The line separating real GM performance trucks from utility workhorses is usually drawn by the chain-link fence dividing the parking lot and the pits at a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. Chevy wants to change that perception--or at least blur it--with the Silverado Speedway concept. What could be more enticing amid a sea of utilitarian devices than a 6.0-liter V-8-powered rear-drive, regular-cab pickup in lively NASCAR trappings? The proportions are still more street than track, but the race-tempered styling is clearly applied throughout.
A combination of off-the-shelf SS parts and one-off resin pieces completes the look. The Speedway features the current monochrome SS styling and body cladding with added "gaping-mouth" lower grille in the front fascia above the airdam. The openings are covered in a fine mesh screen painted in a textured blue-black finish. A rear deck spoiler, molded into the hard tonneau cover, is highlighted in flat black with faux height-adjusting rods that add flair, not function. The cab corners, tonneau, and fascia are fiberglass-reinforced epoxy components fabricated by racecar specialists Wheel to Wheel Inc. to GM specifications. The fadeaway Bow-Tie graphics won't be for everyone.
Under the hood sits a mutant LQ9/LS6 HO 6.0-liter V-8 Vortec cooked up in the Wheel to Wheel Powertrain laboratory. The standard LQ9 powers the Cadillac full-size SUV lineup, current extended cabs, and current Silverado SS. The cylinder heads, valves, and camshaft are lifted from GM's high performance LS6 engine. The stock exhaust manifolds dump into a custom fabricated, dual-tip, side-exit exhaust with Corvette Corsa mufflers. A powder-coated heat shield protects the bodywork.
Peak horsepower and torque tweak the meters at 417 each at 4700 and 5900 rpm, respectively. Power moves through GM's 4L65E four-speed automatic tranny to the stock 9.5-inch rearend loaded with 3.73:1 gearing. It's transferred to the ground by way of Goodyear Eagle LS 275/55SR20s on GM-designed Intro forged billet-aluminum wheels, which are coated in the same blue-black finish as the grille inserts.
Inside, the decor is basic black and racer-chic. Climb over the padded rollbar and settle into one of the Sparco Milano 2 seats with custom fabricated four-point harnesses. An elongated Hurst shifter with classic cue-ball knob and Simpson Nomex boot give the impression of a manual gearbox, but the absence of a third pedal brings you back to reality. A quick-release fire extinguisher is anchored to the transmission tunnel between the seats. The brushed-aluminum instrument cluster features individual Auto Meter gauges with a large tach on the A-pillar. A small roof-mounted center console holds the interior lights and a cubbyhole. The interior's finished off by classy Volo leather inserts.