In order not to be outdone by the latest V8-powered Ford Bronco DR, Chevrolet has revealed its own desert-running beast at SEMA. It’s literally called the Chevy Beast, but unlike the limited-edition Bronco DR, the Beast is just a concept. The Bronco and Beast may not be comparable from a sales standpoint, but I’d still love to see these two duke it out in the desert.
The Chevy Beast is built over a Silverado chassis. Chevy says it’s on a short-bed four-door platform shortened even more, but it doesn’t look very much like a pickup to me. I guess that’s kind of the point here. It looks kind of like a Warthog from Halo: Combat Evolved, but that might just be the color scheme.
The Beast is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged, eight-cylinder engine. It’s an LT4 crate engine from Chevrolet Performance, tuned to make 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Power is sent to the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a two-speed transfer case. The Beast is AWD. It’s running on 37-inch tires, which are spaced pretty far apart. Front and rear track width is a whopping 91 inches. Its wheelbase is just under 127 inches, while ground clearance is 13.5 inches.
The following are the angles that make up its geometry, per Chevy:
- Approach: 45 degrees
- Departure: 46.5 degrees
- Breakover: 35 degrees
The front and rear suspension travel is 12 and 15.5 inches, respectively, but Chevy didn’t provide any weight figures. So, we don’t know the exact mass that the race-spec struts and shocks have to dampen on desert runs.
In contrast to the Ford Bronco DR, the Chevy Beast can carry four passengers. Chevy says that the minimalist, functional cabin is fitted with four Recaro seats.
Again, I know the two aren’t competitors but it would be neat to run the two side by side. The Beast has the Bronco beat on HP by a wide margin — 650 HP versus 400 HP. But depending on the wet weight (or passenger load) and how well the suspensions are set up to perform off road, I’d still love to see which is the better desert runner.