Chevrolet unveiled its new Beast concept, a "high-performance desert running" vehicle that looks like it was designed with the military in mind. The automaker is showing off the new concept as part of its yearly SEMA Show, a press statement reveals.
The Chevy Beast is a four-seater off-road vehicle with a customized pickup body that sits on a modified Silverado chassis and runs on a Chevrolet Performance LT4 650-horsepower supercharged crate engine, giving it 650 horsepower. The V8 engine is hooked up to a 10-speed automatic with a two-speed transfer case that sends power to the Beast's four-wheel drive system.
That Silverado chassis was shortened to create a 4130 chromoly tubular safety structure. The vehicle also uses a concept, long-travel suspension system with a five-link rear suspension, allowing for a wider 91-inch track meaning stable handling during off-road runs.
General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports Jim Campbell says the Beast is "a vision for a new dimension of Chevrolet Performance capability from a brand that's been pioneering performance and supporting customer personalization for more than 50 years." Chevrolet also recently announced a new 1,000-hp, 10.4-liter crate engine, another bold internal combustion offering as other large automakers increasingly go electric.
The beast 'flat out flies in desert running'
The Beast looks like it takes design cues from the Defense Infantry Squad vehicle, which is being developed by Chevrolet's parent company General Motors. That vehicle is capable of carrying nine soldiers and it features a 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with an output of 186 hp.
Still, "there’s nothing else like The Chevy Beast," says Jeff Trush, GM program manager, Pace Car and Specialty Show Vehicles. "It delivers a ton of performance and capability, which makes it adept at conquering rough terrain — and it flat-out flies in desert running." However, unlike the Defense Infantry Squad vehicle, which is currently in development for real combat situations, the Beast is only in the concept phase and we are unlikely to see a real version of the off-road machine hit those desert trails any time in the near future.