Silverado ZR2 vs F-150 Raptor Drag Race Gives the Ford a High-Altitude Advantage

Back in 2009 when Ford introduced the Raptor iteration of the F-150 , the road-biased performance trucks of yesteryear were toast. And the desert runner bid paid off, with the Blue Oval machine enjoying the market alone for two generations. However, the current Gen II Raptor, which uses a twin-turbo V6 like the Gen II, has to compete against the horsepower-dominant supercharged V8 Ram TRX while also facing Chevy’s new Silverado ZR2, a good old N/A V8 effort.

While Chevrolet has showcased an open-body Silverado-based concept originally named The Beast, which packed a supercharged V8, the Golden Bowtie chose a different path for the production iteration of its go-fast full-size truck.

As such, the Silverado ZR2 sports an atmospheric V8 good for 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of twist. This is a brilliant truck to drive regardless of the surface, but, instead of engaging in the said battle of the dinosaurs, it uses a more down to Earth approach that many traditional Chevrolet customers appreciate. In addition, the ZR2 undercuts both its rivals in terms of pricing.

The Raptor, on the other hand, features a 450 hp, 510 lb-ft twin-turbo 3.5L V6, while coming with even more capable off-roading suspension and larger tires accompanied by flared fenders.

The crew over at TLF Truck have pitted the 2022 Silverado ZR2 against the Raptor and, since they normally operate over in Colorado (hey, here’s the upcoming 992 Porsche 911 GT3 RS testing in that part of the country), were forced to give the Ford an advantage.

You see, their test track is almost 1 mile above sea level, and with air density being reduced, this affects the atmospheric engine of the Chevy more than in the case of the Ford’s forced-fed motor.

While both trucks feature a ten-speed automatic, the Blue Oval toy is also aided by its more aggressive final drive (think: 4.10:1 vs 3.23:1).

On the other hand, even though the Raptor they tested used the 35-inch tires rather than the optional 37s, the ZR2’s 33-inch units still make for an asset in a drag race. Besides, the weight difference that already favored the Silverado was further increased by this being a base model (owned by TLF) and the F-150 coming to the battle fully loaded with options.

A head start

However, to ensure each truck has a fair chance of reaching the finish line first, the team held two races: one with an even start and one where the ZR2 set off about 1s ahead of the Raptor. Both machines delivered their best times (shown in one of the screenshots below!) in 4WD automatic mode (no paddles) with the electronic nannies off.

Now, with Ford having already confirmed a V8-animated Raptor R for 2023 to give the TRX a run for its money, will Chevy follow through? There aren’t any solid clues towards this at the moment, as it seems that GM has invested its ridiculous-but-cool pickup truck energy into the GMC Hummer EV, which is a 1,000 hp, 9,000 lbs silent velocity titan.



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