Same supercharged beast, but this Blacklake XT1 adopts the refreshed Silverado’s face.
If you haven’t heard of Blacklake Research and Development before, here’s a quick primer. The Detroit-based team came about in 2021, with two OEM engineers’ mission to “design and engineer no compromise systems and vehicles” firmly in mind. In essence, they’re a team that goes balls to the wall with Chevrolet Silverado trucks, creating the TRX and Raptor-fighter GM currently doesn’t build (even with the ZR2)…if you can spare a couple hundred grand. Yes, including the truck itself, you’re looking at a $200,000-ish dollar bill, and prices head northward from there.
So what do you get for all that expense? Fundamentally, it appears the 2023 Blacklake XT1 retains the same badass character as last year’s version, just with the updates to match GM’s own refresh for the 2022+ Chevy Silverado 1500. That said, the upgrades Blacklake bakes into the truck here transform the truck from a decent off-road truck into a hardcore, high-speed baja runner.
Under the hood, you get a Magnuson/Lingenfelter TVS2650 supercharger, bolted to either the 5.3-liter or (ideally) the 6.2-liter V8. With that and an HP Tuners unlocked ECU, the truck can push up to 650 horsepower, putting it at least in the ballpark of the Ford F-150 Raptor R and the Ram 1500 TRX.
Behind the 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3s the Blacklake XT1 gets revised suspension. Up front, it has customized, XT1-specific A-arms to accommodate the 8-inch wider track and far more extreme suspension travel than the stock truck. In total, the modified truck brings 12.1 inches of front travel to the game, but kept some OEM components like the lower ball joints, bushings and spindles to make it easier to service at a Chevy dealer. You’ll find coil springs around back rather than leaf packs, but again Blacklake maintained some factory components (like the axle housing, axle gears and braking components) to maintain its feasibility as a daily driver.
Another trick the Blacklake XT1 has up its sleeve is a system called “Align-Lock”. It’s a mechanical device that helps keep the front of the truck in alignment as you crash over whoops and jumps. The XT1 also has JRi internal bypass front shocks with compression and rebound adjustment, as well as dual external reservoirs to dial in solid, controlled performance during high-speed runs.
We checked out Blacklake’s efforts last summer. You can check that out versus the standard Silverado ZR2 below: