There’s no denying that the off-road pickup truck and SUV scene has reached white-hot levels over the past couple of years. One needs to only examine the growth of trade shows such as Overland Expo, as well as the growing representation of these vehicles at the SEMA Show to understand where the money is going. American automakers have tuned in as well.
Over at FCA, We’ve got the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, along with the new 2021 Ram TRX and upcoming Jeep Wagoneer. At Ford, there’s the relaunch of the iconic Bronco, paired with the more approachable Bronco Sport, and various off-road packages for the Ranger, a new F-150 Raptor on the way, and a recent trademarking of the Excursion nameplate. Some may be fairly wondering where General Motors is in all of this, and to this we say stay tuned. First off, there’s the upcoming 2022 GMC Hummer EV truck and SUV, a next-generation Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and even an upcoming Chevrolet Silverado ZR2. And if it wasn’t clear enough that off-roading isn’t a major topic within GM product, we point you to this tactical Chevrolet Silverado rendering, shared by the official GM Design Instagram page.
Things get even more interesting when you realize who is the name behind the design of the Chevrolet Silverado. It’s Tyler Moffett, a young GM Design talent that has the exterior designs of the T1 Chevrolet Silverado and 31xx Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 to his name. By comparison, however, this tactical truck makes those production pickups look like rental cars.
While it’s likely not foreshadowing anything specific such as the 2023 Silverado ZR2, it does come at a curious time. Let’s go over why.
Firstly is that General Motors CEO Mary Barra has openly mentioned that the company is looking at various entries into the off-road vehicle space beyond what we currently see. That might not mean a direct rival to the Ford Bronco, though, but it will mean several flanking entries. Secondly, Chevrolet is seeking out further opportunities with American Expedition Vehicles, the high-end off-road upfitter that was highly involved in the development of the Colorado ZR2 Bison. Thirdly, there’s GM Defense. The military contract division of the automaker recently won the bid to produce a US Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), and is likely looking at other opportunities to implement its pickup truck production prowess into government service.
See? When it comes to the off-road space, there’s a lot going on at GM. Whatever comes next, we’ll be harkening back to this rendering to see if any of it managed to reach production in a future product. For now, just sit back and enjoy the show.