LOS ANGELES – General Motors pulls the cover off the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, an off-road pickup it considers one-of-a-kind in the segment.
“This is the real deal,” GM North America President Alan Batey tells WardsAuto after the truck breaks cover here by climbing a tower of steel emulating a mountain course.
“It has all the capability anyone would ever want,” he adds. “The package is so unique.”
GM says the pickup combines the nimbleness and maneuverability of a midsize pickup, compared with its fullsize big brother the Silverado, with the most factory off-road technology of any competitor in its segment.
The Colorado ZR2 boasts a wider track than the standard model, a lifted suspension and functional rockers for improved performance over trail obstacles. The front and rear bumpers also have been modified for greater clearance.
But the kicker is the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers, which the automaker uses on performance variants of its Chevy Camaro sports coupe to improve performance on racetracks. On the Colorado, the DSSV technology from Markham, ON, Canada-based Multimatic provides increased precision and manufacturing repeatability in addition to enhanced ride and handling in the dirt and on the pavement.
Front and rear electronic locking rear differentials and an available diesel engine further distinguish the truck from its competitors. The 2.8L 4-cyl. turbodiesel offers 181 hp and 369 lb.-ft. (500 Nm) of torque. Standard equipment is a newly developed 3.6L V-6 with 308 hp and 275 lb.-ft. (372 Nm) of torque. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Colorado ZR2 receives bigger wheels and tires, as well, with 17-in. aluminum and 31-in. Goodyear Duratrac off-road rubber.
Mark Dickens, executive director-Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering at Chevrolet, says the Colorado ZR2 was validated over challenging terrain such as the Rubicon Trail in Nevada, the Moab, UT, off-road trails and the winding Tail of the Dragon section of state roadway in southern Tennessee.
Dickens says the truck handled everything despite his group’s mandate “to break stuff.”
Batey says it is unclear what the consumer demand might be for the ZR2 but with a truck market going great guns and standard Colorado models selling as soon as they hit dealer lots expectations are high.
“The Colorado has been a surprise in the market and this truck redefines what the off-road pickup should be.”