Kickin' Up Dirt: Chevrolet Shows Race Truck - Prelude to a Raptor Fighter?
Trucks make money. A lot of it. Witness the relentless march of average transaction prices, hauled into the stratosphere by all things with a Crew Cab and four-wheel drive. Manufacturers have yet to find the ceiling so, spurred by consumer demand and financial reward, they continue to crank out ever-more outrageous (and expensive) variants.
This time, it isn’t the latest Platinum Southfork Rhodium Kryptonite festival of leather and wood. Chevy, keen to take some of Ford’s lunch, has been rumoured to be building a true competitor to the mighty F-150 Raptor. The race truck you see here is the best indication yet that someone on the Silverado team has dirt under their fingernails.
According to GM, the Silverado race truck will be used for engineering development and validation. This is a similar line issued ahead of the Colorado ZR2 pickup being introduced to a salivating group of bowtie off-road fans. Think they’re doing the same with Silverado? Your author sure does.
The Silverado race truck started as a LT Trail Boss model, powered by the hand-of-god 6.2-liter V-8 engine making 420 horsepower and hooked to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Beyond that, the off-road warriors went to town, making significant changes including bolting on a long travel suspension, jounce shocks, and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers.
You’ll recognize that damper technology from the Colorado ZR2, where it was first used in an off-road application. Chevy says these dampers have proven remarkably capable for off-road racing, offering impressive levels of control and compliance. This gearhead behind the keyboard agrees, having launched various DSSV-equipped Colorado pickups off a variety of jumps and yumps. Landing all four wheels at 35 mph produced but a muted “whump.”
For the full-size Silverado race truck, engineers claim the dampers have been scaled up for greater wheel travel. “This is the next evolution of the DSSV off-road damper,” said Michael Guttilla, executive vice president, Multimatic Engineering. “We’ve taken everything we learned from the Colorado ZR2 program and scaled it to deliver next-level performance in the Silverado. Initial on-truck development has been successful but competition will provide the true test.”
Other prototype parts on the Silverado race truck include rear shock skids, 35-inch off-road tires, and skid plates covering all the expensive bits. Rumours abound that a production-ready bowtie Raptor-fighter could be called the ZRX, so we’ll go with that for now.
[Images: General Motors]
Ravenuer on Oct 10, 2019
Seeing these ridiculous trucks brought back a scene I witnessed a few years ago. Visiting a snooty town in Connecticut, in a small parking lot in back of a bagel store, pulled in near one of those military style Hummers. The BIG one. Got out and took a peek inside. I spotted 4 small seats separated by about a 3' wide console, each backseat had a child seat in it. Shortly a young mommy comes out with a backpack and 2 kids. Backpack goes in the front passenger seat, 1 kid gets strapped in, walk the other one around and straps him in. Mommy barely climbs up and gets in and proceeds to jockey this beast around and finds her way out. I guess she'll be ready when the Russian Army comes around the next corner.
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