Special pickup trucks are all the rage. Raptor, TRX, Lightning, Tremor, TRD Pro, Pro-4X, Big Horn, and all the rest are the special nicknames given to some of Chevrolet’s pickup truck competitors. To match this list of better-than-standard pickups, Chevrolet’s Silverado has the ZR2 trim. It’s very special in many ways.
The ZR2 is all about going “off the road.” and not just going there, but going there in a bad-ass way. In a truck that can pound the ground into submission. So long as the trees are not too close together. Or the land is off-limits to automobiles. Which describes most of New England’s “off-roadish” areas.
Here are some images and descriptions of what we found to be very special about the Silverado ZR2 during some time with the $77,950 truck.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - The V8 Engine You Really Want
The Silverado ZR2 has a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 420 peak HP and 460 lb-ft of torque. You know you really want a V8. Why settle for anything less?
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Borla Exhaust
Why buy a truck only to take it to a shop to have the exhaust cut off and replaced? Chevy installs the exhaust you want at the factory. Saving you the hassle.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Approach and Departure Angles
As you off-road yourself, you need to be able to get up and down hills without tearing the bumpers off your flagship. The Silverado has kooky approach and departure capability. We haven’t tested it, but it appears as if you can drive over another truck.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Skid Plate
Well, you misjudged the approach angle! A handy shiny skidplate will save your bacon (and your radiator, steering linkage, oil pan, etc.)
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Rock Rails (Rocker Protectors)
You made the approach, but now you have just slammed the truck down hard on its side due to a big chunk of rock. Not to fear! The optional rock rails will keep you from bending the rockers.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Big All-Terrain (Except Ice) Tires
Big tires are all the rage. Why not get the biggest ones this side of an MRAP?
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Beefy Suspension
If you are going to jump this truck Dukes of Hazzard style, you need to be able to land and not crush the suspension. Chevy has thought of that.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Trick Tailgate
After a long day of off-roading, you will want to enjoy a frosty beverage while showing off the tailgate’s many tricks. This truck has so many we can’t count them. It’s like an origami swan. But tough.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Corner Step
Why doesn't every truck bed have a corner step? Ask Ford.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - World’s Best Infotainment System
Wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play without a ridiculous subscription? Check. Big clear screen, but not stupid huge? Done. Physical HVAC buttons? U-huh. Easy to operate 4x4 controls? You betcha. Perfect slot for your phone to charge wirelessly? Yessir. Head-up display? But, of course. Cameras in every direction that can see through clothes like Superman? No, but almost as good.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - All-Weather Floor Mats
If you ever do take the ZR2 off-road, you may need to step out and get your $6 million Jack Armstrong Cosmic Cowboy Boots muddy. When you get back in, the mud will reside happily on the rubberized floor mats so you can show your spouse how practical the truck is.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 - Recovery Hooks (For Pulling Out Lesser Vehicles)
On your off-road adventure, the single best thing that can happen to you is to find a Jeep Wrangler driver stuck and in need of help. You can pull out the silly goose using your handy recovery hooks. They are painted bright red so you can find them in the dark.
Those with a budget up around eighty large looking for a flagship truck to take off-road will find the Chevy Silverado ZR2 fits the bill. During our testing on-road, we found it to be comfortable, easy to live with, and the stationary rock rails didn't beat our shins bloody like the horrible automatic retractable side steps some other brands force upon you. We give this truck two thumbs up.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin
Engine logo, corner step, rock rail, tire images by John Goreham. We copied the rest from Chevy's media site.