We’re sorry, but there is a big reason why the 2023 Chevy Silverado ZR2 pickup is cheaper than rivals Ford Raptor and Ram TRX. Actually, there are several reasons. But the big one is in the power department. Both the Raptor and TRX pack a lot more power than the weak ZR2. Why couldn’t Chevy have just used the Raptor playbook to produce a real contender?
Where are the Silverado ZR2 wide fenders, lift and stance?
And that’s not all. One thing we love about Ford’s Raptor and TRX is the wide stance and those extended fenders. From most angles, both trucks don’t even look like the trucks they’re based from. That would be the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.
Part of the desirability of both trucks is that they announce what they are. Sure, it’s a one-upmanship thing. But for the price, you get the highest power specs, and killer looks. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Why didn’t Chevy follow the Raptor’s lead?
The ZR2 has none of that. We don’t know why Chevy went this route. Was it cost, or something else? Are Silverado pickups not capable of the added power? But for the most part, does the ZR2 just represent one step above being a “sticker package?”
Recently, a company called Blacklake has started making small runs of its Blacklake XT1. It features a lot of the same internal and external mods of the TRX and Raptor. The XT1 is what the Silverado ZR2 should be. But the trucks come with a hefty price, the penalty for not being produced by GM.
Briefly, the XT1 adds a Lingenfelter/Magnum supercharger, and some ECU software tweaks, for 650 hp. aThat figure is above the Raptor’s, and 50 hp less than a TRX. And the widened fenders look good. They add eight inches of width and cover the 35-inch BFG tires and 17-inch bead locks.
What about the Silverado ZR2 price?
That’s what all us Silverado fans would like to see in a Raptor/TRX rival. But not the price. A new Blacklake XT1 will set you back $250,000. That’s almost $200,000 above the $65,000 ZR2 base price. The base price for a Ford F-150 Raptor is a few hundred bucks more, while the TRX is about 10-grand more.
We suppose that the small amount of Chevy lovers interested in the XT1 can afford the price tag. Heck, they could probably afford it at twice the price. But that is not the market segment Ford, Chevy, or Ram aim product for. But for the Baja-style pickups that each company makes, the ZR2 falls way short of its two rivals in this category. And that is a shame.
Media has given the ZR2 a pass
The media has given the ZR2 a pass for the most part. Even MotorBiscuit recommends buying the ZR2 over its rivals based mostly on its price. But the price isn’t what you buy a Raptor or TRX for. You buy them for their off-road chops, power, and aggressive looks. The ZR2’s added features and specs are nowhere near those of its competition.
Chevy fans really deserve a lot more than the ZR2 delivers. Each pickup manufacturer likes to tout why their truck is better than the competition. We can’t see how Chevy will market the ZR2 that way.