It’s time to put the all-new Chevy Silverado ZR2 to the World’s toughest towing test – the Ike Gauntlet™! In this video, Nathan and I compare the new ZR2 to our long-term Ram TRX. The trailer we are using is a new BlackSeries HQ19 camping trailer that weighs just over 7,100 lbs. Which one of these off-road trucks is better at towing a large trailer? Let’s find out!
ZR2 vs TRX
Both of these trucks are equipped with 6.2-liter V8 engines. They are different engines. The Chevy’s 6.2L V8 is naturally aspirated with 420 hp, and the Ram has a supercharged 6.2L V8 with 702 horsepower. The Silverado ZR2 has Multimatic DSSV spool valve shocks and a leaf-sprung rear suspension. The TRX is a wide-body truck with Bilstein Blackhawk e2 shocks and a 5-link coil-sprung rear suspension.
|Silverado ZR2||Ram TRX|
|Engine||6.2L V8 (420 hp / 460 lb-ft)||6.2L SC V8 (702 hp / 650 lb-ft)|
|Transmission||10-speed auto||8-speed auto|
|Rear Axle ratio||3.23 to 1||3.55 to 1|
|Max Towing||8,900 lbs||8,100 lbs|
|Max Payload||1,480 lbs||1,360 lbs|
The Ike Gauntlet is the world’s toughest towing test because it is an 8-mile stretch of a 7% grade interstate highway with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. At the top of the continental divide, the air density is 32% less than at sea level. The engines struggle for oxygen and the brakes can overheat on the way down the mountain.
We are pulling a new BlackSeries HQ19 camping trailer that is equipped with tough off-road-ready suspension and large LT tires. The trailer weighs just about 7,100 lbs, but it is tall and wide. The new Silverado ZR2’s gross-combined-weight estimator gave a warning that this trailer may be over our ZR2’s combined rating. However, we weighed the truck and trailer and we know for sure that we are 2,000 lbs under the total GCWR limit.
The TRX surprised with an excellent performance on the downhill. I had to apply the brakes just once. The grade-shifting algorithm, the transmission, the rear axle, and the rest of the truck combined for a safe and controlled descent. The ZR2 performed better than most other half-ton pickup trucks we recently tested. The ZR2 required 5 brake applications to descend the mountain.
Both trucks performed very well on the way up the mountain! The ZR2’s suspension had a bit less squat than that of the TRX. For longer highway towing trips, I would lean towards the ZR2 because this truck offers a bit more payload, it’s still very stable, and it offers better efficiency when towing on flat highways.
Check out the video for all the details.