Chevrolet Rides the Special-Edition Wave

Chevy Realtree 1 II

What do you do when you have the fewest number of trim packages in a popular and profitable pickup truck segment?

If you're Ram, you constantly add trim levels to the lineup. Ram has been doing that for almost six years, bringing its special-edition lineup to 14 distinct trim packages. But maybe that's too many.

In 2015, Ford streamlined its offerings to six trim levels, but then added different appearance, sport and chrome packages to allow buyers to customize their truck; that doesn't count the numerous features and option packages you can add on top of those packages.

And then there's Chevrolet.

The current-generation Chevrolet Silverado 1500 debuted almost three years ago and already has had a midcycle redesign, but it still has just five trim packages: WT, LS, LT, LTZ and High Country. Of course, Chevy offers the Z71 Suspension Package on several trim levels to create two more extra levels. And don't forget about all those GM accessories. Unfortunately, buyers have been slow to embrace the growing accessory catalog GM has amassed for its pickup customers.So GM decided to add the accessories to the pickups and call them special editions.

We've seen several special editions for Chevy pickups in the last few years, such as Special Ops, Midnight and Realtree Silverado 1500s. None of these pickups are technically different from a standard order-from-a-dealership truck, but they have several specific accessory modifications and special paint jobs to give them a customized look and feel. Sometimes its more aggressive tires and black-out rims, sometimes its a unique paint job or maybe low-profile tires and a racing stripe; other times it's a complete makeover with a hunting or fishing theme. But all of these special editions use existing catalog accessories.

According the Automotive News, Chevy is sold on this special-edition strategy and is likely to continue the practice because of the success it's had with Camaro and Corvette special-edition vehicles. Chevy trucks marketing czar Sandor Piszar understands that the days of offering a limited lineup to a diverse buying population are gone. To be successful, truckmakers need to have niche products that cover every type of buyer imaginable. If you don't have the right the truck for a buyer, you better have the right accessories to allow him or her to build the truck they need.

Lately Chevy seems to be doing the best job of creating the most exciting packages, especially with offerings like the Navy-inspired Silverado 1500 Special Ops and off-roadish Colorado Trail Boss, but we expect both Ford and Ram to step up their game in much the same way. One of the best and most efficient features of the Chevy special editions is that they're relatively inexpensive to produce. After all, Chevy is just adding a few accessories, which doesn't require extra engineering or government crash-testing.

We don't have any doubt that Chevy, and by extension GMC, will continue this quick-hit strategy for several more years, at least until the new Ford Raptor and Ram SRT make it into production.

Manufacturer image

 

Chevy Special Ops 1 II

Chevy Midnight 1 II

 

Comments

With sales falling, desperate times call for desperate measures. Lipstick on a pig.

I only wish the GM twins would offer a Raptor-like edition

Ford has the Raptor

Ram has the Power Wagon and Rebel

Chevy has.... wait... er uh.... nothing and I like chevy's

Chevy has these trim packages but nothing like the other 2 which are more then show....

This strategy is crap.

2013 and 2014 F-150's have brake failures, 420,000 trucks and I have one of them!
I have to keep paying and paying and paying to have my brakes repaired.
They replace everything such as the calipers, rotors and pads but the real problem is the brake booster.


but NOOOOOOOOO ! you'll never hear about this problem here!
those F-150's are sooooo wonderful!

GM can't do a raptor like truck because the IFS on GM trucks are junk. The worst IFS out of the other half ton trucks.

In regards to travel, GM needs to take a lesson from Toyota and Ford on how to design a good offroad IFS.

On the market right now, the Tundra has the most front travel and the beefiest IFS, the Tundra has ~9" of front travel stock non TRD Pro trucks (the TRD PRO has 1.4" more travel, so ~10.4" for the TRD Pro).

For comparison the previous gen stock Raptor had 11.1" of front travel (8.5" on stock F150).

The "GM Reaper" truck only has 9.2" of front travel. So the "Raptor-fighter" GM Reaper truck has essentially the same amount of travel as a stock 4x4 Tundra.

