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This Program Has Been On The Drawing Board, However

Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 ZRX
Image via Chevrolet

A T1 Chevrolet Silverado with a supercharged V8 engine would be nice, wouldn’t it? And that’s the subject for the big story of the day, as TFL received recent intel that General Motors is working on fitting a supercharged V8 engine into either a new pickup truck or SUV based on the T1 platform. This is a broad detail, although it validates what we’ve reported on nearly a full year ago today. The outlet has been keen on breaking several future product details lately, and of course, they’re technically correct in this case. However, we’d like to add to the report with intel that only MC&T can provide at this time.

For those wondering, we understand that the “supercharged V8” is none other than the LT4, a 6.2L supercharged small block V8 engine that can only be found in one vehicle in production right now: the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It was otherwise found in the C7 Corvette Z06 and third-generation Cadillac CTS-V. Depending on the application, it produced between 640-650 horsepower. Indeed, it would be a great addition to GM’s full-size truck and SUV family. We’d love to see a Chevrolet Tahoe SS, or a new Chevrolet Silverado SS.

Unfortunately, future use of the LT4 will be severely limited.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum
Photo copyright

If you’ve been watching this space, we’ve already reported on the T1 program involving a supercharged V8 engine that GM is working on: the Cadillac Escalade. Whether it’s called the Escalade-V or the Escalade-V Blackwing remains a fluid situation, but it’s nevertheless on the way. At this time, we understand that there are no plans to fit the LT4 into the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, or GMC Yukon.

Being the first outlet to exclusively report on the LT4’s involvement in the GM T1 truck and SUV program, we also need to elaborate that absolutely nothing has changed with this plan. The Escalade is the only vehicle that’s been approved to receive the LT4 at the time of this writing.

In fact, the only recent updates to the T1 portfolio is that short-term product debuts have been delayed a few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the 2022 model year refresh to the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which are expected to adopt interior designs found in the new Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

Supercharged Chevrolet Silverado
Photo copyright

That said, we understand that there is otherwise indeed a supercharged Chevrolet Silverado program pending review with LT4 power. But the program has neither been approved, nor canceled. And this has been the case for at least a year now. Unfortunately, the longer GM mulls it over, the less likely it will become a reality.

GM has otherwise approved an off-road variant of the Chevrolet Silverado, and was teased during the 2019 SEMA Show as the Hall Racing Chevrolet Silverado race truck. It features Multimatic DSSV dampers and other off-road suspension hardware found in the smaller Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We will have more details on this truck program shortly.

Considering the massive hole that the COVID-19 pandemic will leave on GM’s balance sheet, it’s hard to think that the automaker will have much of an appetite for increasing any spending involved in developing an LT4 for use in its trucks. Couple that with current “all electric future” marching orders, and it’s easy to speculate that GM would rather spend its money on a Silverado EV, rather than a supercharged Silverado SS.

Be sure to stay tuned to MC&T as this product timeline continues to develop, as well as for the latest GM pickup truck and SUV news.

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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