2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2
When we saw the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2, all we could think was that it was about time! When GM killed the Hummer brand a few years back, the company buried with it some incredibly good off-road technology. We were unsure when or if we would ever see that technology roll into any of the other GM brands. Now, it looks like that valuable off-road tech has found a home in the new Chevy Colorado ZR2.
While Chevy has been the underdog against the midsized pickup category dominator Tacoma, the ZR2 could be the package that moves the needle in a big way. The ZR2 looks to win people over with two very distinctive options that Toyota currently does not offer — a diesel engine and a selectable front locker. The diesel engine isn’t anything new for the Colorado platform, but the front locker is. Rarely offered from the factory on any independent front suspension vehicle, the ability to lock both front and rear differentials should prove to be a real game changer off-road.
Couple the differential lockers with a cutting-edge suspension system, a wider track width, and increased lift height, and the ZR2 is a package that any off-road enthusiast can get behind. While we don't think the 128-inch wheelbase on the Crew Cab, Short Bed version is going to be a true trail competitor for something like a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, we do think it is now an extremely good alternative to the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. We don't say that lightly as the Tacoma is an incredible vehicle both on-road and off.
So, what’s so special about the ZR2’s suspension? Its technology stems from Multimatic Inc., makers of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers. These DSSV dampers are position-sensitive and built with aluminum bodies that each house two spool valves. Having additional valves means you optimize the suspension for a multitude of environments. Similar to how Ford offers internal-bypass shock technology of the F-150 Raptor, the ZR2 is fit with a set of shocks that are intended to perform well in all on and off-road settings.
We're hoping the aftermarket is as excited about this truck as we are. It looks like the only out of the gate options we would go with would be a taller and more aggressive tire (a Nitto Ridge Grappler would be great) and some more robust rocker guards. Either way, we can't wait to see what the future holds for the ZR2.
(Photos Courtesy of Chevrolet)