Last week was the 2021 SEMA Show, and we’re still reflecting on what a show it was. We saw a Ford Bronco with tank treads. We saw a supercharged C8 Corvette Stingray that actually functions, as well as the new Z06. We also saw a three-row Jeep Wrangler, a supercharged Duramax engine, a pocket rocket Ford Maverick, and of course, the Silverado-based, LT4-powered Chevy Beast Concept. And if you asked nicely, you’d get a tour of it.
Our friend Zane Merva at GM-Trucks.com spoke with GM Performance Vehicles engineer Tim Demetrio about the vehicle, and in the process, we learned more about the heritage of this super truck, the requirements to make it road legal, and even if Chevrolet is thinking about building it.
Chevy Beast Concept: The Inspiration Behind This LT4-Powered Off-Road Vehicle
The Chevy Beast, yes, that’s its name, looks eerily similar to Halo’s Warthog vehicle, just as Hoonigan already created a look-a-like for that toy. And if you think it looks a bit like a bigger, bolder version of the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), you’re not wrong.
If you recall, GM Defense was awarded $214 million to delivery 649 infantry vehicles to the US Army by the end of 2024. The GM Defense ISV shares a lot of its hardware with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, but is light enough to be sling loaded by a UH-60 Blackhawk, and small enough to be able to be loaded on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. It’s the GM Defense ISV, which will be built in a new facility in North Carolina, that inspired the Chevy Beast Concept.
The Chevy Beast concept takes that oversized ORV philosophy, and applies it to a shortened Chevrolet Silverado 1500 chassis.
Chevy Beast Production Viability: Will GM Build It?
Additionally, in the video, Demetrio speaks to whether we will actually see it on the streets in the future, retorting with “how many do you want, how much you wanna pay?”
Well, Chevy, since Ford is gonna sell a $200,000+ V8 Ford Bronco race truck, how much are you willing to charge?
Demetrio mentioned in the video that the Chevy Beast Concept was not too far away from being street legal as shown. It would need an actual windshield, a defroster, fender flares that cover the tires, and windshield wipers. The LT4-powered off-road vehicle also features a “producible” suspension system. Keen observes may also have noticed that the steering wheel appears to be from the C8 Corvette parts bin.
“Make your voices heard,” says Demetrio in the video.
It’s clear the reason the Chevy Beast made it to the SEMA show floor to gauge customer interest in this wonderful surprise, which stands to be the closest thing to a supercharged Chevrolet Silverado we’re likely going to get.
As a refresh: the Chevy Beast Concept puts out 650 Horsepower thanks to an LT4 supercharged V8 engine that connects to a 10L90 10-speed transmission; the same setup you’d find in a sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Beast sits on 20-inch beadlock capable wheels engulfed in 37-inch off-road tires. Inside it features two 7-inch digital monitors to help monitor performance as well as Recaro racing seats with four-point harnesses.