hp (257 kW) at 5200 rpm and 380 lb·ft (515 N·m) of torque at 4000 rpm, which was the same specifications shared in the SS models. The B4V package could only be ordered on extended cab standard box 2WD trucks. They were all built at the Canadian assembly plant and were equipped with the Z60 High Performance suspension package, in addition to the M32 = 4L65E transmission, GT4 = 3.73 rear gear, and G80 Gov Lock as standard equipment. The 2004 models were equipped with the standard 10 bolt 8.625 rear end. The 2005 models were upgraded with the larger 14 bolt 9.5 rear end under RPO option AXN. The package also included one style of the newly introduced GM 20 inch wheels installed from the factory. This marked the first time the LQ9 engine was available for a two-wheel drive application. Unlike the previous years with the SS Package, you could order the interior combination in anything from basic cloth to fully loaded. There were also more exterior color options available with this package.
In 2006, the Vortec Max trailering package became available. The Vortec Max package was added to the option list with an array of similar features and new badges, and at its core retained the LQ9/4L65-E powertrain. However, the Vortec Max package differed from the Performance edition in that it also came with a variant of the Z85 Handling/Trailering suspension, as well as 17-inch wheels and tires under the option code NHT on 4x4 models versus the Z60 High Performance Suspension and 20-inch wheel and tire package of the regular B4V 2 wheel drive Performance Edition. This was because the Vortec Max package was intended for max trailer towing, while the Performance Edition was intended more for customers who wanted the Silverado SS mechanicals without the visuals of the SS. It was also made available (in addition to the extended cab) in the light duty 4 door crew cab models. For the first time it was also available in 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive on both the Silverados and Sierras, with or without the Z71 package.
The newest Vortec Max performance package introduced in 2006 on the GMT900 includes a 10,800 pounds towing capacity.