GM on Thursday rolled out a new Silverado design for the 2022 model year.
The ZR2, which was designed for enhanced off-road driving, is being marketed as the brand's new flagship model factory-listed truck.
The pickups will be produced and arrive on dealers' lots sometime early next year. An exact date – and price – haven't been announced, General Motors officials said Wednesday during an online presentation.
The ZR2 will be built in Silao, Mexico, GM spokesman Jeff Benzing said through email. Other 2022 Silverado models will continue to be built at GM's local assembly plant, he said.
Production has been suspended at the local plant multiple times this year because of a critical shortage of semiconductor chips. Hundreds – or possibly thousands – of trucks that have rolled off GM's Allen County assembly line are sitting in area parking lots waiting for those vital chips to be installed before they can be shipped to waiting dealers.
New car models typically debut in the fall, but Benzing said timing for the 2022 Silverado launch “is unrelated to the ongoing semiconductor shortage.”
The new Silverado ZR2 comes with 33-inch tires, giving it 11.2 inches of ground clearance.
Kelly MacDonald, Chevrolet truck marketing director, said 60% of Silverado sales are off-road-capable truck models.
The ZR2 can haul payloads of up to 1,440 pounds and pull trailers weighing up to 8,900 pounds. Gas mileage estimates are not yet available, the Detroit automaker said.
Officials emphasized design upgrades that make the new model well suited for taking the kids to school as well as off-road driving.
A 13.4-inch-diagonal color touchscreen comes standard on several 2022 Silverado models. Options include hands-free driver assistance technology and Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert, “which accounts for the length of the trailer when changing lanes.” The system alerts drivers if they start to change lanes but don't have enough room.
Dom Lester, GM chief engineer, said the ZR2 prototype has competed “on some of the most grueling, toughest off-road courses.”
“We applied what we learned in racing and Moab testing to the new ZR2 to offer a supremely capable and confidence-inspiring package, but one that doesn't beat up up on the highway with its ride quality,” he said in a statement. “It's equally capable and comfortable.”