The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado has received a refresh that gives the truck a major tech upgrade and launches the ZR2 as the new flagship off-roader in this model’s lineup. The updated truck goes on sale in the spring of 2022 and Chevy no doubt hopes this mid-cycle update gives the Silverado enough of a boost to overtake the Ram 1500 as the second-best-selling vehicle in the country behind the Ford F-Series.
Chevy wants the new Silverado ZR2 model to be highly capable off-road without sacrificing on-road comfort. For handling rugged situations, it packs a lifted suspension with 40-millimeter Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers. New springs also increase the front and rear wheel travel over the Silverado Trail Boss.
Power for the ZR2 comes from GM’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 horsepower (313 kilowatts) and 460 lb-ft (624 Newton-meters) of torque. It hooks up to a 10-speed automatic transmission and there are front and rear e-lockers for maximizing traction when necessary. The ZR2 has a max payload of 1,440 pounds (653 kilograms) and a trailer tow rating of 8,900 pounds (4,037 kilograms), and there’s a Terrain driving mode that allows for one-pedal crawling off-road.
The ZR2 is easily identifiable by its revised bumpers that improve the truck’s approach angle to 31.8 degrees. There’s also a black hood and different grille than over Silverado models, including a flow-tie emblem. A skid plate is partially visible underneath the truck, and it rides on 33-inch mud-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels. Inside, there’s two-tone Jet Black and Graystone leather upholstery.
All trims of the 2022 Silverado have new front fascias with updated grilles that lower the location of the headlights and jettisons the controversial “blades” on the front corners of prior models. On the LT grade and above, the daytime running lights have an animated sequence when the owner is walking toward or away from the truck. There are also three new exterior colors: Dark Ash, Sand Dune, and Glacier Blue Metallic.
The LT and above trim levels also get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 13.4-inch infotainment screen. The massive instrument display in front of the driver is fully customizable depending on the info that the driver wants to see.
On trucks with bucket seats, there’s now an electronic gearshift on the center console. Models with a bench still have the shifter on the steering column.
The range-topping High Country gets open-pore wood trim on the console, upper portion of the glove box, and door panels. The leather seats, meanwhile, gain a custom perforation and stitching pattern. Stainless steel grilles cover the speakers of the Bose stereo.
The High Country is also the only Silverado to get the option of the Super Cruise advanced driving assist system, and it even works while hauling a trailer. The tech is smart enough to comprehend the added mass behind the truck and adjust things like the braking distance accordingly. Oscillation detection can also tell if the trailer is starting to sway back and forth and prompts the driver to take back control of the truck.
All grades of the 2022 Silverado will get the Chevy Safety Assist suite that includes forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, follow distance indicator, and automatic high beams.
Optional tech includes trailer side blind zone alert and an improved adaptive cruise control system that can account for additional drag and increased braking distance when pulling a trailer. In contrast, Chevy previously advised against adaptive cruise while towing.
The Silverado also has some powertrain upgrades. Four engines are available including a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder, 5.3-liter V8, 6.2-liter V8, and 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel. The turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder now makes 310 hp (231 kW) and 420 lb-ft (569 Nm), rather than 310 hp and 348 lb-ft (472 Nm) for the current version. This lets rear-drive versions of the truck now tow up to 9,600 pounds.
Plus, a rear-drive Silverado with the 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel can now tow as much as 13,300 pounds (6,033 kilograms), rather than 9,500 pounds (4,309 kilograms) for the existing truck. The changes include a strengthened chassis, improved cooling, and the switch to a 3.73 final drive ratio, instead of a 3.23 ratio for the current pickup.