2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD ZR2 Super-Sizes the Off-Roader

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Need to both seriously off-road and pull a small house? Chevy’s got the answer for you.

Chevrolet on Thursday revealed the 2024 Silverado HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison. Applying the ZR2 special sauce to a larger serving size, the HD ZR2s bring more serious off-roading chops to the heavy duty sector.

The HD ZR2 and HD ZR2 Bison both start with the refreshed 2024 Silverado 2500 Crew Cab—the only body style available in ZR2 form—including the redesigned headlights and their C-shaped LED signatures. A big, black-out grille dominates the front-end, with the hollowed-out “Flow Tie” Chevy badge front and center. There are also redesigned wheel flares with integrated mudflaps. Unique 18-inch alloy wheels come wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires. The ZR2 keeps the HD’s corner-stop rear bumper and power tailgate, as well as the available six-position Multi-Flex tailgate.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 First Drive Review: Fashionably Late Off-Road Flagship

Like the Silverado 1500 ZR2 we enjoyed so much last summer, it’s whats underneath that counts here. Chevy’s engineers have jacked up the HD’s ride height by 1.5 inches (38 millimeters), and fit the trick Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. The DSSV system uses precisely cut holes in the damper’s internal rods, making for more precise tuning across the damper’s entire stroke, and smoother build-up of resistance at both ends. In our experience with the light-duty truck, DSSV is a win-win: better off-road performance, and a smoother on-road ride.

Chevrolet has also fit an electronic rear locker, and larger skid plates, both aluminum (nose) and steel (transfer case). There’s also a dedicated Off-Road driving mode.

The Bison builds on all this with black 18-inch wheels from AEV, and unique steel bumpers on both ends, with integrated recovery points and a provision for a winch up front. There are also even more serious, boron steel skid plates protecting the front undercarriage, steering rack, and transfer case.

These Bison changes subtly alter the HD ZR2’s off-roading angles: a lower approach angle (29.8 versus 32.5 degrees) but a better breakover angle (22.6 versus 21.2 degrees). Both versions of the truck boast a 25.7 departure angle.

SEE ALSO: 2023 Ram 2500 Rebel First Drive Review

Under the hood is a pair of 6.6-liter engines, either gas or diesel. The former spits out 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. The diesel ups those figures to 470 hp and a massive 975 lb-ft. Both come hooked up to an Allison 10-speed transmission; the diesel has a lower 3.42 drive ratio (3.73 in the gas).

The maximum payload is 3,397 lb (1,541 kg), for the gas ZR2. On the other end of the spectrum is the ZR2 Bison diesel, capable of 2,811 lb (1,275 kg). The latter is also a little over 1,000 lb heavier than the former: a chunky 8,495 lb against 7,409 lb.

Conventional trailering capacity is 16,000 lb (7,257 kg) for the gas models, and 18,500 lb (8,391 kg) for the diesels. Fifth-wheel or gooseneck brings most of the measures down, except for the ZR2 gas, which shifts up to 18,070 lb (8,210 kg).

Inside, the HD ZR2s benefit from the same sprucing up as the rest of the HD lineup. Material quality has improved, and there’s a 13.4-inch infotainment screen running Chevy’s latest Google-based infotainment system. A 12.3-inch digital instrument panel sits behind the redesigned steering wheel. Chevrolet has made sure to tilt the central screen and center console controls towards the driver, for a better feel as well as ease of use. Other tech goodies include a full-color 15.0-inch head-up display (with unique off-roading menus), high-def surround vision system, and a redesigned wireless phone charger.

Production of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD ZR2 and ZR2 Bison will kick off in Flint, Michigan later this summer. It will arrive in dealerships in Q3, and we can expect pricing details closer to that time.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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