Chevrolet relaunched its off-road focused ZR2 trim on the mid-size Colorado pickup back in 2017 but hasn’t bothered to apply it to the full-size Silverado thus far. However, that is apparently changing, as the automaker has teased the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 with a short video and a single photo of the truck’s badge. This more rugged version of the Silverado will compete directly with the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram TRX, although with a bit of an asterisk.
The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 will feature the same new front fascia and interior design as the rest of the Silverado family, along with the requisite host of upgrades designed to make it more capable off the pavement. This will center around a trick suspension system designed for hardcore off-roading, but the ZR2 is expected to be powered by the same atmospheric 6.2L L98 V8 as the regular Silverado.
Currently, that engine is rated to produce 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, which places it a bit behind the Raptor’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and its rating of 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, and far behind the forthcoming Ford F-150 Raptor R and its 5.2L Predator V8, which is expected to produce around 725 horsepower. The ZR2’s V8 will also likely be backed up exclusively by Chevy’s 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Regardless, the Silverado 1500 ZR2 should follow in the Colorado ZR2’s footsteps with some serious suspension upgrades. The current mid-size model features a two-inch lift, front and rear locking differentials, Multimatic spool-valve dampers, and a host of additional upgrades. We can expect much of the same from the Silverado 1500 ZR2, including larger off-road rubber, skid plates, and other goodies that make it more capable than the existing Trail Boss model.
— Chevy Trucks (@ChevyTrucks) June 30, 2021
Given how red hot the off-road vehicle market is right now, it’s certainly no surprise that Chevy is expanding its offerings in that regard. The only real surprise is why it took so long for it to join the party.