Silverado ZR2 Takes On The Desert

The Silverado ZR2 has something that no other full-size truck offers.

Silverado ZR2

The New Silverado ZR2: Is It Enough?

Last week, we tested the new Silverado ZR2 in the desert terrain that surrounds Palm Springs. The ZR2 sits at the top of Chevy’s off-road offerings, going a step beyond the Trail Boss.

A familiar 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 powers the rugged 1500. Though the engine isn’t up to the task of taking down the 702 horsepower TRX or even the 450 horse Raptor, it has plenty of character. Naturally aspirated sound and a healthy 460 lb-ft of torque were more than enough to get our hearts beating over desert terrain.

It’s hard to overstate just how good the 6.2 sounds in person. The ZR2’s 10-speed transmission puts power to the ground with selectable front and rear lockers. Silverado ZR2 is, in fact, the only full-size truck that comes from the factory with two selectable lockers.

Off-Road Performance, And Plenty Of It

Full lockers served us well any time a wheel met the air. Chevy’s one-pedal crawling feature made slow speed maneuvering a simple task.

What impressed us most were the ZR2’s Multimatic DSSV dampers. Spool valve shocks make quick work of washboard roads and choppy terrain. Time and time again we drove over natural features that had us bracing for impact, only to glide right over them without hesitation.

If 31.8 degrees of approach angle ever falls short, the ZR2 features an aluminum skid plate underneath its nose. Exhaust tips also tuck close to the chassis to keep out of harm’s way.

Rugged Styling And Much Needed Tech

At a glance, this new Silverado doesn’t look dramatically different from a Trail Boss. Look closer, and you’ll find a unique hood, 33″ Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT’s and a unique steel bumper. Though the ZR2 is has a slightly wider stance than a standard Silverado, it isn’t a full widebody truck.

Off-road technology thankfully includes a surround view camera. Without the forward facing view, obstacles disappear behind the truck’s blocky hood.

The Silverado does boast up to 1,440lbs payload and 8,900lbs of towing. Of the three top off-road trucks from each U.S. manufacturer, the ZR2 can tow the most. Pricing starts at $69,245 including destination. That is less expensive than it’s widebody competitors, but not by a ton. The Raptor starts at $70,370.

For the money, you do get a good all-around truck with tons of standard capability and features. Check out the video linked below to see the Silverado ZR2 in action.