Chevrolet probably didn’t predict that an adventurous cat would somehow eclipse its trucks and SUVs, but it knows a feline star when it sees one. Now Walter the cat is back, making a second appearance alongside the 2022 Chevy Silverado to prove winter weather doesn’t have to be a problem whether you have all-wheel drive or just fours.
The advert – dubbed ‘Walter in Winter’ – first aired in the US over the weekend and sees Walter brave the snow this time around. Along with going camping, Walter helps rescue an unlucky skier from the snow and sets up camp at an impromptu campsite — powered, of course, by the Silverado itself.
It’s all about showcasing the Trail Boss version of the 2022 Silverado. This takes the standard truck and gives it a two-inch rise above normal ride height, for increased off-road clearance. It also gets Goodyear Duratrac tires for better traction, along with a two-speed transfer case and the Z71 off-road package. It’s part of a push by automakers to incorporate some of the features we’ve seen popularized in third-party modifications, but this time straight from the factory.
For Walter fans, this is another opportunity to see a cat act like a dog. Truck fans, however, might be more intrigued by Chevrolet’s decision to go with a standard four-cylinder gas engine on the Silverado LT Trail Boss and Silverado Custom Trail Boss. While a V8 is available in the engine lineup, Chevy opted for its punchy turbo-four in place of this off-road-focused pickup.
Although smaller than expected, the high-output motor is actually good for 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. If you really want more cylinders, Chevrolet will offer the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter versions of its V8 as upgrades on both Trail Boss trims. The 3.0-litre Duramax turbodiesel – known for its abundant torque and better economy – is also an option.
It’s Walter’s second outing as a Chevy spokesperson, having made his debut in the summer of 2021. Next, the automaker showed the go-getter feline getting to grips with the 2021 Silverado, as part of its advertisement for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The spot was an instant hit and has since racked up over 2.1 million views on YouTube. While the Silverado showed off its Multi-Flex tailgate—something that carried over to the 2022 model year pickup—Walter was more interested in braving the great outdoors. That meant truck trips, going fishing and swimming, and chasing other kittens in the trees, just like a dog would.
While it might not be the kind of activity you associate with cats, the commercial’s pet wasn’t actually the result of CGI, at least for the most part. For the original commercial, Chevy’s agency, Commonwealth/McCann, used nine identical tabby cats to play the role of Walter, chief creative officer Gary Pascoe told Muse by Clio. Each furry actor had their own talents to bring to the set, a sprawling 100,000-acre ranch in Utah.
“Each cat had a unique and specific ability: jumping into a truck, going through a door, getting out of water,” Pascoe said. “The real chats worked so well that we ended up using very little CGI.”
Walter made a very small reappearance in Chevrolet’s teaser for the Silverado ZR2 in September 2021, though you’d have been forgiven for missing the brief tail sighting while Chris Pratt extolled the truck’s virtues.
For Chevy, the 2022 Silverado is particularly important. Truck sales continue to grow in the United States, and it’s an ongoing battle to try to snipe Ford’s best-selling F-150 from the top spot, especially as the chain’s shortage of supply adds unexpected hurdles to automakers’ production plans. Meanwhile, in 2023, Chevrolet will launch its 2024 Silverado EV, the first all-electric version of the pickup.
It will use the GM Ultium platform for electric vehicles, have a range of around 400 miles – depending on the model – and offer improved convenience features such as the ability to open the bed in the cabin to carry more items. long. While the 2022 Silverado Trail Boss will be offered with a bed plug, useful for powering campsites whether or not you have your cat with you, the 2024 Silverado EV will be sold with a PowerBase charging system, capable of providing up to 10 .2 kW across as up to 10 outlets.
Ads for the Silverado EV have yet to start appearing, and indeed Chevrolet is currently only taking reservations for the electric truck. Sales are expected to start next year, while the new gas-powered Silverado Trail Boss will arrive in dealerships later in 2022. Chevrolet will supply the Multi-Flex tailgate; you will need to provide the adventurous pet.