Since 2019, there have been reports that Chevrolet has been working on a full-size answer to the Ford Raptor and Ram TRX, which were further stoked by a factory-modifed race truck. Now we have spy photos of what seems to be a serious Chevy Silverado off-roader, which we will refer to as ZR2 like its little Colorado sibling.
The front offers the most clues to the truck's increased capabilities. The hood has a huge bulge of camouflage, which we suspect may hide a big cowl like that on the Colorado ZR2. The front bumper, particularly when compared to a Trail Boss prototype seen earlier, seems to be turned up more at the edges for better clearance around the tires. The ZR2 doesn't have the aerodynamic air dam either, which further aids clearance. Underneath is a deep and wide skid plate for protecting all the Silverado's vulnerable mechanical bits.
Another thing that makes it clear this is burlier than a Trail Boss is the ride height. It's clearly sitting higher, and the tires are significantly bigger. We can't make out a tire size in the photos, but we know that the Trail Boss so far has been equipped with 32-inch tires. We're betting the tires on this ZR2 are 35-inch units, putting it on par with the standard Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram 1500 TRX.
We also can't make out the shocks, but we wouldn't be surprised if the Silverado ZR2 uses a beefier version of the Colorado ZR2's spool-valve shocks. We know that Chevy has worked on a version, since they were fitted to the aforementioned race truck, which, incidentally, also got 35-inch tires and more skid plates. And if that race truck is a model for the production truck, expect long-travel front suspension arms to arrive, too.
Past reports have the Silverado ZR2 slated for the 2022 model year along with a significant facelift for the whole truck line. It will likely only be offered with gas V8 engines, possibly even the supercharged V8 rumored for GM's full-size SUVs.