The auto show and concept car worlds are no strangers to controversy: the herds of salivating visitors are constantly awash in swirling rumors, high on heightened expectations, and painted with goose bumps. Beefed up and glistening, the vehicles on display convey a certain unattainable deity-like attitude that both piques our interests and subconsciously dampens our hopes. We know the chances of those glorious truck parts ever feeling the zap of the production line are slim — they’re mostly just for show, right? Like models on a runway, concept cars are primped and beautiful, but rarely dip into reality…except for on the rare occasion when the clouds part and the stars align.
This year, off-road shops are buzzing with talk of the new Chevy Colorado concept truck, perhaps hoping the rising public interest will push it into production. The ZR2 off-road parts package serves up a delectable buffet of new capabilities and power, added on to the already awesome Colorado base. A relatively capable trail runner as is, the Chevy Colorado has amassed thousands of happy drivers across the country, and could be getting even better in the years to come. The engineers and designers at the Detroit company have thrown all they can at this new concept truck: slick body styling, a muscular turbo-diesel engine, and plenty of dirt-worthy off-road parts.
Originally unveiled a mere month ago at this year’s L.A. Auto Show, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 has already gained a serious number of devotees with its athletic looks and extreme functionality prowess. It sports an earthy green paint job with jet-black detailing and burnt orange accents in both the leather interior stitching and custom sculpted wheels — a handsomely rugged aesthetic that is sure to please its target demographic. Its compact size lends itself well to careening over rocks and squeezing through tight spots, with the extra capable handling that is sometimes lacking in oversized trucks. The self-assured stance that says “I like both climbing up cliffs and being the life of the backyard BBQ party” is a near guarantee that this rig will turn heads both on the trail and in the parking lot. Which is not to say that these truck parts are meant to fetch groceries — Chevy has packed the Colorado ZR2 concept with enough power and precision to make even the best off-road shops proud.
An extra-wide wheelbase (four inches wider than the original Colorado, to be exact), and both front and rear bumper modifications that lend ultra-high approach and departure angles (30.7° and 22.7° respectively) ensure that you’ll feel safe and secure when tackling any off-road obstacle. Ultra-beefy off-road shocks, electronic locking front and rear differentials, and integrated skid plates are just a few of the truck parts aimed to impress even the most discerning driver. The Colorado ZR2 is lifted high and comes packed with a special jack and spare tire mounted in the bed if you find yourself in a sore spot. And what’s propelling all this heavy metal you might ask? It’s the new (to the U.S.) Duramax® 2.8 liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that is already slated to crown several other Chevy models in 2016. The six-speed automatic packs an impressive 181 horsepower at 3400 rpm, and pulls out a staggering 369 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm.
If all this talk of new off-road parts has gotten your heart rate up, you have the opportunity to put in your two cents about the Chevy Colorado ZR2. As the Colorado marketing manager Tony Johnson says, “We’ll gauge the public’
s interest in this concept as we continue to explore the possibilities for the all-new Colorado.” It may just be worth that email or phone call if you really want to bring this rugged truck concept into fruition. While most vehicles that grace the red carpets never make it to the streets, with your input, the slick sculpted body of the ZR2 could be sitting in your garage before you know it.