Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 goes racing to get better

·2-min read

in 2017, Chevrolet teamed with Hall Racing to develop the Colorado ZR2 using a real race team doing hardcore off-road races. In 2019, without anyone realizing, Chevrolet teamed up with Hall Racing again to develop the Silverado ZR2. The full-sized race truck has done 10 races so far, Chevy finally taking its engineering trials public with the ZR2's entry in the Best In The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic last weekend. The truck finished first in its class, 12th in its group. The truck is, admittedly, the only entry in its class. The four-man team of Chad Hall, Chris Woo, Nick Holmer and Waqas Shafi piloted without hiccup, we're told, the ZR2 racer only needing to stop for fuel, so it probably looked like the pickup in the above promo video most of the time.

Of course, the adage that racing improves the breed necessarily includes breakdowns as well; it's better for engineers to figure out how a truck breaks than for owners to. The ZR2 has had its share of DNFs as well, such as in last year's Vegas to Reno event. That must have been an especially challenging race — out of 18 pages of results, six pages are the entries that didn't finish. At the other end, the Hall Team's Colorado ZR2 finished first in class (a class of two), so it's clear the package works.

The Silverado ZR2 and the production truck, which goes on sale in spring 2022, share their major chassis and performance components, differing only in sheetmetal and interiors. That means the race truck is beating up on the same 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic, transfer case, front and rear differentials, skid plates, and DSSV spool dampers as the pickup headed to dealer lots. The Silverado Trail Boss will become the off-road prince to the ZR2's kingship when that happens, the ZR2 upping the stakes over the Trail Boss with 33-inch tires, slightly larger than the Trail Boss' 32s, that help give the ZR2 the best ground clearance of the Silverado range of 11.2 inches.

And finally, there's that new Silvy interior, much nicer than what's found in the race truck and even the old Silverado, frankly.

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