It's the perfect place to test a go-faster, rugged truck.
Chevrolet is serious about proving that the upcoming Silverado ZR2 will be the most hardcore truck ever. This is Chevrolet's first time competing in the segment, and naturally, it wants to kick off with a bang.
Last month, Chevy entered a pre-production model into the Best In The Desert Off-Road Racing Series to prove its credentials. This was not its first race, however. Since 2019, the prototype truck has competed in ten sanctioned off-road races.
Each time, off-road racing champion, Chad Hall, was behind the wheel. This isn't just a marketing exercise, as the prototype competes in the stock production class of every race. Hall gives the engineering team his feedback, which is then used to develop components for the upcoming production car.
"At Chevrolet, our motorsports philosophy is 'sell what you race, and race what you sell.' Competing in off-road racing puts our trucks and performance parts through extreme levels of abuse that most trucks will never encounter," said Dom Lester, General Motors chief engineer for Performance Variants, Parts, and Motorsports Engineering. "The Silverado ZR2 is a perfect example of how that strategy delivers. We applied what we learned with Chad Hall's experience in the prototype race truck to the production truck customers buy in the showroom."
Think of it as the truck equivalent of doing thousands of Nurburgring laps. This might even be more impressive than Green Hell development, considering Chevrolet has been at it for more than two years. In the last race, the ZR2 raced from Vegas to Reno without any issue. It only stopped for fuel.
According to Chevrolet, the production and racing trucks share most of their chassis and drivetrain components: the ladder-frame, 6.2-liter V8, transfer case, differentials, skid plates, and ten-speed gearbox.
The ZR2 will be available from spring 2022. Chevrolet released some key details earlier this month, but in case you missed it, the ZR2 will have Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, model-specific springs that allow for more suspension travel, 33-inch off-road tires, a model-specific one-pedal rock-crawling mode, and a new steel front bumper that improves the approach angle.