Seeing General Motors taking a renewed interest in off road trucks with the 2014 Silverado Z71 Black Ops & Volunteer Firefighter Concepts is refreshing. Currently, GM has the least capable off road packages among the competitors in this market. The Fast Lane Truck did some off road testing with a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the Z71 off road package – and it left me wanting.
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 had a lack of ground clearance, low(ish) profile tires and side-steps that killed its break-over angle. Compared with Ford and Ram’s off road offerings, the Silverado Z71 package is almost innocuous. Raptors and Power Wagons are a bit overkill, but there are milder off road options from both automakers that still feel more robust than the Chevy’s Z71 package.
The 2014 Silverado Z71 Black Ops & Volunteer Firefighter Concepts are a bit cartoon-ish, but they point to real potential in the future, IF the good people at General Motors are willing to build them.
“Chevrolet developed the Silverado Z71 Volunteer Firefighter concept truck, which honors the service of grassroots first responders, with input from the National Volunteer Fire Council. The concept vehicle features a full complement of rescue equipment incorporated on a new Silverado Double Cab equipped with the Z71 Off Road suspension.
The sinister-looking Black Ops concept is based on the Silverado Crew Cab 4×4, building on its strength, performance and safety with features designed to turn the wasteland into an oasis, including custom-fabricated lower body armor and a lockable, bed-mounted Truck Vault storage unit. It holds a solar power pack, a pair of gas masks, gloves, military First Aid Kit, folding shovel and rope.” – – General Motors Media
General Motor’s EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 engines sit in the 2014 Silverado Z71 Black Ops & Volunteer Firefighter Concepts. Good for 355 horsepower and 383 lbs-feet of torque, these trucks have no engine upgrades – as far as I know. They do house 18-inch rubber and a ton of thematic equipment – but that’s about it.
I like the roll-bars/light-bars and flares, but those massive wheels would be a menace off road.
Speaking of menacing off road driving, check out this video of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 off road!