The Ford Raptor has dominated the off-road truck market for over a decade. Last year, Ram joined the market with its 700-plus hp desert racer, the TRX. In 2022, GM is finally making an appearance. This year, Chevy is adding the ZR2 off-road treatment to its Silverado. This truck has a high-country sporting front and rear e-lockers, a special facia and the multimatic DSSV damped shocks already found on the mid-size Colorado ZR2. But is it a competitor for the king of the desert racers title? In short, no. It’s simply not the over-the-top off-roader that the other two are. However, I can see the appeal after driving it in California, and I think Chevy may have hit the sweet spot.
What sets a Silverado ZR2 apart from a standard Silverado are the suspension upgrades, enhanced off-road technology and bodywork developed for off-road performance and capability for desert running or rock crawling. This off-road trait is balanced with everyday driving comfort, and it supports comparable payload and trailering found in other Silverado off-road trims. The maximum payload of a Silverado ZR2 is 1,440 lb. Its maximum towing capacity is 8,900 lb.
Silverado ZR2 highlights include the following:
- Standard 6.2L V-8 delivering 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission
- Multimatic 40mm DSSV spool-valve dampers, which feature
- Three separate spool valves to control damping
- Three connected chambers for fluid flow
- Uniquely tuned springs that, with the multimatic dampers, increase maximum front and rear suspension travel, compared to the Silverado Trail Boss
- Front and rear e-lockers
- Specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations, including Terrain Mode, which allows one-pedal rock crawling
- 33-inch off-road MT tires
- Unique skid plate package
- New high-approach steel front bumper designed for off-road strength and clearance
- 31.8-degree approach angle
Its unique bumper has removable end caps for easier replacement in the event of close encounters with rocks or other off-road objects. The dual exhaust has been lifted and ends before the rear bumper to eliminate potential damage.
In addition to its functional features, the Silverado ZR2 is distinguished by several aesthetic cues, including a new black hood insert, a unique grille with integrated lighting and a “flow-tie” emblem, ZR2 badges, unique 18-inch wheels and a unique jet black/graystone leather-trimmed interior, with complementing dark trim. We welcome this new addition to the Silverado family, one that’s very capable off-road while not punishing the owner on-road – or in the wallet.
That’s not all for 2022…
Chevrolet has bigger news, maybe even bigger than the new Silverado ZR2. The last time the Silverado had a generational update was in 2019. At the time, the truck and its powertrains were well received – the interior, though, was not. Customers have been very vocal about this “miss”.
Chevrolet has refreshed the interior on the Silverado LT trim and above, incorporating new materials into a design that gives the cabin a spacious and premium feel. The new interior is rooted in a driver-oriented instrument panel that features a 13.4-inch horizontal touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital, configurable instrument cluster. The 2021 model’s instrument panel has been replaced with horizontal lines and floating elements that enhance the feeling of spaciousness in the Silverado’s cabin.
Additionally, the new centre console has an available electronic shift controller in models with bucket seats.
The new look and feel of the interior are elevated with new colours, seat designs and more premium materials throughout. That’s especially true for the top-level High Country trim, which features new and unique elements, including:
- Authentic open-pore wood trim on the console, upper glove box and doors
- Standard leather seating surfaces with an exclusive custom perforation and stitching pattern
- Stainless steel speaker grilles with the Bose premium audio system, standard on high-country and LTZ
- Two interior colour choices, jet black or nightshift blue
That new infotainment screen is the centrepiece of the more intuitive technology in a Silverado and is paired with a new digital, configurable instrument cluster. The configurable cluster and infotainment display are designed to offer new personalization and intuitive interaction levels. The available rear camera mirror and head-up display take a total of four technologically advanced screens, each helping provide an engaging and comprehensive driving experience. Additionally, all Silverado trims, from LT and above, are equipped with Google built-in compatibility. With it, you can control certain vehicle functions by saying ‘Hey Google’ or pressing the ‘push to talk button on the steering wheel. Use your voice to call or text, listen to music, set reminders, or even change the temperature.
Another new feature for 2022 is the addition of Super Cruise to Silverado. First debuted on Cadillac as the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance technology, it’s now available on Silverado High Country. It can be used on more than 200,000 miles (320,000 km) of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada.
Super Cruise employs advanced technology, including a Driver Attention System and precision LiDAR map data. The Driver Attention System uses a small camera located on the top of the steering column. It works with infrared lights to determine where the driver is looking whenever Super Cruise is in operation. If the Driver Attention System detects the driver’s gaze has turned away from the road ahead for too long, the steering wheel light bar will prompt the driver to return their attention to the road. If the system determines continued inattentiveness, it will use visible and audible alerts to notify the driver to take back control of the wheel. Super Cruise can be used when trailering with the Silverado, with specific calibrations designed to account for the additional drag and increased braking distance that comes with trailering. Lane Change on Demand and Automatic Lane Change are also available with Super Cruise when not trailering.
These new Chevrolet Silverado trucks are available now at dealers across the country.