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The Special Silverado 1500 Made A Surprise Debut At The Laughlin Desert Classic Today

Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 ZRX
Image via Chevrolet

Today we see the first official look at the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 off-road truck via a special desert racing truck developed in conjunction with Hall Racing. The truck was revealed during the Laughlin Desert Classic this morning. Chevrolet says that this Silverado desert race truck will be used for engineering development and validation, much like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 race truck before it.

A single off-road race puts more wear and tear on trucks than most vehicles will experience in years, which makes the motorsport such an ideal test bed for production-intent research and development. This desert race truck in particular started life as a plain Jane Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss, powered by the 420 hp, 6.2L L87 V8 mated to a 10-speed automatic. Significant changes to this vehicle include long travel suspension, front and rear jounce shocks and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. For the Silverado desert race truck, the dampers have been scaled up for greater wheel travel and even greater control. As we first reported last month, the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 will also feature Multimatic DSSV dampers. The off-road truck will also feature both rear and front electronic locking differentials, as well as improved approach and departure angles. It’s expected to slot somewhere between the Ram 1500 Rebel and Ford F-150 Raptor in the marketplace.

This (unofficially confirmed) Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 prototype also features front and rear jounce shocks, rear shock skids, 35-inch off-road tires and skid plates covering the transfer case, steering gear, rear differential and front underbody. All of these parts are currently prototypes.

The truck will compete in Best in the Desert’s 1200 Stock class, which limits changes to suspension, underbody and installation of race-safety equipment.

Hall Racing will field both this Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado ZR2 desert race truck in six Best in the Desert races next year, along with the Mint 400. The ZR2 has competed in off-road racing since 2017. Driven by owner/racer Chad Hall himself, the Colorado ZR2 was one of only four of 434 vehicles to finish all 12 Best in the Desert races it competed in. In the process, the team developed a portfolio of 15 Colorado ZR2 race parts available through Chevrolet Performance. Many of those parts have since been integrated in to GM Defense’s Infantry Squad Vehicle selected for prototype testing and evaluation by the U.S. Army.

We expect this Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 prototype, 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and ZR2 desert racing truck to be at the 2019 SEMA Show in November, pending no major hangups.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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