Chevrolet Silverado Transforms Into Off-Road Racing Beast

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This truck is ready to compete.

Chevrolet recently revealed a facelift for the 2021 Colorado pickup truck, which includes the off-road-oriented ZR2 and ZR2 Bison versions. Chevrolet Performance built the ZR2 to compete in the Best in the Desert Racing series and has now debuted a new racing truck based on the larger Silverado 1500. As with the Colorado, the Silverado Race Truck will be used for engineering development and validation with some of the components making their way into the production models.

"Off-road racing is just brutal on vehicles," said Mark Dickens, chief engineer of Government Programs, Performance Variants, Parts, and Motorsports. "And a single race puts more wear and tear on trucks than most vehicles will experience in years. That makes off-road racing a valuable testbed to evaluate new components. What we learn while racing informs everything from future performance parts and accessories to GM Defense projects and production vehicle changes."


The ZR2, driven by Chad Hall of Hall Racing, has competed since 2017 and is one of only four of 434 vehicles to finish all 12 Best in the Desert races it entered. During these races, the Chevy team developed 15 Colorado ZR2 parts that are now available for customers to buy through Chevrolet Performance. Many of those same parts have also been tested on GM Defense's Infantry Squad Vehicle to be used by the US Army.

The Silverado Race Truck started life off as an LT Trail Boss model but was equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is an interesting change because the standard LT Trail Boss model is only available with a 5.3-liter V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic. Chevy also added long-travel suspension, front and rear jounce shocks, and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) dampers. Those dampers were initially used on the ZR2 and have proven to be extremely tough off-road. For the Silverado, Chevy scaled up the dampers for longer wheel travel and even greater control.

2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Front Angle View Chevrolet
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"This is the next evolution of the DSSV off-road damper," said Michael Guttilla, executive vice president, Multimatic Engineering. "We've taken everything we learned from the highly successful Colorado ZR2 program and scaled it to deliver next-level performance in the Silverado. Initial on-truck development has been successful, but competition will provide the true test."

"I'm incredibly proud of what the team has accomplished with the Colorado ZR2 race truck, and I'm excited to see what the Silverado is capable of," said Chad Hall of Hall Racing. "With Colorado ZR2, we cut four hours off our race time from our first Vegas to Reno race to our second. When you marry that suspension design and expertise with the Silverado's 420-hp V8 and even greater suspension travel, I believe this new race truck will be a beast on the race course."


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2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Front Angle View

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