2022-02-08 | New Roads Magazine
Engineering the Future
Chevy’s executive chief engineer of full-size trucks talks about the new 2022 Silverado and more.
In more than 20 years with GM, Jaclyn McQuaid has worked on a wide range of truck products, including the updated 2022 Silverado. We sat down with her to learn more about the new Silverado and what’s coming down the pipeline.
New Roads: The new 2022 Silverado has been described with the term “No compromises.” What did that mean for the development team?
Jaclyn McQuaid: So often when you talk about vehicle development, you talk about things that require tradeoffs. With the 2022 Silverado we set out to reject those traditionally accepted tradeoffs and give our customers that “and” statement. For example, in the ZR2, we said our customers want a great-performing off-road truck, and they want to drive that truck to work on Monday in comfort with a premium interior, and they don’t want to compromise on noise and vibration. So how do we give them that “and” statement? That was our whole goal.
NR: What led you to introduce the first-ever Silverado ZR2?
JM: About 30 percent of our Silverado customers select the Trail Boss. In addition, we have our wildly popular Z71 Off-Road package, which is our base off-road offering, and approximately 30 percent of our customers select that. So 60 percent of our customers are looking for some level of off-road capability. Clearly this is where the segment is going from an interest perspective, and we want to give the customer what they’re asking for. And a little bit more.
NR: How did the Silverado ZR2 race truck inform decisions for the production version?
JM: We really use the racecourse to develop the majority of our chassis and drivetrain components. We began developing the Multimatic™ dampers on our Silverado ZR2 race truck back in 2019, taking it out in real-world desert race conditions to ensure that we were giving the customer what they would need to perform exceptionally well off road. And not just the desert, but we’ve taken the truck to Moab and Silver Lake sand dunes and multiple places. We’ve brought back learnings from all those experiences and made modifications specific to the ZR2 to make sure we give the customers that true, authentic performance.
NR: One major introduction that’s available for the 2022 Silverado High Country is Super Cruise™ driver assistance technology.† Why is that so important?
JM: Our truck customers oftentimes use their truck to work or haul, and it can be fatiguing. Having Super Cruise available for the customers is something that I felt really passionate about. And what’s really exciting is the addition of trailering† with Super Cruise. That’s absolutely first-in-industry. This feature will give the customer that extra level of confidence while trailering.
NR: What excites you about adding an electric truck?
JM: The electric Silverado [First Edition RST available fall 2023] will open up a whole new avenue for serving our customers with technology and innovation that will excite the most dedicated truck buyer. From towing capability to range to an innovative mid-gate design, this is a truck that will exceed all expectation. We also understand that many of our customers will go through a transition process as they learn about and fully embrace battery electric trucks, just as we have been on a journey inside GM. In the meantime, it’s important we support both types of propulsion — internal combustion and electric — and in fact continuously raise the bar in both spaces. Some customers are still interested in internal combustion engine trucks, and with the new 2022 Chevy Silverado we’ll have the perfect truck for them. And for those customers interested in an electric truck, we’ve got a great option coming with the electric Silverado. We’re excited to give our customers this wide range of choices so all customers can find the truck that’s right for them.
STORY: JAKE HOLMES / PHOTOGRAPHY: ROY RITCHIE