At the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, Chevy exhibited a special edition of its full-size pickup, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Midnight. Dressed in basic black, the Midnight has a black grille (with bright accents), black headlamp bezels, black bumper, black tow hooks and black fog lamps. Well, the fog lamps aren’t black. The bezels are.
The Silverado Midnight also has black trim on its sides, and 18-inch black painted alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires (in black).
And because Midnight, black Chevy bowties front and rear.
Did we mention, too, that all 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Midnights would be black?
Chevy promised no more than 5,000 Midnights would be made, making it something of a limited edition, for whatever that will bring on the resale value.
Speaking of value, the Silverado Midnight isn’t inexpensive to begin with. Our test Midnight was based on the Z71 off-road package-equipped Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab (it’s also available in extended cab), which has a base price of $46,200. But the Midnight package adds $1,300, and our test truck, which included the 6.2-liter Ecotec3 6.2-liter V-8 with the new eight-speed automatic (replacing the standard equipment 5.5-liter/six-speed) for $2,495 and assorted other options (see window sticker in spec chart for a full listing), the total price came to $56,165.
(It’s about here where old-timers say, that’s more than I paid for my first house. For a pickup truck).
Of course, the Silverado 1500 Z71 package isn’t any old pickup. The off-road package include off-road ready suspension with heavy-duty Rancho shocks, plus four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case (with shield), hill descent control and an auto-locking rear differential.
We’re skeptical about the off-road capabilities of our Z71 as equipped. Big gnarly tires notwithstanding, the front spoiler limits approach angle, the long crew cab wheelbase limits breakover, and the running boards/sidesteps hand precariously low for serious woods/rock work. Mark this one up, we think, for muddy worksites rather than rock crawling. It’s not so much about getting over but getting through.
Even for those who are off pavement a lot, most owners of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Midnight will spend more, if most time on paved surfaces. And that’s where we did almost all of ours. Of course, we were impressed by the performance of the 6.2-liter V-8. It’s quiet at idle but comes on with a roar, and considering the weight of the truck—5,444 lbs—the Silverado is enthusiastic and its 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque move the beast. Thunderaceous merging here we come.
But agile? The aggressive knobs of the big 235/55R18 Bridgestone Wrangler Duratrac rubber walk during acceleration and hard cornering. And that’s a lot of mass to get rotating.
The mass of the tires affect the ride. It’s particularly noticeable from behind the wheel. Hit a bump at highway speeds and the tire sidewalls flex and recover and despite the best efforts of the shock absorbers, there’s more feedback from the pavement than lighter tires would have.
The knobby pattern of the tires also whine on the highway. Compared to other heavy-duty off-road tires, it’s rather subdued, and the noise reaching the cabin in minimal. Thank excellent noise insulation as well.
We had the opportunity for an extended road trip, and at the end of the day, we were fatigued from our transportation as much as from, well, the end of the day. The seats are comfortable and the road manners pleasing.
Don’t ask about taking the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Midnight into the parking garage, however. Others in the garage may have appreciated the black-on-black on black styling, but thank goodness for the rearview camera making the backing and forthing to get in and out of a parking space much easier. No spotter required.