Since its debut in 2010, the Ford SVT Raptor has roamed the performance off-road realm unchallenged from any of the “Big Three.” Sure, GM and Ram have offered off-road versions of their respective pickups, but none were near the level of the SVT Raptor, which is seemingly ready to take on the Baja 1000 straight off the showroom floor. However, a new trademark by GM may indicate that the automaker has seen enough and is ready to take on the Raptor.
GM Authority uncovered a trademark application filed on February 16, 2015 for the term “Badlands,” which is often given to areas best reserved for off-road-ready rigs. What’s more, the trademark application states that it will be used for “motor land vehicles, namely, trucks,” so this will certainly be a pickup of sorts with a name that indicates it is an off-road monster.
Things get a little unclear when trying to figure out exactly what brand the automaker filed this trademark for, but given the off-road scene is nowhere near as large in Europe as it is here in the States, I can only assume that this name is reserved for a GMC or Chevy, and not a Opel, Holden, or Vauxhall.
The question remains whether or not this will truly be a competitor to the Raptor or if it will simply be an off-road-prepped version of the standard Silverado or Sierra. In order to keep up with the Raptor, which will feature a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine good for 450 horsepower, GM would need to do some serious engine tinkering. A possible solution would be to base the engine for the Badlands pickup on the 3.6-liter twin-turbo from the ATS-V, which produces 450 horses, to make it competitive with the soon-to-be-released redesigned Raptor. Alternatively, Chevy could just crank up the wick on its existing 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 to around 500 horses, which would be an 80-horse increase.
I can sit here and speculate all day only to find out that this may be nothing more than a simple placeholder that eventually goes nowhere. I’ll keep an eye on this subject and bring you updates as they becomes available.