The First Ever Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Tows 13,000-Pounds And More

Chevrolet just introduced the first-ever Silverado ZR2. This is Chevy’s flagship off-road truck and with its new highlights, this could be one of the most popular trucks in America. Its race-proven off-road performance capabilities are sure to bring truck buyers into the showroom for their own. Let’s dig in.

The ZR2 offers a premium interior, impressive technology, a number of standard safety equipment features, and off-road prowess in a comprehensive package. The ZR2’s suspension upgrades, enhanced off-road technology, and exterior enhancements were developed to optimize off-road performance and capability.

Photo courtesy of our sister publication Off Road Xtreme who got to see this truck up close and personal last week!

While they are off-road capable, they’re able to obtain a balance with everyday driving and supporting comparable payload and trailering capability to other Silverado off-road trims. ZR2 max payload is 1,440-pounds and the conventional trailer weight rating is 8,900-pounds.

ZR2 Highlights:

  • Delivers next-level off-road capability right from the factory and is validated in the grueling Best in the Desert off-road racing series, with front and rear e-lockers and Multimatic DSSV dampers  
  • Fully redesigned, new premium interior on LT and above with standard 13.4-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and elevated exterior design refresh across the lineup
  • New tech, including available Super Cruise driver-assistance technology on High Country with available trailering (late availability) and standard Chevy Safety Assist on all-new enhanced trims
  • Enhanced 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine delivers 20 percent more torque and 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel max towing increased by 4,000 pounds to 13,300 
  • Standard 6.2L V-8 engine, delivering 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Silverado-first application of Multimatic 40mm 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-pedal 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 that enables an improved 31.8-degree approach angle compared to other Silverado off-road models

“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,” said Dom Lester, General Motors chief engineer, Performance Variants, Parts, and Motorsports Engineering. “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.”

In addition to 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 and a “flow-tie” emblem, ZR2 badges, unique 18-inch wheels, and a unique Jet Black/Graystone leather-trimmed interior, with complementing dark trim.

Elevated exterior design
Starting with an already bold style, the Silverado’s designers enhanced the 2022 model with elements that reinforce the truck’s wide, stable and confidence-inspiring stance while also incorporating refined cues that reflect how many customers use their trucks today — often as a family’s primary vehicle.

On the exterior, every trim receives a new front fascia and grille design that lowers the headlamps to emphasize the Silverado’s strength and stability. On LT models and above, the wing-shaped daytime running lamps that were introduced in 2019 are revised and feature animated lighting sequences when approaching, starting, or walking away from the vehicle.

What hasn’t changed with the new 2022 Silverado’s exterior design is its durability and versatility. The sturdy, roll-formed high-strength-steel construction of the bed floor is the foundation for a class-leading 89.1 cubic feet of standard cargo bed volume.

There are also 12 standard tie-downs, more than any competitor, and innovative features such as the available and industry-first power up/down tailgate and the available six-position Multi-Flex tailgate.

Three new exterior colors are offered with the refreshed 2022 Silverado: Dark Ash, Sand Dune, and a vibrant blue recently named Glacier Blue Metallic by some of the most loyal Chevy owners, Chevy Truck Legends.

All-new interior appointments
Silverado has a refreshed interior on the LT trim and above, incorporating new materials into a design that gives the cabin a spacious and more premium feel.  The new interior is rooted in a driver-oriented instrument panel that incorporates a bold 13.4-inch-diagonal horizontal touchscreen, along with a 12.3-inch-diagonal digital, configurable instrument cluster.

“It’s a more contemporary, refined design that elevates the premium nature of the interior,” said Alexandre Scartezini, Chevrolet Truck’s lead interior designer. “It’s also a more driver-oriented space that’s connected to our performance heritage, with a hint of Corvette influence in its design DNA.”

Additionally, the new center console incorporates an available electronic shift controller in models with bucket seats. The look and feel of the interior are elevated with new available colors, seat designs, and more premium materials throughout. That’s especially true for the High Country trim, which features new and unique elements.

High Country Highlights

  • Authentic open-pore wood trim on the console, upper glove box, and doors
  • Standard leather seating surfaces with an exclusive custom perforation and stitching pattern
  • Stainless steel speaker grilles with the Bose premium audio system, standard on High Country and LTZ
  • Two interior color choices, Jet Black or Nightshift Blue

Silverado Engines And Capabilities

The Silverado’s propulsion lineup is strengthened and streamlined for the new 2022 models, starting with significant enhancements to the 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine. It leads with more torque than any base engine in its class and has a maximum trailering rating of 9,500 pounds in a two-wheel drive configuration.

A new, more rigid cylinder block casting is the foundation for the refined 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine and it’s complemented with a 30-percent-stiffer crankshaft. The engine maintains its fully forged bottom end as well as the technology used in diesel engines to deliver on truck durability.

These enhancements enabled engineers to reduce noise and tune the engine for greater torque production, particularly in the usable low-mid rpm range. Maximum torque is GM-estimated at 420 lb-ft (569 Nm), over a 20-percent increase compared to the current engine.

There also have been shift scheduling revisions of the 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine’s complementing eight-speed automatic transmission to offer smoother shifting, along with quicker downshifts, for a greater feeling of refinement and power on demand.

The other engine that sees improvements in the popular 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel. Chassis changes now allow the max tow package, so the 3.0L Duramax now has a max tow rating of 13,300 pounds in a two-wheel drive configuration. This is a 4,000-pound improvement over the 2022 Silverado LTD models and brings new capability to an engine praised for its smooth ride and impressive efficiency.

Both engines are part of a propulsion lineup that also includes the proven 5.3L V-8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and the 6.2L V-8 — the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 engine in its segment, and the 3.0-Liter Duramax. All of which are backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Thoughts on the new ZR2 Silverado? We’re glad that the 3.0-Liter engine is maintaining its popularity. We’re betting these trucks sell out. All of the capabilities, all of the options, what more do you want for a half-ton?

NASCAR Cup Series champion, Chase Elliott, confidently pulls his boat out of the lake with the first-ever Chevrolet Silverado ZR2.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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