This is why GM can't do a pre-runner truck from the factory, the GM IFS is honestly not capable of producing competitive wheel travel.

This is why you see many more Toyota, Ford and even Ram (Pre-air suspension) mid/long travel built trucks, because these platforms offer the ability to generate good travel.

But wait, for all you Chevy haters out there, Chevy/GMC has the 6.2/8spd, granted only in the higher trim levels, so far, but after their announcement about raising the production levels of the 6.2, maybe it will be available in the LT? level! That would be something to crow about! As it stands right now, they make the most powerful quickest, quietest best handling pickup out there, and one other, best MPG gas trucks in the 1/2 ton segment! When they do offer that engine in an LT Z-71, I will be in the local Chevy dealer trading in my 2011 totally trouble free in 111K so far mileage for one! Yes and I like all black, no chrome. Granted it is no Raptor, or Ram diesel, but for what I use my truck for, towing an Airstream, and hauling stuff for the yard, running up and down the beach to fish and lay in the sun, my Chevy truck has been just fine thank you. I have owned a F-150 ecco-boost, and had nothing but trouble/headaches, I have also owned a Dodge Dakota, and that was not bad, but the new Rams are just too heavy! but you can get one just as you like if you were to order it, and wnt to spend the money. Never owned a Toyota, Nissan, but never had the need to as the domestics I can get are just what I want, not to mention offer more!

When GM does not have to worry about making profits and to survive as a business because they will run to mommy and daddy to get a taxpayer bailout, they can take stupid risks.

That is unfair and not right as the bailout was just that!

que pasa con la silverado reaper? esta en prototipo o nunca.la sacaran al mercado?

I prefer the Mexican brand....Ford!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLXrzwj6htE

No necesitamos ningún muro apestoso!

Go drive the trucks. Be open minded.

The hemi RAM sounds nice and has a smooth ride.

The Toyota has a strong V8 and is well overdue for some fresh makeup.

The Nissan is a work in progress

The GM models are still fresh

The Ford is already due for a refresh.

When you finish your open minded review of the available models, the GM trucks are the class of the field today. RAM, Toyota and Ford need a refresh. Nissan and GM are ready to compete.

Class dismissed!

@louDc or hemi or who ever you are, if you have that much trouble with your F150's brakes then get rid of it. Don't come on here and complain just get rid of it. Problem solved.

And that chevy truck in the picture above is just hideous looking. No way around it, just HIDEOUS looking.

Guess they think that will want to make people run out and buy a chebby...I think not..as for not selling enough acc. from the gm parts catalog, that's because people don't want to pay double for em at a stealership.

Why do you GM haters keep coming back when this Web site already told you which light duty truck is the best at what these trucks are designed to do. Not to mention how good those GM'S look doing it.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html

The "GM Reaper" truck only has 9.2" of front travel. So the "Raptor-fighter" GM Reaper truck has essentially the same amount of travel as a stock 4x4 Tundra.

This is why GM can't do a pre-runner truck from the factory, the GM IFS is honestly not capable of producing competitive wheel travel.

This is why you see many more Toyota, Ford and even Ram (Pre-air suspension) mid/long travel built trucks, because these platforms offer the ability to generate good travel.
Posted by: jackyo | Mar 5, 2016 12:14:03 PM

Pull your head out of your butt, GM had nothing to do with the Reaper. The fact that you center your argument based on the Reaper, an independently developed and marketed truck by Southern Comfort Automotive, shows you have no idea what you're talking about.

The GM twin's IFS system is more than capable of long travel when modified to the same extent as the Ford Raptor or Toyota TRD's suspension system. Baja Kits developed a set of control arms (Just as Ford did for the Raptor) that allows for 11.5" of travel.

You don't have to like GM, but if your going to come on here and spread your BS, atleast have FACTUAL BS.

https://www.bajakits.com/product/baja-kits-14-chevy-silverado-4wd-prerunner-kit-front-only/

Chuck Z, MOPAR has that market cornered!

