This week Chevy introduced an off-road-ready Silverado built to compete in the Best in the Desert Racing series, debuting at the Laughlin Desert Classic this month. Chevy claims this Silverado is for engineering development and validation but if you read between the lines, Chevy is testing a Silverado ZR2 off-road package.
Chevy has a history of testing off-road truck trims in a race setting before rolling them out on showroom floors. Take for example the Colorado ZR2 Bison, Chevy raced a version of this truck in the 2017 season of the Best in the Desert Racing series before releasing a production version a year later. Based on this knowledge we expect a production-ready Silverado ZR2 in about a year.
The Off-road race Silverado Chevy is fielding this year competes in the 1200 Stock class, which limits changes to suspension, underbody, and installation of race-safety equipment. To keep the Silverado race truck safe on tough terrain the race truck is beefed up with rear shock skids, 35-inch off-road tires and skid plates covering the transfer case, steering gear, rear differential, and front underbody.
The Silverado race truck also uses long-travel suspension and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) dampers. These innovative dampers give the Colorado ZR2 serious off-road performance and their application on the Silverado will surely follow suit.
The team at Multimatic is very excited about the Silverado’s off-road racing future Michael Guttilla, executive vice president, Multimatic Engineering. “We’ve taken everything we learned from the highly successful Colorado ZR2 program and scaled it to deliver next-level performance in the Silverado. Initial on-truck development has been successful, but competition will provide a true test.”
With the current success of the Colorado ZR2 and the promise of the Silverado’s Best in the Desert Racing series, we have high hopes for a future Silverado ZR2. Can a ZR2 Silverado dethrone the mighty Raptor?