When Chevrolet first introduced the Colorado, it managed to set new standards when it comes to mid-sized trucks. With the new Colorado ZR2, the brand is once again poised to repeat this. This latest offering is expected to lead the brand’s Colorado range and once it is officially released for sale, will contain more off-road technologies not before seen in the mid-size pickup class. As such, the new ZR2 is projected to offer extraordinary performance no matter what the condition may be. This can include, among many others, running at high speed in the desert, going through tight two-track roads, technical rock crawling, and even a casual daily drive.
According to Mark Reuss, who is the brand’s executive vice president for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, the engineering team had experienced previous success especially with the different variants of the Camaro and the Corvette. With the ZR2, he added, the team used the same philosophy but applied it for off-road performance. Reuss shares that with the ZR2, one can go rock crawling on a Saturday followed by a drive in the desert by Sunday and ultimately going to work on Monday. Indeed, this truck can not only do everything, he continued, but do everything very well.
In terms of powertrain, considering that the ZR2 is fitted with the same one in the 2017 Colorado, it becomes the sole production off-road truck to offer customers a selection between diesel and gasoline engines. Specifically, the diesel unit is the Duramax diesel engine which allows for 181 hp and peak torque of 369 lb.-ft. Meanwhile the other one is the 3.6-liter V6 engine which delivers output at 308 hp with top torque of 275 lb.-ft., and paired to the automatic 8-speed Hydra-Matic 8L45 transmission. It comes as no surprise then to know that despite the upgrades geared for off-road driving, the ZR2 has a towing power of 5,000 lbs with the ability to carry payload of about 1,100 lbs. This fact alone gives the ZR2 an advantage compared to other models in the segment as it gives a wide array of choices when it comes to powertrain technologies. Furthermore, it is lighter by 500 lbs. and narrower by 1 ft., ensuring that it delivers better agility and offers enhanced trail access.
Design-wise, the production version of this model has a similar look as the concept vehicle that was first presented by Chevrolet during the LA Auto Show in 2014. At that time, the response of the consumers to the concept presented was so great that the brand knew that majority of the original design should be included in the production version.
Chevrolet Truck Director for Design Rich Scheer shared that whether it was the concept version or the production model, the exterior of the ZR2 was designed with the goal of enhancing the ability of the vehicle to drive over rock, sand, and mud. Thus, the ZR2 comes with a stance that is more aggressive and wider, he added, with both bumpers in the front and the rear being modified. The objective to improve performance was even carried to other features like the spare-tire carrier which is bed-mounted and which enhance the overall performance.