CHEVROLET SILVERADO ZRX: EXCLUSIVE DETAILS ON THE NEW GM OFF-ROAD TRUCK

The Silverado Lineup Will Continue To Push Deeper Into The Trails With More Capability

We recently brought to light that General Motors will significantly improve its trucks from the 2021 model year onward, starting with interior improvements for the T1 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks. However, that’s just the beginning. Sources familiar with General Motors truck plans have indicated that the pickup portfolio will include more off-road variants, as market demand continues to push further into this space. And we’ll see that with the Chevrolet Silverado ZRX.

MC&T has learned that Chevrolet aims to take the fight to both the full-size Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram 1500 Rebel by fitting the Silverado with improved off-road suspension, Multimatic DSSV dampers, rear and front electronic locking differentials, as well as improved approach and departure angles. If this sounds a lot like the formula for the Chevy Colorado ZR2, it’s because it is. We expect amazing off-road capabilities from the Silverado ZRX.

Silverado ZRX: this, but bigger.

However, like the smaller Colorado, don’t expect anything in terms of power upgrades. General Motors currently has two perfectly fine supercharged small block V8 warheads in the arsenal with the 650 hp LT4 and 755 hp LT5, but the company continues to be hyper-conservative in applying them.

Meanwhile, FCA has the opposite strategy with the upcoming Ram Rebel TRX, as it will be fitted with the famous 700+ horsepower Hellcat supercharged V8 engine. And the people love it.

The F-150 Raptor may still jump higher than the Silverado ZRX. But the Chevy will at least sound better.

As a small breadcrumb, General Motors recently trademarked the “ZRX” name to use on automobiles during the weekend of the 2019 Woodward Dream Cruise. Further details, such as pricing and reveal date, are unknown at this time. That said, rollout is scheduled for the 2022 model year. Considering what Chevrolet did with the Colorado ZR2, we may very well see this vehicle in concept form before the real thing.

Outside speculation is that ZRX would be a type of street performance truck, as it first appeared in the 2000’s as a trim level for GMC Sonoma, which came with a unique suspension system and bodywork. We understand that this new application will bear no historical relevance to a street-oriented performance pickup.

Without any power upgrades, this would mean that the forthcoming Chevrolet Silverado ZRX will, at most, feature a naturally aspirated 6.2L L87 small block V8 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission. That’s good for 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. That’s plenty for most people, but shy of the 450 hp/510 lb-ft EcoBoost output of the F-150 Raptor. If Chevrolet does not price the Silverado ZRX accordingly, its efforts in providing the market an off-road truck could be seen as too little, too late.

That said, the USP for the Silverado ZRX is the likelihood of offering the 277 hp, 460 lb-ft 3.0L Duramax LM2 diesel engine. This is significant because where Ford and Ram both offer diesels in their full-size pickups, they so far have kept them out of their off-road variants. Whereas Chevrolet has shown it’s not shy in doing so with the smaller Colorado ZR2. Lastly, Chevrolet has built a relationship with American Expedition Vehicles with the special Colorado ZR2 Bison project. We wouldn’t rule out a second collaboration between the two companies with the incoming Silverado ZRX.

The Silverado Trail Boss is just the beginning.

What do you think?

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Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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  1. Will the truck be available with a regular cab configuration? I prefer the classic look of the regular cab and the short wheel base makes for better off roading and parking in the city

  2. This is a funny article. Chevys new truck w a 6+ liter motor can’t keep up with ford 6 cyl turbo. That is not a competitor. If ford put a big motor in their truck it would waste the Chevy. Rewrite your article. It’s lacking in impartially. Ford dominates for a reason. It’s a better truck. In every way. Had both but will not buy Chevy again. It’s not up to par with a ford. Owner of 2 f150s,1 f350 and a ford ranger.

    • You are certainly entitled to your biased opinion. My “old” 2016 Sierra with a 6.2 smokes Raptors. On video. On youtube. So don’t lie. And it’s not a better truck. That’s only your opinion. In mine it is not. GM makes the best truck. Even the ZR2 beats Raptors. On video. So you can keep your bias, but it has been proven otherwise.

  3. Its Chevy so it won’t even be close to the Raptor. Yeah they make a cool concept truck but once it goes into production it’ll become all watered down and crappy just like every other Chevy product.

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