Off-roading isn’t an activity suited for everyone. It takes a special breed of human, someone who doesn’t mind getting down in the dirt and away from civilization to commune with the elements. Naturally, a special type of human needs a special kind of vehicle for such an activity. You need something that will tame the elements and eliminate all obstructions in your way. There’s only one model to do this and much more–the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500. You know the reputation that Chevrolet carries with it: strong, dependable, and unwilling to bow or bend to the competition. The Silverado 1500 is the running partner you’ve been waiting for when it comes to off-road adventure and much, much, more.
While there have been good things said about the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram 1500 TRX, the Silverado surpasses both with the Silverado 1500 ZR2, a special breed of off-road truck that defies the competition, exceeds all expectations, and makes off-roading less of a challenge and more of an adventure than ever. For centuries, man has learned to adapt to the elements and the harsh realities of nature. Now, thanks to Chevy, the harshest climate is at your mercy, and you’re about to embark on a new type of off-roading that’s anything but ordinary.
Earth Shaking Power
You’ve seen the amateurs and poseurs and know the game they play. Bumper stickers and lifted suspensions to give off the appearance of a seasoned pro…yet these after-market additions are just for show. The people who drive these fancy vehicles are adept at the act of smoke and mirrors; they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. You’re not these people. You know that playing in the dirt isn’t a spectator sport–it’s a way of life.
It’s not what’s decorating your windshield; it’s what’s under the hood that matters. And that’s why the ZR2 comes equipped with a 6.2L V8. It’s a big block for the kids who don’t have time to waste in the sandbox. Introduced in 2014, the rugged overhead valve engine belts out 420 ponies of dirt-crushing power. An accompaniment of 460 lb-ft of torque means you’ll be crushing your way through the dirt, mud, and whatever obstacles nature decides to challenge you with. A 10-speed automatic transmission means efficient acceleration, even when the road seems like it might be tough to handle.
What’s New for 2022
A new year means rejuvenation and renewal, and there’s more in store for those who purchase a Silverado ZR2. For Chevy fans, 2022 means a bold new redesigned interior for the Silverado, which even features a 13.4″ touchscreen for its cutting-edge infotainment center. While Chevy has placed the creature comforts in the driver’s seat and made the interior more pleasing to the senses, the exterior and mechanical workings get an upgrade that’s perfect for the rough and tumble nature of the off-roading warrior.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression–and you’ll be leaving quite the impression with a redesigned front grille that’s two parts intimidation and one-part rugged individual. Accented by red tow hooks, the ZR2 will give off the type of menacing look that matches the ferocity of what’s underneath the hood. Add in the higher stance and unique badging, and everyone will know this truck means business.
The biggest change for the ZR2 this year has less to do with design and more with its unique distinction in the Silverado lineup. Ever since its debut as an option on the 1994 Chevy S-10, the ZR2 has been Chevy’s top-of-the-line off-road package. Now, 2022 marks the first time in the manufacturer’s history that the ZR2 will be its own separate trim on a full-size truck. What this means for its reputation is simple–Chevrolet can now claim with complete certainty that the Silverado ZR2 is quite literally in a class all by itself.
Handling Under Pressure
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that off-road adventures can get a bit bumpy and unpredictable. In order to navigate the elements and all they can throw your way, you need a vehicle with superior handling and the ability to withstand punishment. Luckily the ZR2 is outfitted with the right equipment for just such a task.
Naturally, Chevrolet wants to deliver a product that rises above the competition, and they have, in more ways than one. The ZR2 is placed on 33″ mud-terrain tires and possesses a clearance of over 11″. That’s almost a full foot above the ground. This elevation is an off-roading necessity, but the innovation doesn’t end there–and nor should it.
The ZR2 is equipped with a Multimatic dynamic suspension with spool valve shock absorbers. While this feature has accompanied the Colorado ZR2 for several years, this is the first time this system has been available on a Silverado or any other factory full-size truck. The privately-owned company has previously supplied its exclusive shock absorbers to high-end companies such as Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz, and now the Silverado joins this elite class of superior handling. The velocity and position-sensitive dampers give the ZR2 a much-needed edge over both the elements and competition.
Surpassing Expectations and the Competition
The battle between Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram for ultimate supremacy of the road has been a hard-fought fight. While any manufacturer lays claim to their product being superior to those of their competitors, the proof is often found to be subjective by critics and consumers alike. So, why opt for the ZR2? What is Chevrolet bringing to the table that Ram and Ford aren’t?
The answer is simple–accessibility. Ever since the concept of higher-end vehicles was marketed to the public, the assumption has always been that high performance equates to a high price. Ram and Ford both adhere to this philosophy, as both of their off-road offerings sell for a much higher price. The Ram TRX has a hefty price tag of over $70,000, while the Ford Raptor goes for only a little less. Both lay claim to having superior horsepower, with the TRX even equipped with a supercharged Hemi V8. But not only does the ZR2 cost significantly less than its competitors, which means off-road performance will be more accessible than ever, but Chevy has placed emphasis on a superior suspension and better handling capabilities. You can have all the horsepower and high-performance engineering in the world, but it still pales in comparison to a suspension that can “weather the storm.”
The Final Verdict
Chevrolet has always provided superior quality and service to its customers. For years, the Silverado has been a pickup that the working class has been proud to call their own. Its reputation for reliability and versatility was earned through superior performance that has been second to none and coveted by many. The ZR2, tried and tested for years by off-road aficionados, has helped establish a standard for what technology can do when it strays off the beaten path. By taking the blue-collar workhorse and outfitting it with off-road perfection, you have a Silverado unlike any other. And while there will be those who feel that off-roading isn’t quite for them, those that do will feel right at home with Chevrolet’s dashing, daring, and devious devil of the dirt.