The Speedway's no trailer queen. It was put through the usual Truck Trend regimen of tests. Naturally, Chevrolet was somewhat reticent about allowing an "idea machine" to be mechanically scrutinized and tested (we twisted GM's arm to get it--we weren't going to miss this opportunity). Even on cursory inspection, it was clear that the Speedway was well executed and solidly built. One important caveat regarding the performance data, however: The engine had less than 200 miles on it and hadn't yet been broken in. It's still an infant in engine years and a long way from providing its best performance.

What better place to fire up the Silverado Speedway than turning it loose at California Speedway in Fontana?

The burbling exhaust note is nice, but far too mild. It's a precursor to the truck's general performance. With a stock OD tranny, the numbers are skewed to more pedestrian adventures. Still, the numbers are only a half-second off the upgraded 2005 SSR's 0-to-60 times, and it's less than one mph lower in the slalom--and that truck has an LS2 6.0-liter V-8 and a manual transmission. There's no denying this is a street truck with race-truck cues, but it still would be nice to offer this package (even in a toned-down version) for the Craftsman NASCAR Truck Series crowd.

There's real potential here. The original Silverado SS Concept was muscular, low-slung, and nasty-looking. The Silverado SS that made it to production was a far cry from the earlier vision. For the Speedway Edition, Chevrolet worked closely with aftermarket companies to yield a track-inspired 1500 that pays homage to the old sales axiom "Win on Sunday--sell on Monday." Expensive truck technology like Quadrasteer and AWD will disappear in 2006. Perhaps it's time for Chevrolet to go back to the performance basics: style, backed by cubic inches.