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2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 plays defense with new ZR2, bigger touchscreen, hands-free driver-assist system

Chevrolet is playing catch up after the luke-warm reception the redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado received. It’s time for some defense.

The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was unveiled on Thursday. When it arrives in the spring of 2022 it’ll bring with it a larger touchscreen infotainment system, a seemingly nicer interior, GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway system, and a new ZR2 off-road model.

With the introduction of the ZR2 model, the 2022 Silverado 1500 will be offered in nine different trim levels with three cab configurations and three bed lengths.

Refining the formula

At first glance it might not be clear that the 2022 Silverado 1500 has been updated. It doesn’t look much different on the outside than the 2019 model. Small changes were made that bring the Silverado 1500 more in line with the Tahoe and Suburban SUV up front, including new grille designs and headlights that are mounted lower.

The cabin has been worked over with a revised dashboard, new seat designs, and new soft-touch materials on LT trim trucks and above. While Work Trucks and Custom trim trucks stick with the 2021 Silverado’s lackluster interior and 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, any 2022 truck that’s LT trim or above features a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in Google Assistant. Also for 2022, Chevy finally introduces a console-mounted shifter with a T-shaped electronic unit that first debuted in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

ZR2 enters the conversation

The mid-size Colorado ZR2 finally has a full-size companion: the 2022 Silverado 1500 ZR2. It only took four years, but the Silverado ZR2 treatment brings Multimatic’s trick Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) technology and position sensitive damping system to a larger platform. The shocks feature three separate spool valves for damping and three connected chambers for fluid flow. Every Silverado ZR2 gets front and rear electronic locking differentials and rides on 33-inch mud-terrain tires. Upgraded skid plates take things a step beyond the off-road-oriented Trail Boss model.

The ZR2 sets itself apart visually from the rest of the Silverado lineup with a new front fascia, red tow hooks, Chevrolet’s Flow Tie badge, and a new steel front bumper that improves the approach angle to 31.8 degrees and comes with removable end caps.

Every ZR2 draws its power from a 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission sends that power through four-wheel-drive system with a 2-speed transfer case.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

More power and towing capability, no V-6

The Silverado’s base V-6 doesn’t return. The standard engine becomes an updated version of the 2.7-liter turbo-4 now with 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 62 lb-ft. Despite the additional torque, the turbo-4’s max towing capacity falls by 100 lb to 9,600 lb due to an additional 130 lb of standard equipment. The turbo-4 gets its extra torque from an increase in maximum boost to 27 psi, and it’s bolstered to withstand the extra grunt with a more rigid cylinder block casting, an extra 2.2 lb of aluminum ribbing, and a 30% stiffer crankshaft. The brand claims the updated turbo-4 and its 8-speed automatic are quieter and more refined than before.

The 5.3-liter V-8 and 6.2-liter V-8 carry over. The smaller engine makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

While the turbodiesel inline-6 carries over with the same 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, its max towing capacity increases 4,000 lb to 13,300 lb thanks to a larger rear differential, bolstering to the chassis, and more cooling for the powertrain.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

2022 Chevrolet Silverado High Country

No hands

Safety will come standard on the 2022 Silverado 1500 lineup as every truck will feature automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and lane-departure warnings.

General Motor’s Level-2 hands-free driver-assist system dubbed Super Cruise is finally coming to the pickup trucks. Available on the 2022 Silverado 1500 High Country, the option will allow drivers to use adaptive cruise control and drive hands-free on more than 200,000 miles of mapped highways in North America. The system is upgraded for duty in the Silverado with the ability to be used while towing a trailer.

Chevrolet hasn’t said how much the 2022 Silverado 1500 will cost and hasn’t released fuel economy ratings. Look for that information to come closer to the spring 2022 launch.

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