Fans of the movie The Longest Yard will recall Burt Reynolds referring to his football team of prison inmates as The Mean Machine. The other “mean machine” is the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD, a heavy-duty pickup that’s been giving drivers the power and performance they need since Chevrolet began offering it in 1999.
Twenty-five years later, Chevy has something in store for fans of off-roading: the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2, an off-road version of this heavy-duty pickup based on the popular ZR2 trim, which was first offered with the midsize Chevy Colorado.
This beast gives drivers who love adventure a pickup truck that doesn’t just do the tough jobs during the week but can also conquer the most challenging trails you’ll ever encounter. The Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 comes with so many standard features that you won’t have to change a thing to make it off-road ready.
Loaded Up and Ready for Adventure
A truck that claims it can handle off-roading must have the necessary gear to tackle whatever you may come across in the wilderness. Chevy has thus given the 2024 Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 a set of standard equipment that makes it ready to roll into the backcountry right out of the dealer’s lot.
The Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 rides on 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT mud-terrain tires wrapped around 18-inch aluminum wheels. These tires are specially designed to give you the added traction your truck will need to get out of the stickiest situations out on the trail. The wheels themselves have unique open moldings with integrated mudguards; these not only look cool but will also perform brilliantly in even the roughest conditions.
Chevy has given this truck a 1.5-inch factory lift, increasing ground clearance on the 2024 Silverado 2500 HD from 10.1 to 11.6 inches. This will allow you to cruise over most obstacles in your path. However, Chevrolet isn’t leaving anything to chance with this truck. Each Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 comes with a series of skid plates in its undercarriage; a front aluminum skid plate that is light, powerful, and strong will protect things like your oil pan, while a larger one made of steel will protect your transfer case. This way, if you run over a rock or log, you won’t be stranded by damage to any vital features underneath your truck.
The 2024 Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 has a specially tuned off-road suspension featuring Multimatic DSSV dampers. These spool-valve dampers were created in conjunction with Chad Hall Racing based on a racing design. They combine the best off-road capabilities with on-road enjoyment, so you and your passengers will be comfortable wherever your Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 takes you. This suspension system also features newly designed front upper and lower control arms with front knuckles; these will also do an exceptional job supporting your truck whenever you decide to push the envelope.
Chevy has given this truck a standard four-wheel drivetrain—something to be expected of an off-road specialist. There is a rear e-locker, Chevy’s version of an automatic electronic locking rear differential; this will lock the rear axle to prevent slippage and skidding in wet or muddy conditions. Chevrolet finishes the ZR2 package with specialized logos to identify this beast as special—as if the build itself wasn’t enough to do so.
The Bullish ZR2 Bison
If that is not enough for you, you can opt for the ZR2 Bison special edition. This is a package of added features developed by Chevrolet in conjunction with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). It mirrors the ZR2 Bison packages that have been offered with the Colorado ZR2 and Silverado 1500 ZR2.
Just like those two models, the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison comes with specialized 18-inch AEV wheels in black. In addition, an added factory lift on this model increases the ground clearance to 11.8 inches. To further shield the truck’s undercarriage, there is a set of stamped steel underbody skid plates; these feature the AEV logo and are designed to protect the Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison’s front, steering rack, transfer case, and exhaust. Your truck would also get unique, stamped-steel front and rear bumpers with recovery points for safer and easier towing.
Two Engine Options for the ZR2
Chevy offers drivers a choice of two engines on the 2024 Silverado HD ZR2. The base engine is a 6.6L V8 gas engine paired with an Allison ten-speed automatic transmission. This has a single overhead valve configuration, with two valves for each cylinder. This cast iron block engine has cast aluminum cylinder heads and features variable valve timing to provide efficient engine performance. Chevy uses direct fuel injection on this gas engine, which is capable of up to 401 hp at 5,200 RPM and 464 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 RPM.
Drivers can also opt for a 6.6L Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8, also with an Allison ten-speed automatic transmission. This has a dual overhead-valve configuration with four valves per cylinder. Like the gasoline engine, it has a cast iron block with aluminum cylinder heads. However, this engine uses common-rail direct fuel injection to provide up to 470 hp at 2,800 RPM and 975 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 RPM.
Exceptional Performance On/Off the Road
Regardless of the engine you choose on your Silverado HD ZR2, you will get exceptional on and off-road performance. If you plan to use your truck for towing and hauling, you get the benefits of having a heavy-duty truck capable of doing the job for you. The 2024 Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 can tow up to 16,000 lbs with its gas engine and an impressive 18,500 lbs with the available turbo-diesel. Adding an optional fifth wheel hitch increases this truck’s towing capacity to over 18,000 lbs.
It can also carry some of your heaviest loads. With the standard gas engine, the Silverado HD ZR2 can hold up to 3,397 lbs in its payload bed. Chevy has made carrying cargo easier than ever with its six-position Multi-Flex tailgate; you can configure the tailgate into a step, a cargo bed extension, and even a workspace! In addition, the DuraBed cargo box is fully configurable with a 120-volt power outlet that can come in handy when making repairs or running some lights when you go camping.
The Silverado 2500 HD ZR2’s off-road capabilities are enhanced with its improved angles. In off-roading, the higher the angle, the more a vehicle can get up and over an obstacle. The ZR2 has an approach angle of 32.5 degrees, a departure angle of 25.7 degrees, and a breakover angle of 21.2 degrees. This is largely a factor of the truck’s 11.6 inches of ground clearance due to its factory lift.
If you opt for the 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Bison, you will see a slight change in your off-road angles. The approach angle on the ZR2 Bison drops to 29.8 degrees, the departure angle remains 25.7 degrees, and the breakover angle improves to 22.6 degrees. No matter which model you choose, you are going to get trail capabilities unlike any you’ve ever seen in a heavy-duty truck.
The 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 Is Ready to Get Off-Road!
So many off-road vehicles are great at what they do, allowing you to get through tough trails while thrilling your passengers—but many of these don’t do as well when you get back to civilization. The 2024 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 gives you all the tools you need for a fun weekend of off-roading while also providing towing and hauling capabilities you expect in a heavy-duty truck.
With its magnificent standard features, the Silverado 2500 HD ZR2 is ready to take on the toughest trails. If you want to take things to another level, you can always equip the ZR2 Bison package. Either way, you’re ready to push things to the limit!