GM sells a whole lot of Chevy Silverados, and it long ago realized that people are willing to pay a premium price for a few nifty features and aesthetic choices. Thus it created the Chevy Avalanche, which was a fancy Silverado with a unique bed setup and flying buttresses off the C-pillars for a distinct style. The last Avalanche rolled off of assembly lines in 2013, but it’s spirit is back in the newly revealed High Desert Package for the Silverado.
Taking its cues from a concept that debuted at the 2014 SEMA show, the High Desert Package brings back not just the flying buttresses of the Avalanche, but a new cargo bed setup designed to appeal to active lifestyle types more than contractors. Locking dual storage bins on the fenders join a three-piece hard tonneau cover and a bed divider to offer secure storage that’s safe from the elements. It’s an ideal setup for camping enthusiasts in particular, though the various applications of the storage system are up to your imagination.
The wannabe-Avalanche comes standard with 20-inch rims, and 22-inch wheels are also offered, should you feel the need to bling out. More interestingly, the High Desert Package is GM’s first application of its Magnetic Ride Control suspension on the Silverado. Generally reserved for performance cars, such as the Camaro and Corvette, Magnetic Ride Control should prove useful in minimizing body roll on backcountry roads.
The High Desert Package is being offered on the LT, LTZ, and High Country Silverado models, and it appears that the 5.3-liter EcoTec V8 is the standard engine offering, with the 6.2-liter being “available” as an option. Alas, it doesn’t look like GM will offer a monster 8.1-liter engine like it did in the original Avalanche, though it’s worth noting that the 6.2-liter makes as much torque and about 80 more horsepower. It also has an eight-speed transmission, compared to the Avalanche’s measly four-speed.
It’s the Avalanche 2.0 in all, but name if you ask us.