The Ford F-150 Raptor has enjoyed salesroom success for over a decade now, prompting Ram to create its own off-road-focused pickup, the TRX. And while Chevrolet has offered the Colorado ZR2 for years now, Ford’s cross-town rival has simply refused to give eager buyers a truly capable version of the full-size Silverado. That oversight has finally been corrected, however, as GM has just revealed the 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 after teasing the rugged pickup back in June.
The ZR2 benefits from all the enhancements present in the refreshed 2022 Silverado but adds a major dose of off-road capability to the mix. However, what it doesn’t present is any sort of upgraded powertrain – just the same 6.2L V8 available in the standard Silverado, which is rated to produce 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque – lagging behind the F-150 Raptor’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and its 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. The venerable V8 is mated to GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission.
Where the 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 does shine, however, is in the suspension department. There, GM has fitted it with a set of Multimatic 40mm DSSV dampers with three separate spool valves and three connected chambers for fluid flow, tuned springs designed to provide maximum suspension travel, front and rear e-lockers, unique chassis and suspension calibrations, and the addition of Terrain Mode, which provides one-pedal capability for tougher trails.
In addition to those goodies, the Silverado ZR2 also comes equipped with a skid plate package, 33-inch MT off-road tires, and a steel front bumper that improves the truck’s approach angle to 31.8 degrees and has removable end caps for those extra-rocky trails, which is also why the exhaust is tucked in instead of sticking out of the rear bumper like most trucks.
Otherwise, the ZR2 can be easily distinguished from its regular Silverado brethren thanks to a unique front grille with integrated lighting and a “flow-tie” emblem, a black hood insert, 18-inch wheels, dark trim, and an interior trimmed in Black and Graystone leather. Like the rest of the 2022 Silverado lineup, the ZR2 is currently scheduled to launch next spring.