OE Spotlight: Chevrolet’s Latest Off-Road Diesel Heavy-Duty Truck

If you’re into off-roading and you prefer your trucks to utilize a compression ignition, the folks at Chevrolet Trucks have just what you need. Meet the new 2024 Silverado HD ZR2 – the brand’s flagship heavy-duty off-road diesel. Elevating the Silverado HD’s off-road credentials to even further heights, the 2024 Silverado HD ZR2 Bison debuts as part of the Chevy Trucks family as well.

Chevrolet is now offering a trio of flagship, off-road performance pickup trucks for anyone ready to explore the trails: ZR2, Silverado 1500 ZR2, and the first-ever Silverado HD ZR2.

In addition to the refreshed 2024 HD lineup, Chevrolet added the HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison which brings race-proven technologies and enhanced off-road capability to the line. The specialized ZR2 Bison features unique equipment from premium off-road aftermarket manufacturer American Expedition Vehicles, for those seeking the ultimate capability in their adventures.

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The 2024 Silverado HD ZR2 Bison rock crawling on an off-road trail

“The all-new Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison provide the off-road performance our customers have come to expect from a ZR2, with the towing and payload capabilities our HD customers demand,” says Michael MacPhee, director of Chevrolet Trucks Marketing. “They also expand the Silverado HD lineup, offering more choices for customers to find the perfect truck for work and off-road adventure.”

Offered exclusively in the 2500 Crew Cab configuration — with the standard 6.6-liter gasoline engine or the available 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel — the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison leverage Chevrolet’s off-road racing success with a defined set of upgrades. Whether you prefer crawling trails, tackling tough terrain, or towing anything and everything, the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison can handle it all.

The Silverado HD ZR2 does this without sacrificing on-road comfort or heavy-duty truck capability, embracing the same hallmarks that make the Silverado 1500 ZR2 a winning combination.

The max payload for the Silverado HD ZR2 is 3,397 pounds with a gas engine, while the off-road diesel has a trailering rating of an impressive 18,500 pounds when equipped with the available Duramax Turbodiesel. With this capacity, nobody needs to leave behind any part of their adventure – big or small – when hitting the trail.

“The Silverado HD ZR2 is for those who want it all: For when you need to haul equipment to the job site during the week, then the camper and family off the beaten path on the weekend,” says Sahar Nasif, program engineering manager, Silverado HD ZR2. “It’s for those who want their tow rig to be just as cool as the toys it’s hauling.”

The HD ZR2 is instantly recognizable with the ZR2 family’s front grille, which represents the expressive styling the ZR2 family of trucks values. Unique wheel opening moldings featuring integrated mudguards, ZR2 badging on the grille bar and a higher stance further strengthen HD ZR2’s image. Both trucks also wear the “flow-tie” emblem. The suspension is raised approximately 1-1/2 inches on both the front and rear, compared to other Silverado HD four-wheel drive models.

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Frontal view of the Silverado HD ZR2’s interior.

Off-Road-Capable Features Include:

  • Specific front upper and lower control arms and specific steering knuckles
  • Multimatic DSSV Dampers
  • Larger steel transfer case skid plate and front aluminum skid plate
  • Rear e-locker
  • 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires mounted on 18 x 9-inch aluminum wheels.
  • HD ZR2 also includes a new Off-Road Mode, which incorporates learnings from the Colorado ZR2 and Silverado 1500 ZR2. When engaged, it adjusts various vehicle calibrations, such as the anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, to optimize their performance for off-road driving. In addition, Off-Road Mode alters throttle progression and transmission shifts, and the locking rear axle does not have a speed limitation.

HD ZR2 Bison: AEV Collaboration Raises The Off-Road Bar

  • The HD ZR2 Bison was developed in collaboration with AEV to provide a factory package for the most avid off-roaders. It builds on the HD ZR2’s standard features, adding:
  • Exclusive gloss black, 18-inch AEV wheels
  • Distinctive cut high-approach, stamped-steel front bumper with integrated recovery points and winch provisions
  • Unique stamped-steel cut rear bumper with recovery points
  • Tough, stamped steel underbody skid plates for the front of the vehicle, steering rack, exhaust, and transfer case
  • Bison models also receive unique exterior badging and other identifying cues, including the AEV logo on the front seat head restraints.
  • Additionally, both the HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison benefit from the functional features shared across the Silverado HD range, including the DuraBed cargo box that optimizes every square inch for maximum cargo capability, the corner step rear bumper, BedSteps, power tailgate, a 120-volt power outlet, available six-position Multi-Flex tailgate and more.

The Silverado HD ZR2’s racing-derived Multimatic spool-valve dampers are designed to blend maximum off-road capability with on-road comfort. Pioneered on the Colorado ZR2 racing program and torture-tested with the help of Chad Hall Racing in the Best in The Desert off-road racing series, their unique spool-valve design (with three separate spools), compared to conventional shim-type dampers, offers unlimited tuning variability to control damping. That translates into more precise damping performance, for a greater feeling of control on and off the road.

The Silverado HD ZR2 Bison is definitely capable of kicking up dust.

An Off-Road Diesel With A Redesigned Interior With ZR2 Flair

The HD ZR2 and ZR2 Bison also feature the 2024 Silverado HD lineup’s redesigned interior. Built for excellent work-ready functionality and next-level technology integration, the cabin boasts features HD truck buyers expect with a blend of premium materials and off-road prowess, as found in the Silverado 1500 ZR2.

The interior’s dark trim accents complement the Jet Black and Graystone leather-appointed surfaces. Care also went into selecting materials that are simple to wipe clean after a day in the dirt.

The instrument panel houses a best-in-class 13.4-inch-diagonal infotainment1 screen and an expansive 12.3-inch-diagonal configurable driver information center that becomes the focal point of the driver’s command center. The infotainment screen and other controls are also canted toward the driver, strengthening the command center perspective. Smart, off-road technology includes an available 15-inch Head-Up Display with an off-road inclinometer and HD Surround Vision7 for the Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison.

A redesigned wireless phone charger area as well as a flow-under console, which offers the spaciousness of a bench seat while retaining the functionality of a center console, round out HD ZR2’s efficient use of interior space.

If you’re ready for an off-road diesel truck that can do almost anything, we think we just found your next rig.

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Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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