Editor’s note: If you’re looking for information on a newer Chevrolet Silverado, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Review.
With the Ford Raptor temporarily out of production, what’s an off-road-truck enthusiast to do? Enter the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Reaper, a modified Silverado 1500 that takes direct aim at Ford’s groundbreaking truck. A joint venture between GM performance specialist Lingenfelter and custom builder Southern Comfort Automotive, the Reaper adds an optional Magnuson supercharger to the Silverado’s 5.3-liter V8 or 6.2-liter V8, raising output to 475 horsepower or 550 hp, respectively. Throw in a hardcore off-road suspension, extensive styling tweaks and custom graphics, and you have a Silverado that’s ready for practically any adventure — especially with the Reaper’s supplemental warranty coverage through Chevrolet.
If there’s one thing that gives us pause about the Reaper, it’s the price range, which starts in the mid-$50,000s without the optional supercharger and ends in the mid-$60,000s for a max-attack model. For reference, the Raptor started around $45,000 when new. In the real world, though, the average Raptor sold for many thousands more, and there’s a considerable markup on most pre-owned specimens, as well. With the Reaper, you get a brand-new truck at comparable cost, and as a fringe benefit, the supercharged models have a lot more power. If you’re in the market for a factory off-roader, the 2014 Reaper will likely be hard to resist.
What’s New for 2014?
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Reaper is an all-new model that’s based on the Silverado 1500 and sold through Chevrolet.
What We Like
Incredible off-road capability; serious supercharged power; intimidating exterior; typical big-truck versatility
What We Don’t
Sobering price; presumably frightful fuel economy if you get the supercharger
The Reaper begins life as a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with one of two engines. The 5.3-liter V8 is rated at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, while the 6.2-liter V8 bumps up to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft; a 6-speed automatic handles the shifting duties either way. As noted, Lingenfelter’s supercharger conversion brings the 5.3’s output to 475 hp and the 6.2’s to 550 hp.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the stock 5.3 gets 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway in 4×2 form, dropping to 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy as a 4×4. The stock 6.2 checks in at 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy (4×2) and 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy (4×4). With the supercharger bolted onto either engine, a 10- to 15-percent fuel economy reduction is a reasonable projection, though official numbers have not been provided.
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Chevrolet Reaper is essentially a Silverado 1500 with a suspension-and-body conversion kit, but buyers get to choose whether a few additional options are specified.
The base Reaper package consists mainly of suspension and appearance upgrades, including a long-travel off-road suspension with a 3-inch lift, Fox Racing shocks, 20-in Reaper wheels with 33-in off-road tires, a more aggressive front end with a unique hood and bumper, wide-body fender flares, rock guards, stainless-steel skid plates, LED off-road light bars, a CORSA Performance exhaust, a Reaper graphics package, upgraded gauges and Reaper-specific interior accents.
Options include the supercharger, 17-in beadlock wheels with General Grabber red-letter tires, a LINE-X bed liner, an upgraded light bar and matte-finish paint.
The 2014 Reaper shares its safety equipment with the Silverado 1500, so it comes standard with anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and eight airbags (front, front-side, rear-side and full-length side-curtain). Also standard is GM’s OnStar emergency telematics, featuring services such as a stolen-vehicle locator, automatic crash notification and emergency roadside assistance. See the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado models for sale near you
Behind the Wheel
In our interior evaluation, we found some of the Reaper’s unique details somewhat garish, but let’s face it — in this specialized segment, that’s kind of the point. If you dig the flashy graphics package on the truck’s rear flanks, you’ll likely appreciate the red gauge numerals and custom-stitched Reaper headrests, too. In other respects, the Reaper’s cabin is standard-issue Silverado, meaning that it has vastly improved materials relative to Chevy’s previous-generation trucks, with an attractive dashboard to boot. The technology options are impressive as well, headlined by a beautifully rendered 8-in touchscreen with MyLink smartphone integration.
Our test vehicle was the top-of-the-line supercharged 6.2-liter Reaper, and it took us on quite a memorable journey. The off-road drive route consisted of deeply rutted dirt pathways leading up to a plateau overlooking California’s famous Streets of Willow racetrack. The terrain was steep enough in places that we couldn’t see anything but sky in front of us, yet the Reaper never skipped a beat, thanks in part to the custom front bumper’s extra 8 inches of clearance. Credit also goes to the long-travel off-road suspension, which serves up a Raptor-rivaling 9.2 inches of front travel and 11.2 inches of rear travel.
Back on the pavement, we dipped into the supercharged V8’s reserves and were suitably impressed. Of course, with a curb weight approaching three tons, those 550 horses have a lot of work to do, but there’s no doubt that the Reaper gets up and goes, and it sounds downright fierce with the free-flowing CORSA pipes bellowing out the back. If we could change one thing, we’d swap out the 6-speed automatic for the smoother, new-for-2015 8-speed, but that’s mostly a matter of personal taste — it’s not like the torque-laden V8 needs more gears. In any case, we expect to see a supercharged Reaper package for the new 8-speed trucks in the not-too-distant future.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro — The off-road Tundra is relatively tame in the looks department, but a spirited run through desert whoop-de-doos made us believers in this truck’s talents.
Used Ford F-150 SVT Raptor — It may not have the oomph of a supercharged Reaper, but the Raptor didn’t become an instant legend for nothing. It’s an epic off-roader.
The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 may seem like overkill, but in our experience, it felt just right for this hulking beast. Go big or go home.