Here's the Chevy Silverado ZR2 before It Goes on Sale
Thanks to Chevrolet's official winks, nods, and elbow jabs, you’re looking at a prototype of the most extreme Silverado testing in the Nevada desert. It's most definitely what will become the Silverado ZR2.
As it did in 2017 before launching the Colorado ZR2 Bison a year later, Chevy is back with Hall Racing, a local team that competes across Nevada’s expanse of mostly unregulated, anything-the-hell goes public land. Only this time, Chevy engineers have fed them a modified Silverado LT Trail Boss alongside the Colorado ZR2. Both will race this weekend in the Laughlin Desert Classic, a 17-mile bumpy ride near the Arizona border where 30 different classes of trucks, Jeeps, buggies, bikes, and quads will duke it out in the dirt. On record, the Silverado prototype is just there for “engineering development and validation.” That’s validation of a production Silverado ZR2, because no engineer tasked with developing a hardcore truck would eat sand and risk snake bites without seeing the real thing to completion.
The Silverado joins the Stock 1200 class in the Best in the Desert racing series, which Chevy says only allows changes to suspension, underbody, and safety equipment. The mods are similar to the ZR2 Bison, only upgraded to endure higher speeds and more brutal landings on the more powerful, heavier Silverado. They include long-travel springs, exotic Multimatic DSSV dampers with remote reservoirs, front and rear jounce shocks (heavy-duty pneumatic bump stops), 35-inch off-road tires, and skid plates for the rear shocks, rear differential, steering gear, transfer case, and the front underbody. That’s a significant bump from the stock Trail Boss, which pairs the Z71 Off-Road package’s skid plates, monotube shocks, locking rear differential, and street-friendly Goodyear Duratrac tires with a two-inch lift. The 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic transmission remain.
It took Chevy less than a year to launch the Colorado ZR2 Bison after debuting the ZR2 race truck (with the same red and black livery) at SEMA in 2017. Chevy has long needed a legit Ford Raptor competitor. Unless the UAW keeps up the good fight, expect a street-ready Silverado ZR2 (or whatever name it might have) by the end of 2020.