The Chevy Beast Is the Off-Road Monster We've Been Waiting For

But will GM let a production version loose on the public?

conceived to demonstrate the capability of chevy trucks and chevrolet performance components, the chevy beast concept is a four passenger off roader that’s based on a modified silverado chassis, wears a customized pickup body and is powered by a chevrolet performance lt4 650 horsepower supercharged crate engine
JESSICA LYNN WALKER

Right now, Ford and Ram offer dueling, decadent desert-running super-trucks with the F-150 Raptor and the Ram 1500 TRX. Thus far, GM has stayed out of that fray, settling for cool (but comparatively tepid) efforts like the new Silverado ZR2 and Sierra AT4X. But now Chevrolet has produced a vehicle that fills that niche — at least in concept form. It's called the Beast, and it aims to "dominate the desert with capabilities, control and performance." Chevy is debuting it at the 2021 SEMA Show.

chevy beast concept
Richard Thompson III
chevy beast concept
Richard Thompson III

The base vehicle for the Beast is the short-bed Silverado. Chevy shortened the frame and added a Chromoly tubular safety structure and a custom lightweight body. They swapped the engine for an LT4 crate engine — the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in the CT5-V Blackwing — packing 650 horsepower. The Beast gets a 10-speed automatic and a two-speed transfer case. If you were worried the Beast would have trouble stopping, it also receives the straightforwardly-named Chevrolet Performance Big Brake Upgrade System.

The Beast features a custom long-travel suspension, a track widened to 91 inches and 37-inch off-road tires with 20-inch beadlock wheels. The modifications give the Beast 13.5 inches of ground clearance and impressive suspension travel, 12 inches in the front and 15.5 inches in the rear. The Beast has 45º approach, 35º breakover and 46.5º departure angles. Those last two numbers are better than the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xtreme Recon.

The probably high five-figure question is whether the Chevy Beast presages a production off-roader. The short answer is we don't know. The Beast concept existing suggests someone at Chevy is exploring building a Raptor competitor. And we can surmise that Chevy would not float this idea — with their headline vehicle at a major show like SEMA — if they weren't gauging interest.

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