2022 Chevrolet Silverado brings hi-po ZR2 – will it come down under?

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

General Motors Specialty Vehicles is aiming to establish itself in the Australian market with a range of unique and special models – which is why the Silverado ZR2 is a prime candidate for the local line-up.

Unveiled over the weekend in the US, the all-new Silverado ZR2 combines the rugged, go-anywhere character of the regular Silverado 1500 with a 6.2-litre V8 and high-tech, race-inspired dampers. It would make an ideal addition to the GMSV range alongside the Silverado 1500 Trail Boss and Corvette C8 Stingray, but as it’s only just been revealed in the US it’s too early for GMSV to commit to a local introduction – but we can hope.

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A GMSV spokesman told Torquecafe: “At GMSV we’re focusing on launching Silverado LT Trail Boss, LTZ Premium and HD – as well as the first-ever right-hand-drive Corvette. At this point in time we don’t have any other product-related announcements to make.”

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

The Silverado ZR2 would likely be a popular option in Australia given the success of the Ford Ranger Raptor, Nissan Navara PRO-4X Warrior and the upcoming Ram 1500 TRX.

The ZR2’s V8 makes 313kW of power and 623Nm of torque, and it’s paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. But the really impressive part of the ZR2 is what lies underneath.

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Dom Lester, General Motors chief engineer, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports Engineering, said the ZR2 has been tested in the heat of competition to ensure it can run hard and fast off-road.

“Chevrolet has been competing on some of the most grueling, toughest off-road courses with a prototype Silverado ZR2 in the Best in the Desert race series,” Lester said. “We applied what we learned in racing and Moab testing to the new ZR2 to offer a supremely capable and confidence-inspiring package, but one that doesn’t beat you up on the highway with its ride quality. It’s equally capable and comfortable.”

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The chassis and suspension has been completely overhauled, with the key feature the Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers. Multimatic is no stranger to high-performance vehicles, being responsible for developing the Ford GT road and race car with the blue oval, as well as spearheading Mazda’s IMSA DPi program and providing Porsche’s LMDh chassis. It’s unique dampers use three separate spool values to control damping with three connected chambers for fluid flow, which Chevrolet combines with uniquely-tuned springs for greater front and rear suspension travel than the Silverado 1500 Trail Boss.

That’s not all that’s underneath the ZR2, it’s also fitted with front and rear electronic locking differentials and gets specific off-road calibrations, including for the Terrain Mode drive selection, that allows for greater off-road ability. It also has a unique skid plate package to protect key components.

It rolls on 33-inch off-road tyres, wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside the 2022 Silverado gets refreshed, with a new 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen that joins the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

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