Elvis.
Great site.... Looks like they can take a raptor up to 16" of travel!!!!
https://www.bajakits.com/product/baja-kits-2010-ford-raptor-f150-4wd-long-travel-race-kit-front-only/

This is one reason GM is killing ford in pick up truck sales. With the absolute highest quality and longest lasting pick up GM has cornered the market on the customers who are educated and elite. The Walmart employees will continue to buy dog lambs and fords that fit the lower class market.


And if you look at that site a little closer you will see they have a long travel Baja kit the 14+ Silverado that has an 18" travel. So; what's your point?
https://www.bajakits.com/product/baja-kits-14-chevy-silverado-4wd-long-travel-race-kit-front-only/ and these are for ALL 4x4's not just a special package that sells very few.
Nothing for the regular 2015+ 1/2 ton Ford that's been out now for well over a year!

Elvis.
Great site.... Looks like they can take a raptor up to 16" of travel!!!!
https://www.bajakits.com/product/baja-kits-2010-ford-raptor-f150-4wd-long-travel-race-kit-front-only/


Posted by: Scott | Mar 5, 2016 11:00:43 PM

@tj, always love your comments. You just show more ignorance with each one.

@ elvis, you are pointingto a kit for the Silverado that basically completely replaces the entire front suspension to get 11.5" of travel. A TRD Pro gets nearly as much travel from nothing more than different springs and shocks--using the STOCK Tundra control arms. If you are willing to go so far as the Silverado kit on a Tundra, you'd probably end up with 15-16" of travel.

I am not bashing GM, in fact, a GMC 3500 will likely be my next pickup way down the road, but let's call a spade a spade.

who cares how much travel the raptors front suspension has. You ford guys should be more worried about the crap frames on the truck that bend.

If GM made a reg. cab short bed silverado with the 6.2 and 8 speed, I would go out today and buy one.

If GM made a reg. cab short bed silverado with the 6.2 and 8 speed, I would go out today and buy one.


Posted by: heyyouguys | Mar 6, 2016 9:51:11 AM

Are you suicidal ?


And if you look at that site a little closer you will see they have a long travel Baja kit the 14+ Silverado that has an 18" travel. So; what's your point?

Ya. It's a 2wd kit.... I'm sure you saw that but failed to mention it. Also my point is you can take a Ford 4wd to 16" and the Chevy you can take to 11.5"

This is one reason GM is killing ford in pick up truck sales. With the absolute highest quality and longest lasting pick up GM has cornered the market on the customers who are educated and elite. The Walmart employees will continue to buy dog lambs and fords that fit the lower class market.


Posted by: tj | Mar 6, 2016 5:13:24 AM

Here, Here. Actually, that's the way it has always been. It amazes me how stubbornness prevents so many from enjoying a better pick-up truck owner experience. Tj, as you stated, GM is killing Ford in sales and that will continue as more open minded people cross shop these pick-up truck brands.

A reg. cab short bed silverado with the 6.2 and 8 speed, you cant tell me that would not be one bad truck. I,m not suicidal, just old school and still love street trucks, I got a 03 silverado 4x4 to drive every day and a lowered mild built 99 silverado for fun.

"Lately Chevy seems to be doing the best job of creating the most exciting packages, especially with offerings like the Navy-inspired Silverado 1500 Special Ops and off-roadish Colorado Trail Boss, but we expect both Ford and Ram to step up their game in much the same way"

That right their says it all boys. Ram is fine, tons of trims to pick from. Ford is in trouble. Good job GM and Ram for giving people more choices with your awesome V8's

Sure be nice if it had a 6.2 L with an 8 speed, which is their best.
However these are in short supply. Can get it in the SS Camaro for discounted price of 34K however the cheapest pick-up still runs over 41K. Guess its just supply demand situation. This is all about marketing, trying to move more 5.3's

I'm not gonna lie, this actually looks quite good. Some of these so called special editions leave much to be desired, but not this one IMO.

you are pointingto a kit for the Silverado that basically completely replaces the entire front suspension to get 11.5" of travel. A TRD Pro gets nearly as much travel from nothing more than different springs and shocks--using the STOCK Tundra control arms. If you are willing to go so far as the Silverado kit on a Tundra, you'd probably end up with 15-16" of travel.


