Chevrolet has finally revealed to the world the Colorado ZR2 concept, which we have been waiting for for quite some time now. Though not confirmed for production, the concept looks more like a production show truck than a non-production concept truck. If we all shout loud enough and flash our money around, it will hopefully encourage Chevrolet to green-light this Ford F-150 Raptor fighter.
To whit some history: the ZR2 nameplate is 20 years old. Back in 1994, Chevrolet first introduced the ZR2 package in the compact S-10 pickup. Soon after, it was added to the S-Series Blazer in 1996. The package was available through 2003 on the S-10 and in 2005 on the Blazer. And it made it to the last-generation Silverado in concept form, as well.
Visually, the 2015 Colorado ZR2 concept sets itself apart from basic models with noticeably higher ground clearance and more extreme approach and departure angles at 30.7 and 22.7 degrees, respectively, versus the 25 and 21 degrees of the 2015 Colorado Z71. The new fascias also feature integrated, flip-out aluminum tow hooks, with a built-in winch in the front. The rear, however, sacrifices the CornerStep bumper for a better departure angle.
From the ground-up, the Colorado ZR2 is seemingly built for intense rock climbing and fording water, as well as a spirited run through some mountain trails. It also has technology and stuff. And the 2.8L Duramax diesel engine that will roll out next year. More on that in a moment.
For now, take note of the mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers by King Off-Road Racing Shocks, which are designed for greater suspension travel and feature remote-mounted fluid reservoirs that add to the capability of the 2015 Colorado ZR2 concept. The reservoirs for the front shocks are accessible and mounted in the wraparound portion of the front fascia. They are complimented by front control arms specific for the ZR2.
Of course, the impressive feature set doesn’t stop there, as the Colorado ZR2 concept also features ever-necessary electronic-locking front and rear differentials, which are capable of distributing torque to 275/65R18 off-road tires, mounted on custom 18-inch aluminum multi-spoke, bead-lock wheels accented by wheel flares. As such, the footprint of the Colorado ZR2 is wider than that of the base models. The center section of the wheel design has a raw aluminum appearance with black accents, while the bolt-on bead-lock cover is orange-anodized aluminum.
The truck bed of the Colorado ZR2 features a full-size matching spare wheel/tire assembly with a quick-release handle. The bed also features the protective spray-in bed liner available on production Colorado models, GearOn accessories and a 48-inch Hi-Lift jack. Meanwhile, the exterior is painted Cyprus Green with Henna Orange accents. ZR2 badges are all over the place and a hood insert nods to GM’s Heavy Duty trucks.
Back to the technology and stuff. Within its Jet Black interior, the Colorado ZR2 incorporates a ready-to-go auxiliary toggle and four additional toggle switches: two for winch in and winch out operation; and two for the electronic front- and rear-locking differentials.
Back to the engine. The 2.8L Duramax mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, in this application, is estimated at 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. The combination is most likely an indicator of what we can expect when the engine is officially offered next year on the 2016 Colorado and 2016 GMC Canyon.
Now, join us in the officially-unofficial movement to get Chevrolet to bring the Colorado ZR2 to market as soon as possible.
Update: it looks like Chevy will bring this concept to life as the 2017 Colorado ZR2.