Silverado ZR2 Concept
GM reveals new Silverado ZR2 concept truck at SERM 2009

It was just a year ago - SEMA 2008 to be exact - that Ford grabbed the headlines with their off-road warrior, the Raptor, and rightfully so to be honest. GM was in no position to compete with that vehicle at that time, but they did in fact respond in a year's time with a equally-impressive Silverado ZR2. What a difference a year makes.

Chevy Silverado ZR2 Concept - Shown at SEMA 2009

Powerplant? 550 HP LSA baby!
It would not have been enough to just tweak the existing Silverado to offer a capable response to the Raptor, some serious upgrades are in order, while still keeping the overall visible Silverado appearance. The powerplant is a 6.2L supercharged LSA v8 cranking out 550 HP. This is the same engine found in the Cadillac CTS-V and it's matched up with the six speed auto transmission. It is very impressive and out-performs the 410 HP cranked out by the Raptor, although raw-power isn't everything, it is a LOT.

Suspension & Appearance
The suspension and off-road ride was adressed with a 4-inch lift and 20-inch wheels / 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires. Carbon-fiber is all over the Silverado ZR2. The grille, fender flares, hood, tailgate, rocker panels and more are all carbon fiber. Overall, the design of the Silverado provides clues to the next generation re-design of the Silverado itself. This appears to be a boxier front-end with more elongated and bolder features. The carbon-fiber is not likely to see production simply for cost reasons, however anything is possible and technology makes production cheaper all the time.

While the Silverado ZR2 may only be a concept vehicle, many of the components inside it are available today - the LSA engine for example. Having multiple outlets for this technology will help to make it cheaper overall. An indepth comparison shows that the Silverado ZR2 is not exactly the same type of vehicle as the Ford Raptor, and that's ok, two different vehicles trying to provide off-road enthusiasts with the desired effect. We sure hope to see this put into the real-world sometime soon though.

Ford Raptor - Shown at Dallas Auto Show 2009