Why doesn’t Chevy build this? Both Ram and Toyota are gunning for the Ford Raptor. But if Chevy won’t do it, then leave it to a company like Blacklake Research and Development to do GM’s work. But the penalty for a mass-market manufacturer not being behind manufacturing is the price.
The Blacklake XT1 is aimed straight at Raptor lovers’ hearts
Blacklake manufactures its Blacklake XT1 aimed straight at Ford’s Raptor, which it seems most truck enthusiasts feel sets the bar. That in itself is one reason why Chevy should do this. But we digress.
Chevy is getting ready to release its ZR2 off-road Silverado. But that effort doesn’t compare to the distinctive internal and external features of both the Raptor and Ram TRX. It definitely looks like the designers were stifled from producing something far more exotic and exciting. Is it GM just cheaping out?
What do you get with the Blacklake XT1?
What Blacklake does is take a Silverado 1500 crew cab as the basis for the Baja racing-inspired build. Most striking are the wide-body additions. Made from carbon-kevlar, they give the Blacklake that wide, beefy look everyone loves about the Raptor; even Chevy enthusiasts.
Eight inches gets added to the truck’s width with these additions. Blacklake says they’re made to mimic OEM fit and finish. To that end, these rear fenders aren’t bonked onto the existing Silverado bed. The entire bed is Blacklake’s own, made to cover the 35-inch BF Goodrich KM3 tires. These wrap around 17-inch bead-lock-capable wheels.
For the modified long-travel suspension, billet aluminum control arms are incorporated. Long JRI internal-bypass shocks are at all four corners. The rears are so tall you can clearly see them in the bed. Clearly, everything underneath has been modified to create an off-roader that beats anything stock.
The XT1 has looks, power, and the suspension off-road enthusiasts love
The expressive steel-reinforced composite front bumper is all-new, with a Warn Zeon platinum 12S wireless remote winch tucked into it. Attached to each rocker is an AMP Research power step running board. But the rear bumper remains OEM, with its handy access steps. Why mess with a good thing?
Under the hood, a Lingenfelter/Magnuson supercharger and HP Tuners ECU help the 6.2-liter V8 punch out 650 hp. That exceeds the Raptor’s power by 200 hp, though it falls slightly behind the Ram’s TRX 702 hp. The transmission remains the stock 10-speed automatic. Both axles feature 3.73 ratios with an electronic locking rear diff.
But all of this comes with a hefty $250,000 price tag. For comparison, the ZR2 will retail at $65,000. The Ford Raptor is a few hundred above that, and Ram’s TRX comes in at 10-grand more. So even at half the MSRP, the XT1’s price would far exceed that of a TRX.
But Chevy truck enthusiasts are an enthusiastic group to be sure. And within the millions of those fans are probably enough takers for an extreme Silverado pickup to keep Blacklake pumping these out for years. For those in this admittedly small group, it wouldn’t matter whether it was $150,000 or $450,000. It makes a statement with a Chevy product, even if Chevy refuses to get behind it.