The Internet Goes Wild Over Chevy’s Walter The Cat

Chevrolet might not have predicted that an adventurous cat would somehow overshadow its trucks and SUVs, but it knew a cat star when it saw it. Now Walter the cat is back, making a second appearance in a 2022 Chevy Silverado to prove that winter weather doesn’t have to matter whether you have all-wheel drive or just four legs.

The ad – dubbed “Walter in the Winter” – aired for the first time in the US over the weekend, and this time features Walter braving the snow. In addition to going camping, Walter helps rescue poor skiers from the snow and settles into impromptu campgrounds – with the help of Silverado himself, of course.

It’s all in the name of tossing in the Trail Boss Silverado 2022 trim. That takes the standard truck and gives it a two-inch lift above the usual ride height, for increased off-road clearance. It also gets Goodyear Duratrac tires for better traction, plus a two-speed transfer box and a Z71 off-road package. This is part of the automaker’s push to include some of the features we’ve seen popularized in third-party modifications, only this time straight from the factory.

For Walter fans, this is another chance to see cats acting like dogs. Truck enthusiasts, however, may be more interested in Chevrolet’s decision to use a four-cylinder gas engine as standard on the Silverado LT Trail Boss and Silverado Custom Trail Boss. While a V8 is available in the engine lineup, Chevy opted for a powerful turbo-four instead for this off-road-focused pickup.

While it may be smaller than you’d expect, the high-output engine is actually good at making 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. If you really want more cylinders, Chevrolet will offer versions of the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s as upgrades to both Trail Boss trims. The Duramax 3.0-liter turbo-diesel – known for its generous torque and better savings – is also an option.

This is Walter’s second appearance as a spokesman for Chevy, having made his Summer 2021 debut. Then, the automaker showed the avid cat trying the 2021 Silverado, as part of its 2020 Tokyo Olympics commercial.

The place became an instant hit, and has since been viewed more than 2.1 million times on YouTube. While the Silverado showed off the Multi-Flex Tailgate – something that has been carried over to the 2022 model year pickup – Walter was more interested in challenging the outdoors. That means road trips in trucks, going fishing and swimming, and chasing other cats up trees, just like dogs do.

While they may not be the kind of activity you associate with cats, the pets in those ads aren’t really the result of CGI, at least for the most part. For the original ad, Chevy’s agency Commonwealth/McCann used nine identical tabby cats to play the role of Walter, creative lead Gary Pascoe told Muse by Clio. Each furry actor has his own talent to bring to the set, a massive 100,000-acre ranch in Utah.

“Each cat has a specific, unique ability: jump into a truck, break through a door, get out of the water,” Pascoe said. “Real cats performed so well, we ended up using very little CGI.”

Walter made a very minor reappearance in the Chevrolet teaser for the Silverado ZR2 in September 2021, though you’d be forgiven for missing a brief tail sighting while Chris Pratt praised the truck’s prominence.

For Chevy, the 2022 Silverado is a big deal. Truck sales continue to grow in the US, and it’s an ongoing struggle to try to snatch Ford’s best-selling F-150 off the top spot – especially as supply chain shortages add an unexpected hurdle to the automaker’s production plans. Meanwhile, in 2023, Chevrolet will launch the 2024 Silverado EV, the first electric version of the pickup.

It will use the GM Ultium platform for EVs, has a range of around 400 miles – depending on model – and offers enhanced convenience features such as the ability to open the bed into the cab for transporting longer items. While the 2022 Silverado Trail Boss will be offered with a power outlet, handy for powering campsites whether you’re bringing a cat or not, the Silverado EV 2024 will be sold with a PowerBase charging system, capable of supplying up to 10.2 kW across as many as 10 outlets.

Advertisements for the Silverado EV haven’t started showing up yet, and indeed, at this point, Chevrolet is only accepting reservations for the electric truck. Sales are expected to begin next year, while the new gas-powered Silverado Trail Boss will arrive at dealerships in 2022. Chevrolet will provide the Multi-Flex Tailgate; You must provide adventurous pets.

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