Posted by: Dav | Mar 6, 2016 8:53:08 AM
-
Dav, I pointed to the kit because that was essentially what the Raptor's front suspension is: a suspension kit, modified frame, and modified body panels. Jackyo tried to argue that the difference in suspension travel between a Raptor and a stock GM 1500 suspension is evidence that the GM suspension is somehow flawed. And for the TRD Pro suspension, it seems to be a decent setup for Tundra guys. The problem for me is that the TRD Pro suspension is bolted to a Tundra, which I'm not interested in. Tundras just don't hold up in the rust belt. They're also gas hogs and the interior is straight out of a 90's Camry. To each their own.
-
Scott, the link hdmax pointed IS for a 4WD truck and allows the 18" of wheel travel just as he stated:

"Baja Kits 14+ Chevy Silverado 4WD Long Travel Race Kit"

http://www.bajakits.com/product/baja-kits-14-chevy-silverado-4wd-long-travel-race-kit-front-only/

The point is, none of the truck we're talking about are limited by their suspension design, not the GM twins, F150 or Tundra. For whatever reason GM doesn't see a business case for spending money to develop an offroad package like the TRD Pro or the Raptor.

The aftermarket seems happy to help out. To be honest, in my experience, the aftermarket provides better solutions and build quality than any OEM package. How many TRD Pro guys leave the cheap control arms on their TRD if they really use it offroad? Not many.

Go drive the trucks. Be open minded.

The hemi RAM sounds nice except 1.7 million Ram trucks were recalled, mostly to check or fix a wiring issue that could cause the driver’s side airbag to deploy inadvertently.

The Toyota has a strong V8 and Tundra pickups sold in the United States for the 2000 to 2003 model years are recalled to address a risk that part of the truck's frame could corrode, causing spare tires or even the gas tank to drop to the road.

The Nissan is a work in progress, except they in 2015 they finished 13th overall with 128 problems per 100 vehicles. In 2016 Nissan is near the bottom of the list with 173 problems per 100 vehicles.

The GM models are still fresh except General Motors is recalling more than 473,000 trucks and SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because the brake pedals can come loose and fail to work properly.

The Ford is already due for a refresh and The U.S. government is investigating complaints about brake failures on the F-150 pickup.

Class dismissed!

So tj leans towards trucks because of perceived snob appeal? That's short sighted. Papa Jim just smacked down everyone.

Garage
Mule

Can
Hear
Every
Valve
Rap
On
Long
Extended
Trips

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9l-UmoDWuE

Brakes huh?? Seems like chevy has problems with brake pedals falling off. That's not good. Class dismissed.

Black Paint, wheels, tires, chrome delete, stickers... another GMC/Chevy "masterpiece".

Up the sticker, sell to the suckers, take the money, screw the taxpayers.

Honestly probably the least effort per $ earned for them so one cannot deny it is smart short term business.

@Lou, if it makes you feel any better, that was one of the reasons I left Chevy back in 08, from 98- until when I decided to try another manufacture, I had nothing but brake problems, and ended up replacing rotors and brakes with aftermarket, then the issues went away.......

On this article, not always a bad idea, I like the real tree one, but agree with others, they should make a competitive truck instead of a Niche type vehicle that wont sell many.

@Nitro, Clint,

actually the special editions are a response to demand from dealers. The more garish, the better.

Nitro drives the Elton John edition, evidently

@PAPA, you left yourself open on that one

Chevy make a Raptor? Please, they would just ruin it.

Chevy make a Raptor? Please, they would just ruin it.

Ford did alright with the Raptor but left a lot to be desired. It's too bad they're wasting their time trying to make an Ecobust version for 2017. They should have spent the money making a stronger frame and putting in a better transmission cooler. The 5.0 with direct injection would be a much better engine. A proven V8 with DI performance.



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