GM Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) has lobbed an Australian-developed concept off-road racer based on the updated Silverado pickup.

    It comes shortly after Ford’s Aussie-developed Ranger Raptor off-road racing ute won the stock category in the legendary Baja 1000 in Mexico.

    The 12-month passion project serves as a neat promotional tool for the incoming Chevy Silverado ZR2, a more off-road-focused variation of the heavy hauler that’ll go on sale in Australia from mid 2023. 

    The Silverado Off-Road Racer concept was built at the company’s Port Melbourne workshop by a group of GM employee volunteers, and from there “taken to the next level” with the involvement of Chevrolet Racing in the US. 

    The program was managed by Mark Wakeman, a GM Australia/New Zealand employee who has been involved in off-road racing for the past 25 years.

    “The Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 will be a new model to the GMSV line-up for MY23 and will deliver next-level off-road capability direct from the factory – making it the perfect platform for this latest announcement from Chevrolet Racing,” said GMSV Australia planning, network and motorsport director Tim Price. 

    “What started as a passion project 12-months ago across GM teams in Australia and New Zealand quickly transformed into the creation you see today.”

    From a GMSV perspective, the upcoming launch of the first Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 gives the increasingly popular big beast – which just passed 5000 sales and is being converted to right-hand drive at a new Melbourne production line – a more off-road focus. 

    Some feature highlights of the Silverado ZR2 are front and rear e-lockers and Multimatic DSSV dampers, 33-inch mud terrain tyres, and new steel cut front bumper designed for off-road durability and clearance.

    It also has a raised black bonnet (should that be hood?) insert with ZR2 badging, wheel flares, unique 18-inch gloss black wheels, and exclusive Jet Black/Graystone leather-appointed interior.

    Like the LTZ Premium, it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine with 313kW of power and 624Nm of torque, mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

    The updated Silverado uses a new 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch configurable digital instrument cluster. The outgoing model has only an 8.0-inch screen, plus analogue gauges with a digital information screen.

    As detailed here, the MY23 LTZ Premium will be priced from $121,000 before on-roads, up $6010 on the 2022 model, while the ZR2 will be priced at $124,000 before on-roads.

    Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Off-Road Racer concept

    Racing specifications: 

    • Full national spec roll cage
    • Racetech seats and harnesses
    • Toyo 35×12.5 18 Open Country MT tyres
    • ZR2 Multimatic DSSV Shock absorbers, re-tuned for off road racing
    • Chevrolet Performance Exhaust, air intake and heavy duty driveshaft
    • AEV Bison underbody protection

    MORE: Chevrolet Silverado gets standalone RHD line, clocks up 5000 builds
    MORE: 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 prices: ZR2 joins range

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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