Off-Road Racing Chevrolet Silverado Prototypes Could Lead to V-8 Ford Raptor Fighter

This is the same tactic GM used when developing the Colorado ZR2 a few years back.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Bison Teaser Hero
Justin Cesler for GM

It looks like a hardcore, off-road-oriented Chevrolet Silverado is in the works as the automaker just announced a decked-out version of the half-ton truck will make its motorsports debut at the Laughlin Desert Classic race in Arizona. Even though the Silverado participating is specially built, it likely foreshadows the release of a future production model similar to when Chevrolet developed the ZR2 Bison.

Not too long ago, GMC revealed its Sierra AT4 pickup, the General’s most recent take on a Ram Rebel competitor. Since then, rumors began to circulate that Chevy could follow suit given the two brands' close ties. Now, it seems as if Chevy engineers are putting the potential new Silverado's modifications to work by benchmarking it in the Sonoran Desert—AKA Ford Raptor territory.

Chevrolet

"Off-road racing is just brutal on vehicles, and a single race puts more wear and tear on trucks than most vehicles will experience in years,” said Mark Dickens, chief engineer for Chevy's government programs, performance variants, parts, and motorsports. "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.”

All-terrain, 35-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires are fitted to the race truck along with a 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. Power is sent to a 10-speed automatic transmission before finding its way to a locking rear differential. In addition to the brutish engine, the headlining feature for the Hall Racing-ran pickup comes in the form of prototype Multimatic DSSV dampers, which have been beefed up to support the heftier Silverado.

All of this equipment is expected to find its way onto the production truck, which Car and Driver is confident will hit dealer lots by the end of 2020.

“This is the next evolution of the DSSV off-road damper,” explained Michael Guttilla, Multimatic Engineering executive vice president, in a statement. “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.”

Chevrolet

Interested? Then mark your calendars because the hotted-up Silverado could make a surprise debut at SEMA in just a few weeks—if the UAW doesn't put a stop to it first.