When it comes to pickup trucks that are ready to roll off-road right out of the box, the Ford F-150 Raptor is one of the most obvious segment competitors. However, despite the Raptor’s popularity, GM has never offered a modern Chevy Silverado variant that could directly compete with it. Now, we’re getting a little insight into the reason why, thanks to a GM insider.
According to our GM insider, the idea of offering a variant of the Chevy Silverado that would serve as a direct rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor has been brought up more than once. However, every time the idea is broached, GM inevitably brings the conversation back to the business case. Basically, the reality of offering a Chevy Silverado to rival the Raptor would involve added complexity at GM’s plants, plants which GM depends on running smoothly.
Essentially, a widened, taller Chevy Silverado model would necessitate manufacturing plant modifications and extra costs, both of would would be too pricey or result in margins that would be too slim to offset the extra costs involved in development and plant modifications.
GM’s latest push into the EV space also throws a wrench into the plans, with resources directed towards EV development and production, rather than a Chevy Silverado to rival the F-150 Raptor. Additionally, GM already offers the high-performance GMC Hummer EV, which, although it may be battery-powered, is undoubtedly still a beast when it comes to off-roading.
That said, GM certainly isn’t reluctant to offer high-powered, internal-combustion-based utilities – the new Cadillac Escalade-V is certainly good evidence of that. However, it should be mentioned that the $150,000 Escalade-V still manages the biggest margin that a GM vehicle has ever seen.
For the moment, GM does offer the Chevy Silverado ZR2, which is fitted with a plethora of off-roading goodies, such as MultiMatic DSSV dampers, front and rear e-lockers, 33-inch off-road MT tires, skid plates, and a new high-approach steel front bumper that enable a 31.8 degrees approach angle. The Chevy Silverado ZR2 also boasts 11.2 inches of ground clearance.
However, while the Chevy Silverado ZR2 definitely has some off-roading chops, it’s framed more as a rock-crawler, as compared to the dune-jumping F-150 Raptor. This is most evident in the power spec, with the Chevy Silverado ZR2 throwing down 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque from its naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine, and the Raptor making 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque from its twin-turbo 3.5L V6.
To exaggerate the issue, Ford is poised to launch the new F-150 Raptor R, which will make more than 750 horsepower from its supercharged 5.2L V8 Predator engine, the same powerplant found in the Mustang Shelby GT500. Check out the spy footage of the new Raptor R testing below, courtesy of our sister publication, Ford Authority: