For the last decade, Ford’s F-150 Raptor has largely owned the badass full-size off-road pickup truck market. Ram has its Rebel and Power Wagon, but neither delivers quite the same level of high-speed terrain-crushing capability; like the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, those rigs are made more for traditional off-roading than the free-wheeling fun that is the Raptor’s milieu. Chevrolet has the Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison, but while they offer Raptor-like off-road upgrades, the Colorado is a full size smaller than a regular F-150, let alone the wider, beefier Raptor.
The Raptor’s reign as the fiercest predator in the pickup ecosystem may be about to end, however. A new report claims Chevrolet is currently hard at work developing a version of the Silverado designed to take the fight to FoMoCo’s toughest truck.
According to Muscle Cars and Trucks, the new all-terrain truck will be called the Chevrolet Silverado ZRX. If the name reminds you of the ZR2, well, that’s likely intentional; MC&T‘s report suggests that the new truck will largely use the same sort of recipe GM applied to its midsize off-road truck. The Silverado ZRX will reportedly pick up a rock-hopping suspension featuring the same sort of delightful Multimatic DSSV dampers that deliver a remarkable blend of comfort and capability in the ZR2, as well as locking differentials for both front and rear axles, and a host of other upgrades and changes to improve its capabilities beyond the pavement, including tweaks that improve approach and departure angles.
And while the initial report made it sound as though the badass Chevy would stick with the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8 that’s a variant of the engine found in the Camaro and Corvette, cranking out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, subsequent rumors have suggested that the new truck might score a power upgrade after all. According to TheFastLaneTruck.com, GM is working on fitting a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 into its full-size pickup platforms; given that such an engine makes 650 horsepower in the Camaro ZL1 and made 755 in the dearly-departed Corvette ZR1, it seems likely that such a motor would be more than potent enough to help this Chevrolet fight the Hellcat-powered Ram Rebel TRX and any more-powerful Raptors that Ford might reveal.
If all this is true — and it sounds like a solid money-making gambit to us — Chevrolet won’t be alone in pursuing Ford’s ferocious truck. Ram is currently hard at work whipping up a Raptor-fighter called the TRX (get it?) that combines off-road goodies with the supercharged Hellcat motor that makes a bare minimum of 707 horsepower everywhere it goes. Rumor has it Ford may ultimately counter that by packing the Raptor’s engine bay with its new 7.3-liter V8 known internally as “Godzilla,” thus pushing the saurian one-upsmanship about as far as it can go.
And while it seems likely that the Silverado ZRX will likely follow in the Ram TRX and F-150 Raptor’s footsteps by taking on a burlier version of its recognizable regular face, there’s a little part of us that wishes it would look like this Camaroz ZL1 face-swapped concept put together by the Supercarrenders Instagram account.