Following in the footsteps of the Colorado ZR2 race truck, the all-new Chevrolet Silverado is going off-road racing in the United States.
The full-size pickup truck will enter the Best in the Desert Racing Series, starting with the Laughlin Desert Classic on October 11. The Silverado race truck will compete in the 1200 Stock class, which limits changes to suspension, underbody, and installation of race-safety equipment.
As with the Colorado ZR2 competition vehicle, the Silverado will be used first and foremost for engineering development and validation. “Off-road racing is just brutal on vehicles and a single race puts more wear and tear on trucks than most vehicles will experience in years. That makes off-road racing a valuable testbed to evaluate new components,” said Mark Dickens, chief engineer, Government Programs, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports.
Lessons learned during racing will influence future performance parts and accessories, as well as GM Defense projects and production vehicle changes, according to Dickens.
Based on the LT Trail Boss model, the Silverado Race Truck is powered by the 420 HP 6.2L V8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic. Changes compared to the road-going model include a long travel suspension, front and rear jounce shocks, and a set of prototype high-capacity Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers.
Previously used on the factory Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 race truck, the dampers have been scaled up on the Silverado for greater wheel travel and even greater control. Other prototype parts fitted to the Silverado race truck include 35-inch off-road tires, rear shock skids, and skid plates covering the transfer case, steering gear, rear differential, and front underbody.
Chevrolet will enter the Silverado and Colorado ZR2 in six Best in the Desert races next year, along with the Mint 400 event.