Even after completely redesigning the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for 2019 and announcing various updates for 2020, the bowtie company has yet to offer a real off-road pickup in the full-size class to closely rival the Ford F-150 Raptor, not to mention the upcoming Ram Rebel TRX.
However, that could change in about two years.
- Also: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4: Apocalypse Machine
- Also: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Receives Many Updates, Too
The automaker recently filed to register the ZRX name, both in the U.S. and Canada. And today GM Authority reports that it will be used for a hardcore variant of the Silverado positioned above the current Trail Boss.
That latter, remember, gets a two-inch lift kit with Rancho shocks and skid plates, Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, a two-speed transfer case, a locking rear differential and a 355-horsepower V8.
Sources familiar with future GM products told the website that the Chevrolet Silverado ZRX will feature a more robust suspension, DSSV dampers from MultiMatic (also found on the smaller Colorado ZR2), front and rear electronic locking differentials along with modified bumpers for improved departure and approach angles.
A Fox Racing suspension is another possibility as Motor1 discovered that Fox applied for a ZRX trademark to use on "custom pickups" shortly after GM filed its application.
The Silverado ZRX would be offered with the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine mated to the new 10-speed automatic transmission, although as is the case with the Colorado ZR2, output is not expected to increase from the current 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
That sure would be a big letdown for Chevy enthusiasts. In comparison, the F-150 Raptor boasts a high-performance 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 that produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. There’s even a rumour that Ford plans to add a V8 derived from the Shelby GT500 in the future, no doubt in response to the 700+ horsepower that could find their way under the hood of a Hellcat-motivated Ram Rebel TRX.
What about a diesel option that’s missing from the competition? Would GM’s 3.0-litre Duramax six-cylinder be a viable alternative in the Silverado ZRX with its 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet? Probably not.
Anyway, we will first see an updated Silverado (and Sierra) interior for the 2021 model year. A concept for the Chevrolet Silverado ZRX could be revealed right around the same time with a production model to follow for 2022.
Oh, one last thing: If the ZRX name rings a bell, it’s because GM previously sold a GMC Sonoma ZRX with a street-style body kit and a sportier suspension.