Bringing just one concept to the SEMA aftermarket trade show is apparently a very silly thing to do. Mazda brought two, Kia brought three or four and there’s a dozen between Mopar and Toyota. Chevrolet brought its own cornucopia of concepts, as well.
Whether you’re looking for something sporty or something very tall and capable of hitting the dirt, Chevrolet’s here to provide you some sweet, sweet vehicular medicine. Let’s take a look at each one and see what’s on offer.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Desert
If you can’t be bothered to choose between capability and luxury, the High Desert delivers both. The High Desert is actually a trim that exists at dealerships, in fact. Available on the LT, LTZ and High Country models, it’s the first package to add Magnetic Ride Control (magnetorheological suspension) to the Silverado lineup.
Chevrolet did add some new stuff for SEMA, though. The SEMA High Desert truck adds a performance exhaust that adds 7 horsepower, bigger brakes, all-weather floor liners and an illuminated bowtie grille emblem that reminds me of the option offered on Mercedes-Benz vehicles. My favorite part, though, is the set of 22-inch wheels with an anodized bronze finish.
Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Hurley Concept
This is the truck for the beach bums. In collaboration with Hurley, everybody’s favorite brand to buy at PacSun, this Colorado concept is called a “lifestyle enabler,” which is a term that’s still only moderately infuriating. It’s meant to be a mobile beach house, with a surfboard rack, loads of storage and even water-resistant seats.
You can’t bring a Chevrolet concept to SEMA without throwing all manner of actual Chevrolet accessories on it, and the Z71 Hurley is no exception. The illuminated black bowtie is here, along with off-road lights, sport steps and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot so you can quickly upload pictures of you shredding some gnar. That’s what surfers call it, right?
Chevrolet Camaro Turbo AutoX Concept
If you’re not familiar with autocross, it’s an excuse to fill a parking lot with cones and watch a bunch of gruff enthusiasts race against the clock while trying to avoid lodging said cones in wheel wells. This is the car for those folks.
It’s packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, stiffer suspension, better brakes and easier-breathing intake and exhaust systems. Chevrolet believes the power-to-weight ratio of the four-banger makes it perfect for autocrossing. Those 20-inch wheels might be a bit much for the parking lot, though. There’s a GoPro camera mount on the body, too, because you can’t autocross without taking enough video to make sure all your friends know you autocross.
Chevrolet Silverado HD Carhartt Concept
Do you like big, comfortable outdoor clothing as well as trucks? Well, boy howdy, you’re in luck. This truck is just as much a “lifestyle enabler” (shudder) as the Hurley concept, but this one applies to a more rough-and-tumble lifestyle.
Carhartt’s trademark duck-brown material covers the seats, armrests and door panels, and the fabric even features the same triple seams as the jacket. There are some Carhartt logos scattered about, too. Upgrades that you can’t buy from Chevrolet include a 20-inch light bar, in-bed electrical outlets, Carhartt pinstriping and trim accents made of antique nickel.
Chevrolet Camaro SS Drag Race Development Car
This one isn’t actually a concept. Rather, it’s a development car used to mimic the growth in power that amateur drag racers will go through. The started with a production 2016 Camaro SS and slowly began adding modifications like a new differential, camshafts, cylinder heads and other parts. Output is up to 530 horsepower before any power adders.
Using a high-stall torque converter, special transmission programming and DOT-approved racing slicks, the car’s best performance to date is a 10.685-second quarter mile at 125.73 mph. Its 60-foot time was a delicious 1.425 seconds. Well done, Chevrolet.
Chevrolet COPO Camaro
The COPO Camaro is hallowed ground for Chevrolet. The name speaks to the automaker’s special-order, high-performance Camaro drag car, which has existed in various forms since 1969. It’s designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator class.
It features a solid rear axle for better drag traction, a supercharged 5.7-liter V8, adjustable suspension, a manual steering rack, a fuel cell, unassisted disc brakes and a racing-only wiring harness. Other engines are available, including a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8 and a direct injected 6.2-liter V8. The sole transmission is a three-speed automatic.