The Chevy Colorado ZR2 Is Dressed For Off-Road Mess And Coming Soon

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was first making waves in November 2014 when we broke the story of its debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. Since that time, the question of “will they or won’t they?” has been kept under wraps. That all changed this week when Chevy published an official press release to its online Pressroom, laying out the full features of the ZR2 and what it will mean for curious customers.

The 2017 Colorado ZR2, as Chevy describes it, will “reset expectations for off-road trucks.” In addition, it will “feature more off-road technology than any other midsize pickup when it goes on sale.” If this isn’t a shot across the bow of Toyota and its Tacoma TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road, then we don’t know what is (it may also be a threat to Ford and its forthcoming 2017 Raptor, edging out customers that want a capable off-roader without the full-size, half-ton price tag).

Will the ZR2 take down the Tacoma TRD Pro and TRD Off-Road? Chevrolet certainly seems to have that in mind with this forthcoming midsize package.

Some of the things discussed in the press release are things we already knew – a wider track width compared to stock (3.5 inches, to be exact), heavier-duty shocks, bigger tires, etc. But what’s changed is that all-important aspect of off-road – the suspension.

Back in 2014, the ZR2 was shown with King shock absorbers, which were monotube coilovers that appeared to have remote reservoirs. Chevrolet apparently abandoned that concept and went with Canadian manufacturer Multimatic. This is the same company that provided the 2014 Camaro Z/28 its incredible handling prowess, using the Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) technology.

Equipped with two spool valves on the body and one spool valve on the piston, the DSSV shocks can handle the rigors of both day-to-day and off-road driving.

Equipped with two spool valves on the body and one spool valve on the piston, the DSSV shocks can handle the rigors of both day-to-day and off-road driving.

DSSV is currently used in such arenas as Formula One, and works by using spool valves instead of the commonplace deflected-disk valves. The basic concept is such that the shocks offer six force-velocity curves for the front, and four curves for the rear, compared with just two when looking at deflected-disc versions. “For the driver, this means greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences [including on-road and off-road],” said Chevrolet Executive Director of Performance Variants/Parts/Motorsports Engineering Mark Dickens.

Now, you might be wondering what separates the ZR2 and the already-offered Z71, which lends itself toward off-roading with a few factory upgrades. Chevrolet has explained that the ZR2 goes a little further by raising the ride height by two inches, rocker protectors, and exclusive 17×8-inch wheels.

The ZR2 can be ordered with the optional in-bed spare tire carrier it was seen sporting at the LAIAS. This gives it that extra off-road touch that looks radical and authentic.

The ZR2 can be ordered with the optional in-bed spare tire carrier it was seen sporting at the LAIAS. This gives it that extra off-road touch that looks radical and authentic.

Perhaps the coolest part is that the Colorado is still the only midsize on the market that offers both gasoline (3.6-liter V6 and 2.5-liter I4) and diesel (2.8-liter I4) engines. This gives buyers options of choosing whether they want a high-horsepower or high-torque application right from the factory.

The ZR2 has nine distinct drive configurations, using variations of locking or unlocking the front differential, rear differential, and transfer case. The truck will also be able to modify shift points, throttle sensitivity, ABS, traction control, and stability control to offer drivers the best traction, no matter where they go.

We really want to get our hands on one of the diesel-powered ZR2s and put it through the ringer here in Southern California. What version would you want? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
Read My Articles

Everything Off Road in your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Off Road Xtreme, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Off Road Xtreme NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

We'll send you the most exciting Off Road articles, news, truck features, and videos every week.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Off Road Xtreme NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Diesel Army

Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Engine Tech

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Diesel Army
  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Engine Tech

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading