The stock production mid-sized pickup has been back on the rise in recent years with more manufacturers turning to the dirt to show off their new trucks. This year is no different and Chevrolet is heading back to the dirt with its Colorado ZR2 for this year’s Best in the Desert (BITD) Vegas to Reno race August 18th.
The Colorado ZR2 is entered in class 7300 and with Hall Racing’s modifications including a roll cage, a 44-gallon racing fuel tank, racing seats with safety harnesses, KC HiLites racing lights, two-way radios, and a GPS system have also been added. This crew cab ZR2 acts a testbed for Chevy Performance and hints at a range of potential parts to be offered for ZR2 as well as the standard Colorado.
“The components being tested on this truck are ultimately intended to take the already-exceptional off-road capability of the Colorado to the next level,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports for General Motors. “Racing them allows us to quickly understand their performance attributes and reliability in the extreme environment of off-road racing, ensuring the highest performing components for Colorado customers.”
This truck still retains the stock ZR2’s 3.6-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. For consumers, this will be the first true test of the Multimatic DSSVTM damper technology feature on the ZR2.
Rod Hall Racing, the winningest family of off-road racers in the legendary Baja 1000, has a long history of racing with General Motors production-based vehicles in both Best in the Desert and SCORE desert series. The BITD Vegas to Reno race is a 550-mile race that encompasses a wide array of grueling terrain, from silty desert wallows, to dry lake beds, and mountain passes as high as 8,000 feet above sea level.
“The Colorado ZR2 is one of the most capable production platforms we’ve used as a foundation for our racing program,” said Chad Hall. “The base Colorado is strong and robust with the expected advantages of a midsize package. ZR2 adds great technology, like the Multimatic DSSVTM dampers and the front and rear locking differentials that are vital to stock class desert racing.”
We are very excited to see the Colorado ZR2 join the ranks of Toyota and Honda with a stock production vehicle in desert racing. We are excited to see how the truck will handle the harsh desert terrain on its way through Nevada.