Did GM just back out of what could’ve been an epic three-way battle?

Full-size performance off-road trucks are picking up heat lately and it has piqued the interest of truck manufacturers and aftermarket companies alike. There was just one significant production-truck – the Ford F-150 Raptor – in this niche until recently, but Ram joined the fray with the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. We knew that Ram was working on the Raptor-killer even since it unveiled the TRX concept back in 2016, but there was also news about Chevy working on a product to take on these two.

However, Muscle Cars and Trucks has now reported that what we thought would be Chevy’s offering to the segment is just an off-road truck that won’t go up against the Raptor and the TRX.

’ZR2’ Over ‘ZRX’ Seems Like The Right Move

2018 Chevrolet Silverado RST Off-Road Concept
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A lot of folks were expecting the truck to be monikered the ZRX, but it looks like the truck under development is actually the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2.

GM may have trademarked the ‘ZRX’ nomenclature, but ZR2 seems to be the final choice, which seems right because ZRX sounds too similar to the TRX and might suggest a rip-off version of the latter. Also, like the outlet mentions, the ZR2 has settled itself as GM’s off-road truck and it’s better to make this badge more prominent than introducing a new name that has no credibility at the moment.

A Chevy Rival To The Raptor and TRX Would’ve Been Fun

New Info On the Chevy Silverado ZR2 Proves It Won't Compete With the Ram 1500 TRX or Ford F-150 Raptor
- image 933348
The truck will not take on the Ram TRX and F-150 Raptor, but it will still be a heavy off-roader.

This means it won’t be as agile as the Ram and Ford - both of them hitting the 60 mph mark in 4.5- and 5.1 seconds respectively – and it won’t have an astonishing amount of horses also, perhaps. As it was earlier rumored, GM was going to plonk the supercharged version of the 6.2-liter, V-8 mill that it uses even in the Camaro and the Corvette. It was expected to churn out around 700 horses, which is in line with the Ram 1500 TRX.

However, the publication reports that we’ll get the standard 6.2-liter L87 V-8 mill that makes 420 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque. In fact, it won’t even be offered with the company’s fantastic 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine that would’ve been odd, but a rather good fit here.

What To Expect From The Upcoming Chevy Silverado ZR2?

New Info On the Chevy Silverado ZR2 Proves It Won't Compete With the Ram 1500 TRX or Ford F-150 Raptor
- image 933349

The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 is based on the truck that was showcased at the 2019 SEMA Show. This concept was an outfitted version of the Silverado LT Trail Boss that featured the 6.2-liter, V-8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It was then equipped with long-travel suspension, front and rear shocks, high-capacity DSSV dampers, and 35-inch off-road tires amongst other things. For now, stuff that could feature on the 2023 Silverado ZR2 production version includes:

  • Front and rear locking differentials
  • Improved off-road suspension
  • Next-gen Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • New front and rear bumper designs
  • Better approach and departure angles
  • Revised interior, especially the dash layout and the center console

Final Thoughts

New Info On the Chevy Silverado ZR2 Proves It Won't Compete With the Ram 1500 TRX or Ford F-150 Raptor
- image 933350

The Silverado ZR2 was initially a 2022 model year, but the COVID situation threw a spanner in the works and the whole plan was delayed by a year. So, if things go as per the latest plan and the automaker doesn’t encounter any new surprises, we could see the truck hit the market by 2022.

Do you think GM did the right thing by not picking a fight against Ram and Ford, or will Chevy pay the price for this once the ZR2 comes out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
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. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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