The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Is Your New Badass Off-Road Animal


Think of it as the mid-size Raptor Ford doesn't have.

Chevrolet claims the new Colorado ZR2 is in a "segment of one," simply because there’s no other mid-size (production) truck out there that matches its off-road capabilities. You should be excited. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is making its live debut at this year’s LA Auto Show and we’ve got the full details. Compared to the standard Colorado truck, the ZR2 has a much wider track and a lifted suspension. It also features functional rockers that’ve been added for improved performance over rocks and other obstacles.

Even the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance. With the help of Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers, the ZR2 is the first off-road vehicle to utilize this tech. For the record, the first "on-road" vehicle to have DSSV dampers was the 2014 Camaro Z/28. What makes these dampers unique is that they’re position-sensitive, meaning their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping. During extreme off-road use, there’s a third piston-mounted spool valve that delivers additional compression damping. The front dampers also use a separate rebound valve, which kicks in when the suspension approaches full extension.

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But perhaps what makes the ZR2 really special is that buyers can opt for the Duramax diesel engine with 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque or a new 3.6-liter V6 with 308 ponies and 275 lb-ft of kick, which is paired to an eight-speed slushbox. In addition to its sophisticated four-wheel drive system, the ZR2 can tow up to 5,000 lbs and carry up to 1,100 lbs of payload. Chevy also notes the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter than full-size off-road trucks. Styling wise, the ZR2 has an aggressive profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for better ground clearance while the front and rear rack have been widened by 3.5 inches.

Riding on a set of 17-inch aluminum wheels, the ZR2’s front bumper has tapered ends in order to increase tire clearance. Also note the aluminum skid plate that protects the oil pan and radiator. Official pricing has yet to be released and we figure the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be arriving in dealerships in the very near future.

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