A red 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 is shown from the front at an angle while parked in the desert after leaving a Chevy dealer in OH.

What Does It Mean to Wear the ZR2 Badge of Honor?

If you’re an avid off-roader, you’ve probably heard the news that the famous Chevy Silverado 1500 is now available with ZR2 capabilities. The ZR2 badge has been seen on the midsize Colorado for a few years now, and with the recent unveiling of the 2022 Silverado ZR2, the industry is buzzing with excitement. As you pass by your local Chevy dealer, you may be craning your neck, trying to catch a glimpse of one of these new models, and we don’t blame you for being awe-struck. There’s just something about the exhilaration that goes along with the celebrated ZR2 namesake, and now that one of the most capable trucks on the market is able to show off this honor, it just makes it that much more thrilling for those interested in adventuring. So, what features can you expect out of these highly equipped models, and why is the ZR2 badge so special?

The ZR2 Legacy

When you see a Chevy truck with ZR2 emblazoned on its tailgate, you know that it’s meant for adventure. Dubbed one of the most capable off-road trucks on the market, the ZR2 badge gained recent fame with the 2017 Colorado ZR2, one of the most influential off-road trucks released that year. The 2017 Colorado ZR2 was built on a wider platform and sat higher than rivals for increased ground clearance. It was also armed with some of the most groundbreaking off-road elements imaginable. It took on obstacles like a seasoned pro, all with unmatched agility, precision, stability, and control. It was exactly what the brand needed to compete with its rivals in the industry, like Ford and Ram.

ZR2 models stemmed from a need to take iconic Chevy performance to new heights, blasting past the competition on the trails and overcoming some of the toughest obstacles around. Whether the journey took you rock crawling or trail riding, there was nothing these skilled machines couldn’t accomplish. The Colorado ZR2 quickly made a name for itself as the one to watch in the industry, prompting drivers to hop on the bandwagon and get behind the wheel of this thrilling truck.

When a truck brandishes the ZR2 name, you know that it’s ready and willing to take you where others don’t dare to travel. Venturing to explore uncharted territories and handling the elements with finesse, ZR2 models are built with optimal durability and ruggedness at their core. There’s no better model to embark on your next exploration than a celebrated Chevy ZR2 model, and the proof is in their exceptional performance, no matter where the road (or trail) takes them next.

A red 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is shown from the front while climbing over a rock.

Exclusive ZR2 Features

Vehicles that sport the respected ZR2 badge include features that can’t be found in other models. From legendary performance elements to bold designs, ZR2 vehicles are unlike the rest. One of the most exciting ZR2 features is the use of Multimatic DSSV dampers, which showcase spool valves instead of traditional disk valves to enhance its performance on any surface and offer a ride quality that is unmatched. When embarking on off-roading fun, these specialized dampers provide finely tuned compression damping, made possible by a third spool valve that is piston-mounted to achieve maximum control and precision on the most treacherous terrain. They provide six tuning curves in front and four in the back for even more control and agility, offering the assurance you’re looking for during your adventure.

Class-exclusive front and rear electronic-locking differentials are part of the reason why ZR2 models showcase some of the most impressive four-wheel drive systems in the industry. Maintain control on any surface and navigate your way through tricky territory with a truck that’s locked and loaded with off-road features, designed for unparalleled traction and stability. You’ll also find that ZR2 models sport a design that screams adventure, with a higher stance to maneuver over obstacles with ease, a reinforced frame, a rugged build able to handle the elements, and large off-road tires for increased traction and control in any environment. Strong skid plates, a menacing bumper, and more intimidating features make it easy to spot a ZR2 model from a mile away.

Exclusive badging, rugged design cues, and large wheels set the tone for these off-roading legends, allowing them to resonate with a variety of onlookers. Their wide-set builds and powerful engines allow them to take on terrain easily and with excitement so that drivers can revel in a ride that’s both controlled yet completely invigorating. ZR2 models aren’t just trucks that can off-road; they’re off-roaders that just so happen to be talented when it comes to any type of drive you need to take on next.

ZR2 Models

Perhaps the most exciting recent news is the unveiling of the Silverado ZR2, which made its way onto dealership lots beginning in the spring of 2022. The Silverado ZR2 showcases legendary Silverado capabilities, blended seamlessly with rugged, adventurous capabilities to make it one of the most highly anticipated trucks in the industry. Its 6.2L V8 engine provides it with massive power and acceleration, while its 10-speed automatic transmission with an Electronic Transmission Range Selector allows for smooth transitions, no matter where you’re traveling. You’ll find the aforementioned Multimatic DSSV dampers put to good use here, as well as massive 33-inch mud-terrain tires to help this strong truck maneuver through virtually any obstacle.

Rugged skid plates and an off-road bumper provide the Silverado ZR2 with the durability it needs to traverse the trails, while ZR2 wheel flares and animated LED headlamps give it that air of excellence and excitement that adventurers are looking for these days. The Silverado has just been upgraded to ZR2 status this year, and drivers can’t wait to get behind the wheel to experience a thrill.

Not to be outdone, the midsize Colorado has been brandishing the ZR2 badge of honor since 2017, and drivers are still mesmerized by the experience. A factory-installed lift, rock sliders, and segment-exclusive shocks allow this fan favorite to travel on any terrain with poise and precision. The ZR2 Bison takes this truck a step further by offering the ultimate in off-road design, plus a front winch, five reinforced skid plates, and exclusive AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) front and rear bumpers that scream excitement.

Now that the Silverado has joined the ZR2 family, drivers have options when it comes to off-road exploration, making Chevy the brand to beat in the off-road segment. Drivers can now choose from a midsize and full-size option, both of which feature some of the most impactful features available to enhance the experience on the trails and beyond.

A red 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 is shown from the front at an angle while speeding through the desert.

ZR2 Status

When a vehicle is chosen to wear the ZR2 badge, it means something. It means optimal control and thrill on some of the most challenging surfaces imaginable. It also means taking capable Chevy trucks and enhancing them with capabilities that you won’t find in rivals. Although the ZR2 badge isn’t new, it just keeps getting better with age, and now that there are more models to choose from in the Chevy arsenal, you’ll be sure to see more traveling on the road and the trails.

So, the next time you’re passing by your local Chevy dealer, take a peek at the lot and try to spot a Silverado ZR2, or when you’re embarking on a road trip, see how many Colorado ZR2s you find on their way to their next adventure. Chances are you’ll be surprised by just how many drivers choose to lead a ZR2 lifestyle.