While the jury is still out as to whether the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado refresh is aesthetically to our liking or not, what you see here today might convince some of us to reconsider our automotive allegiances.
First teased back in early November, the version you see here is based on the Silverado 1500 Z71 platform, but with plenty of aftermarket love from a few collaborators and GM itself. With its new, more mean-spirited front-end and a handful of fresh technologies sprinkled liberally throughout, this naval-inspired spin on Americana truck design looks brutish, and frankly, brilliant. Speaking of all things nautical, it wasn’t until the other week during the Army/Navy game that we found out that this monster was actually coming to life when it rolled out onto the field among a throng of cheering onlookers and service members. Even more exciting to some is that according to Chevy’s press release, GM has expanded its military discount program to include all 23 million veterans and their spouses through January 4, 2016.
“This Silverado concept is a multipurpose truck that reflects the go-anywhere, do-anything commitment of special-forces teams,” says Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
For those of you who are curiously regarding the truck’s naval-inspired camo appearance, it’s code-named “Razzle Dazzle” and was actually designed over 100 years ago in order to disguise a ship’s speed, direction, and profile — something we feel will fail miserably on dry land, though you do have to admit that the blocky, three-tone blue exterior color does look pretty badass.
Todd Parker, director of design for Chevrolet Accessories says that these graphic effects were carefully designed to give “tremendous depth to the Silverado’s body, while reinforcing the nautical heritage of the unique camo design.” Something that we find to be sharp, but slightly impractical when compared to all of the other goodies this Special Ops Edition Silverado receives.
The truck also features a bevy of one-off additions like a bed-mounted sport bar with LED lights, wide wheel flares, custom rocker guards, a bed-mounted GearOn tiered utility rack storage system with tie-downs, and light bars with six-inch LED lights at the top of the blacked-out grille. Adding to the bedlam is an underbody shield/skid plate, 20-inch aluminum wheels with off-road tires, and some Special Ops etchings in the triangular plated area beneath the sport bar.
Inside the cabin, the military cues continue with “Ejector Orange” door pulls and glove box handles. Seats are trimmed in waterproof covers and the floors have a specialized waterproof liner on them, both the instrument panel and the armrests receive the Razzle Dazzle treatment, and embroidered headrests feature the Special Ops logo you see on the sport bar.
But this isn’t just some appearance package. The Special Ops Silverado actually does get a handful of entry-level bolt-ons to up its testosterone levels, starting with its ability to breath. Equipped with a performance air induction system and a free-flowing exhaust, this limited run has the potential to offer some noticeable gains right off the bat if it receives a little computer reflash to help things along. On top of that, Chevrolet Performance has outfitted the Special Ops Silverado with a bigger brake package, something we feel all trucks deserve, regardless of how one-off they may be.
Takeaways from this pleasantly surprising news are about as straightforward as it gets. First of all, good for you GM. Limited-run trucks are a hot commodity in this pick-up-crazed economy. Secondly, this certainly is not the most hideous looking thing we have seen, so thank you for not over branding the thing like you did with a certain model dedicated to a certain rock musician who shall remain nameless.
GM has yet to release asking prices for this specialty package, and depending on how many of these things they make, it might be a bit more than what the average G.I. is able to plop down while on leave.