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Chevrolet’s ZR2 Concept is the Diesel-Powered Off-Roader You Want

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/20/2014 Rory Jurnecka
2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept Chevrolet’s ZR2 Concept is the Diesel-Powered Off-Roader You Want

Chevy’s new midsize Colorado truck is a mighty capable machine, make no mistake. We especially love it in its off-road-ready Z71 trim, which appeals to our inner Tonka truck-loving child. For those looking for even more ruggedness, there’s the Colorado ZR2 concept, unveiled today at the L.A. auto show.

It doesn’t take more than a cursory glance to see that the Colorado ZR2 concept is a pretty serious prospect. Based on the Colorado Z71, the ZR2 is four inches wider, two inches taller, and has 30.7- and 22.7-degree approach and departure angles, respectively. That's opposed to the Z71’s 25- and 21-degree figures. Beefed up skid plates are fitted and the front and rear fascias are shortened to keep the truck from getting hung up in extreme maneuvering.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept

The ZR2 concept has plenty of modification underneath, with electronic locking differentials front and rear, 18-inch bead-lock wheels, 275/65R18 off-road tires, and mono-tube, coil-over King shocks with remote-mounted fluid reservoirs. New heavy-duty front control arms, custom wheel flares and rocker guards are also part of the package. The interior boasts ZR2 logos galore, along with an inclinometer and switches for the locking diffs and winch operation. An off-road racing-inspired, bed-mounted spare tire completes the rough-and-ready appearance.

Underhood, the Colorado ZR2 concept is powered by the new 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel I-4 engine that boasts an estimated 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, mounted to a six-speed transmission. The engine is slated to be a production option for the Colorado for the 2016 model year, which will launch in Fall 2015. Chevrolet has produced ZR2-badged vehicles in the past, including a version of the S10 and the S-series Blazer in the mid-‘90s to mid 2000s. Does that give hope for a production Colorado ZR2? We certainly hope so.

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