A close up shows the grille on a 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD ZR2.

The 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Promises Diesel-Powered Heavy-Duty Off-Roading

In general, most automakers save big changes for a new generation of a model, and make small, incremental changes during each generation’s run. This usually involves things like a new exterior paint color, making the infotainment touchscreen a little larger, or increasing the number of standard safety features on the base trim level. When Chevrolet announced the changes for the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, it truly shook the world.

This is a mid-generation model, as the last major update happened just four years ago, so it is surprising that Chevy decided to make two major changes to this popular, heavy-duty pickup truck model. First, it has come out with a new trim that will come as good news for off-road enthusiasts. There are a number of special edition models that also give you the ability to take your Silverado 2500HD out on the trail. The second big change promises to make the Silverado 2500HD more attractive for drivers who plan to buy a heavy-duty truck with a diesel engine option. This is why the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is not your usual mid-generation truck model. Rather, Chevy’s approach could revolutionize how automakers handle other mid-generation updates going forward.

This Is the Year the Silverado 2500HD Conquers Off-Road

Probably the biggest news about the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is that Chevrolet is giving this heavy-duty truck its famous ZR2 trim. The ZR2 was first offered on the midsize Colorado, giving a taste of what Chevy could do for off-roading enthusiasts. Chevy took things a step further when it began to offer the ZR2 trim on the full-size Silverado 1500. Now, you will be able to take your Silverado 2500HD out on the trail if you opt for the ZR2 model.

If Chevrolet is sticking with the same plan as other ZR2 models, this truck will have a wider stance and higher ground clearance than other models as a result of a factory lift. In addition, the Silverado 2500HD ZR2 will probably feature strategically positioned skid plates to protect critical points in the truck’s undercarriage. The Silverado 1500 ZR2 sports a set of all-terrain tires and a suspension system consisting of Multimatic DSSV spool-valve shocks with front and rear locking differentials. These help deliver a smooth ride regardless of the terrain, while helping reduce wheel skid in critical situations. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these carried over to the Silverado 2500HD ZR2 truck. One thing we do know for sure is that this truck has a new, more aggressive fascia with a set of C-shaped LED graphic lamps around the new dual-projector headlights. This feature will also appear on the LTZ and High Country models as well.

Chevy has announced that the 2024 Silverado 2500HD ZR2 will become available in the fall of 2023. If you cannot wait until then and want to take advantage of the summer months to test the limits of your heavy-duty Chevy truck, you could opt for one of four amazing special editions for 2024. The Midnight Edition is offered exclusively on the High Country trim. In addition to the expected emphasis on ebony throughout its exterior appearance, the Midnight Edition will feature a skid plate, a hood vent, and all-terrain tires. The standard wheel size on the Midnight Edition will be 20 inches, but 22-inch wheels are available as an option. Clearly, the Midnight Edition is not just for show.

The other three special edition models also have off-road capabilities, with larger all-terrain tires and skid plates. The Z71 Sport Edition and Z71 Chrome Sport Edition build on the tradition established by Chevy’s prior Z71 models offered on the Silverado over the years. The fourth special edition is the Alaskan Snow Plow Special Edition. This is so rugged that it can handle the heavy snowfall of the 49th state. it even has a spray-in bed liner and rubber mats in the cabin, since it is purpose built for folks who need the power of a heavy-duty truck to plow the toughest roads.

A white 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is shown on a dirt driveway.

More Power To the Diesel

The Chevy Silverado 2500HD had built a reputation for its power and capability. This is one heavy-duty job that has always been up to the task. So how could Chevy make a good thing even better? This was a question that the engineers at Chevrolet answered with flying colors on this truck.

Chevy has made the Allison 10-speed automatic transmission standard on every model of the 2024 Silverado 2500HD. Drivers who want a conventional gas engine on their heavy-duty truck should take notice. Prior models of the Silverado 2500HD paired the 6.6-liter V8 gas engine with a six-transmission. Adding an Allison 10-speed transmission will improve peak performance on the Silverado 2500HD with the gas engine. The additional gears reduce the steps between each one. It should also enhance grade braking, providing more precise downshifting.

Another major improvement results in better performance from the 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8. The prior year’s model of the Silverado 2500HD with the turbo-diesel engine option delivered a solid 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. Chevy has boosted the performance of this engine, providing for more efficient combustion. As a result, the 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 on the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD can provide up to 470 horsepower and 975 lb-ft of torque.

These are not just impressive numbers. They translate into actual improvements in capability. For example, the 2023 Silverado 2500HD with the turbo-diesel had a maximum towing capability of 18,510 pounds. While this is better than the conventional gas engine on the Silverado 2500HD, it is not enough if you want to tow the heaviest trailers. By boosting the output of the Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8, the engineers at Chevy have increased the maximum towing capacity of the 2024 Silverado 2500HD with this engine to an incredible 22,500 pounds. This is the capability you need if you are planning to use your Silverado 2500HD to tow trailers for work or recreation vehicles for play. These are the kind of earth-shaking changes we rarely see in any truck except when a brand makes a generational change.

A close up shows the wheel on a 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

A Tectonic Shift for the Silverado 2500HD

Chevy may be starting a trend with the 2024 Silverado 2500HD. Automakers in the past were content to rest on their laurels between major generational changes in their models. Some were just looking to milk the current model for all it was worth, wringing the last dollar of it until making any major changes. If a brand decided to improve things, they were usually cosmetic in nature, like a new paint color or some additional exterior trim. Other times, they’d extend a popular feature from the top trim levels to the lower ones. We’ve seen these with things like the infotainment system where many brands have made features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all models, or driver assistance features.

When it comes to the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, the incremental changes have actually been quite revolutionary. The introduction of the ZR2 trim means that you can get a heavy-duty truck with the most advanced off-road equipment that can hit the trail right off the lot without any major modifications. Chevy is also giving drivers four different special editions on the Silverado 2500HD, boosting the options for drivers. In addition, two major changes have been made to the Silverado 2500HD’s powertrain. These are not simply new paint colors or or a larger touchscreen. These are the kinds of changes usually reserved for a new generation of truck. Chevy has thrown down the gauntlet on mid-generation changes with the 2024 Silverado 2500HD. Let’s see if any other brands take up the challenge.