2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut

Chevrolet has announced that the new Silverado ZR2 will make its racing debut at the ‘Best In The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic’ race

Chevy introduced the Silverado ZR2 recently as its flagship off-road truck. Now, the company is putting money where its mouth is by having it compete in the upcoming ‘Best In The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic’ race. It might be the truck’s official racing debut, but the prototypes have been taking part in such competitions since 2019. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see how the Silverado ZR2 performs at the event.

The Silverado ZR2’s Racing Debut Comes At The Back Of Some Experience

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut
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Chevy noted that Off-road racing champion Chad Hall has been competing in the full-size stock production class with a prototype Silverado ZR2 since 2019. The truck has already competed in 10 professionally sanctioned off-road races, including the legendary Vegas to Reno Best In The Desert race held last month.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut
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The production-spec ZR2’s entry doesn’t come as a surprise as Chevy will try to enroll it into as many competitions as possible to build some credibility. An off-road truck’s prowess can only be proven when people see how it does at events like the ‘Best In The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic’. The automaker noted that for the race debut, it has only updated the ZR2’s sheet metal. All the other stuff like chassis, suspension, and the powertrain components are retained as it is.

What They Had To Say

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut
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GM’s Chief Engineer for Performance Variants, Parts, and Motorsports Engineering, Dom Lester, said,

“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”.

He even noted that the company has applied Chad Hall’s experience in the prototype race truck since 2019 to the production version to make it as good of an off-road performer as it would be on the road.

What’s So Special About The Chevy Silverado ZR2?

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 All Set To Make Its Racing Debut
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Chevy’s flagship off-roader comes with quite a few interesting features, like:

  • A 6.2-liter, V-8 engine
  • 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque
  • 10-speed automatic gearbox
  • Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers
  • Increase maximum front and rear suspension travel when compared to the Silverado Trail Boss
  • Front and rear e-lockers, transfer case
  • Maximum towing capacity – 8,900 pounds
  • Maximum payload capacity – 1,440 pounds
  • Terrain Mode with one-pedal rock crawling
  • Unique skid plate package with front skid plate and transfer case skid plate
  • 18-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch off-road MT tires
  • Approach angle – 31.8 degrees; Breakover angle – 23.4 degrees; Departure angle – 23.3 degrees
  • Ground Clearance – 11.2 inches; Wheelbase – 147.5 inches
  • Chevy “flow-tie” emblem for increased air flow
  • Black hood insert, a unique grille with integrated lighting, wheel moldings, and ZR2 badges
  • Jet Black/Graystone leather-trimmed interior with complementing dark trim
  • Expected to start around $55,000
  • Goes on sale in spring 2022
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Sidd Dhimaan
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Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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The first-ever Silverado ZR2, Chevy’s flagship off-road truck, makes its official racing debut in the Best In The Desert King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic, but this truck is no stranger to competition.

Off-road racing champion Chad Hall has been competing in the full-size stock production class with a prototype Silverado ZR2 since 2019. Working with Chevrolet engineers, the team leverages racing to test and validate the truck’s off-road performance in some of the most extreme and grueling conditions in the world. The learnings are then used to develop components for production vehicles and performance parts.

“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.”

Since 2019, the prototype ZR2 race truck has competed in 10 professionally-sanctioned off-road races, including the legendary Vegas to Reno Best In The Desert race last month – the truck had a flawless race, stopping only to refuel. For the race debut today, the team simply updated the truck with ZR2 sheet metal to match the new production truck. All other major chassis, suspension and powertrain components are the same.

Links between the production truck and the race truck are significant as they share most of the major chassis and drivetrain components, including the robust, ladder-type frame, 420-horsepower 6.2L V-8 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, transfer case, front and rear differential, front skid plate and transfer case skid plate.

“It was exciting to help Chevrolet prove the Silverado ZR2’s off-road capability, hiding the prototype technologies in plain sight,” said Hall. “The tests and refinements made over the past couple of years absolutely prove the adage that racing improves the breed — making the production Silverado ZR2 a strong, capable off-road truck.”

First-ever Silverado ZR2

The 2022 Silverado ZR2 leads Chevy’s factory-lifted off-road lineup, offering race-proven off-road performance matched with a new, premium interior, immersive technology and a number of standard safety equipment features1 in a comprehensive package.

Suspension upgrades, enhanced off-road technology and exterior enhancements were developed to optimize off-road performance and capability — whether desert running or rock crawling — and balance everyday driving comfort, with payload and trailering capabilities comparable to other Silverado off-road trims. The ZR2’s max payload is 1,440 pounds2 and the conventional trailer weight rating is 8,900 pounds3.

Additional highlights include:

Standard 6.2L V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission
Silverado-first application of Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, which feature:
Three separate spool valves to control damping
Three connected chambers for fluid flow
Uniquely-tuned springs that, with the Multimatic dampers, increase maximum front and rear suspension travel, compared to the Silverado Trail Boss
Front and rear e-lockers
Specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations, including Terrain Mode, which allows one-pedal4 rock crawling
Specific 33-inch off-road MT tires
Unique skid plate package
New high-approach steel front bumper designed for off-road strength, durability and clearance, enabling an improved 31-degree approach angle, compared to other Silverado off-road models.
Chevy “flow-tie” emblem for increased air flow
Repositioned dual exhaust for added protection

Along with its functional features, the new Silverado ZR2 is distinguished by several aesthetic cues, including a new black hood insert, a unique grille with integrated lighting, wheel moldings, ZR2 badges, unique 18-inch wheels and an exclusive Jet Black/Graystone leather-trimmed interior with complementing dark trim.

The Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 goes on sale in spring 2022.

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