Chevrolet surprised no one this week by teasing the Silverado 1500 ZR2 with a 15-second video clip of the truck sloshing around in the mud. While we didn’t get any new details from the press release, one thing is certain; this truck sounds damn good! The off-road full-size segment is booming and you can’t blame the General (GM) for wanting to get in on some of that action. Fresh off the heels of Ram introducing the TRX and the long-standing success of Ford’s Raptor, the question has to be asked; is this too little, too late for Chevrolet?
One thing is for certain, the existing players in this segment are not playing around. Ford boasts a 450-hp twin turbo EcoBoost motor and uses advanced Fox Racing Shocks for their suspension. The impressive electronic LiveWire technology helps the shocks adapt to the changing terrain. Ram’s TRX came flying onto the scene earlier this year, crushing sales numbers since pre-orders were released. With a 702-hp Hellcat motor and Bilstein performance shocks capable of calming even the harshest full send, this truck is serious business. Both trucks sport 35” tires from the factory and have plush interiors matching the features of each brands’ Limited trims. GM, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
What do we Know?
While speculation is rampant and nothing is confirmed, GM has been hiding the off-road spec’d Silverado in plain sight. Just like the Colorado ZR2 before it was released, Chevrolet Performance worked with Hall Racing to put the suspension of the ZR2 through its paces. Sporting a production body, an interior cage and working A/C the truck is wrapped in a sweet black and red design. The 1230 Silverado ZRX debuted at the 2019 Laughlin Desert Challenge and shocked everyone by finishing all six races entered in 2020.
Giant 70mm Multimatic DSSV shocks adorn all four corners of the Hall Racing ZRX. The front coil-overs are mounted on massive lower control arms that are damped by Chevrolet-branded hydraulic bumpstops. Drivetrain can only be speculated, but all signs point to the stout 6.2L V8 being mated to the 10-speed automatic, GM’s top of the line Silverado offering. Equipped with front and rear skid plates and rocker protection, there’s no guessing what this truck was designed for. While racing, the ZRX carries 2 full-size spares and a 50-gallon fuel cell, showing Chevrolet made sure the rear can handle payload while still being able to take whoops without a care.
Is it Good Enough?
“We used the same philosophy and approach of the ZL1 and Cadillac V-vehicles and approached this truck as a true performance vehicle, not just a badge or trim upgrade” says GM’s Chief Engineer of Performance Variants, Mark Dickens. “Some of our competitors just shove a huge engine in a vehicle, and there’s a cool factor to that, but that’s not us. We make the fastest, all-around, most integrated product.” While towing and payload numbers are still unreleased, GM seems to have checked all the boxes. Too little? Definitely not. Too late? That remains to be seen, but Ford just might find themselves on the bottom looking up.