Chevrolet Off-Road Concept (Chevy Beast Concept)
The Chevrolet Off-Road Concept – formerly known as the Chevy Beast Concept – is a concept truck based on the Chevy Silverado 1500 regular cab, short bed model, which is a configuration that is not offered for sale in the United States. The high-performance desert runner was built at the Milford Proving Grounds and unboxed at SEMA 2021, and features a multitude of top-shelf parts as well as custom components.
“The Chevy Off-Road Concept takes the popularity of high-performance off-road trucks to the next level,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “It’s a vision for a new dimension of Chevrolet Performance capability from a brand that’s been pioneering performance and supporting customer personalization for more than 50 years.”
|Based On||Chevy Silverado 1500|
|Engine||6.2L LT4 V8"|
|Drive Wheels||Four-Wheel Drive|
|Last Seen||SEMA 2021|
As a concept vision of the ultimate in high-performance desert running, the Chevrolet Off-Road Concept builds on what the automaker learned from its work with Chad Hall Racing. For starters, the the Beast features a concept, long-travel, off-road suspension system, which includes a custom five-link rear suspension that may be referred to as a four-link with a pan-hard bar. This setup required changes to the chassis, including the addition of brackets in order to integrate the suspension setup.
The Off-Road Concept also features concept front upper and lower control arms, which are longer and retain the same pickup points as OEM Silverado 1500 control arms, allowing for a widened, 91-inch track. This track-width measures to almost 6-inches wider than the factory Silverado ZR2 and contributes to more stable handling and optimal driver control during high-speed off-road driving.
|Overall Length||204 inches|
|Track Width||91 inches (front and rear)|
|Maximum Suspension Travel||12 inches (front), 15.5 inches (rear)|
|Ground Clearance||13.5 inches|
|Approach Angle||45 degrees|
|Departure Angle||46.5 degrees|
|Breakover Angle||35 degrees|
Notably, Chevy sourced the fully-adjustable coil overs from Fox in an effort to save time, compared to integrating specifically tuned DSSV dampers. The setup allows for both more rebound and greater compression as well as heat dissipation of the shock fluid courtesy of remote reservoirs mounted on the bed of the truck.
The Raceline RTM260M Avenger True beadlock wheels measure in at 20-inches in diameter and 10-inches in width, and are wrapped in 37-inch by 13.5-inch AMP Terrain Attack M/T tires. The concept also includes the Chevrolet Performance Big Brake Upgrade System.
Powering the Beast is the beastly, blown 6.2-liter LT4 V8 crate engine which puts out 650 horsepower and an equal amount of torque. Notably, integration of the supercharged small block was mostly plug-and-play since the production Silverado model already houses the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V8.
Power is transmitted by a 10L90 10-speed automatic – a unit similar to the one utilized by the sixth-generation Camaro ZL1 – which sends torque to a two-speed transfer case. For reference, the transmission unit used in the production light-duty Silverado is the 10L80 10-speed, which can’t really handle the power output of the boosted LT4 V8.
The aforementioned components come together to mobilize a modified chassis wrapped with a custom, lightweight body and a custom-designed 4130 chromoly roll cage, which was designed by Chevy itself. All told, the Off-Road Concept is said to weigh around 4,000 to 4,500 pounds.
The design of the Chevrolet Off-Road Concept is said to have drawn inspiration from the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle, and the engineers used a lot of what they learned from building the ISV. The design was completed in Marc Mainville’s studio – the Performance Motorsport and Accessory studio – and a lot of the team members who worked on the ISV helped to engineer the Off-Road Concept.
On the outside, the vehicle does retain bumper reinforcements, but the bodywork is completely bespoke and is intended to be menacing and aggressive with motorcycle-like aesthetics. It features a light-weight clam shell design similar to the ISV, though this one is fitted with air extractors to cool to the supercharged V8. Lighting is also similar to that of the ISV, with components coming from Baja Designs as well as 3D printed housings produced in-house at Chevy.
Other exterior features include tubular doors, a pair of spare tires mounted in the bed, with an open rear design which helps extract dust. A custom front grille along with the beloved flow-tie – located on the front and rear of the vehicle – is also featured on the Chevrolet Off-Road Concept, finished in a white face with a red inner trimming.
A side-exit exhaust adds to the rugged, aggressive look, and was thought-up as a styling component by the design team rather than a mechanical solution or performance-enhancement from the engineering department. For the record, Marc did clarify that any resemblance to the Warthog vehicle from the Halo video game franchise is purely coincidental and not intentional.
Inspiration from the GM Defense ISV is also found inside the Beast, as the customized cab has a minimalist, functional design.
The Off-Road Concept utilizes a pair of the same Live Gauges C127 product found in the ISV, which are 7-inch-diagonal LCD screens that monitor vehicle functions and performance data, including pitch and roll during off-road driving scenarios. The desert runner also features a quartet of Recaro performance seats with marine-grade vinyl and four-point harnesses.
In order to keep the dust from getting trapped in the vehicle, the concept utilizes wind deflectors that go part of the way up roof rather than a full windshield, which would create vortices that prevent the dust from being blown out of the cabin. This was yet another lesson taken from development of the GM Defense ISV.
When asked, Chief Engineer Dom Lester said that time was the greatest challenge the team faced in creating this concept. They also had to cope with supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To reiterate, there is no intended vehicle production for the Chevrolet Off-Road Concept as The General is well aware of its short-comings in regards to being road-legal and the team has thought about what it would take to make the Beast roadworthy. Additionally, it’s very possible that the automaker can use what it learned with the creation of this concept for future product offerings, especially since it is based on a production pickup truck.
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