2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: New Midsize Off-Road Master

The new 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a specialized off-road version of Chevy’s midsize pickup. Built on the second-generation Colorado that has been on the market since the 2015 model year, the new ZR2 establishes a new benchmark for cutting-edge technology in a midsize truck designed for serious off-road use. There is nothing else like it on the midsize market today.

ZR2 Is Not Your Normal Colorado

How does the 2017 ZR2 compare to a garden variety Chevrolet Colorado pickup? The ZR2 has had its front and rear tracks (that’s the distance between the left-side wheels and the right-side wheels) widened by 3 ½ inches. The ZR2’s suspension has also been lifted by two inches over the stock settings. The front and rear bumpers have been modified for better clearance off-road. For improved performance over obstacles and rocks, the ZR2 features functional rock sliders.

Unique features for the midsize pickup class include electronic locking differentials both front and rear, a diesel engine option, and the first off-road application of Multimatic’s DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) damper technology.

DSSV: Proven In The Heat Of Racing

Multimatic, a Canadian auto parts designer and supplier, first created the DSSV technology for racing applications in the early 2000s. In 2002, Multimatic had its first DSSV racing success with a championship win in the open-wheel CART Series. From there, DSSV went on to be the mandated dampers in a variety of racing series up to the present day. Red Bull Racing won its four consecutive Formula One titles (2010-2013) on DSSV dampers.

General Motors first used DSSV technology in its track-ready 2014 Camaro Z/28. The Colorado ZR2 is the first use of DSSV in an off-road capable vehicle. Other cars that have used DSSV dampers are the Ford GT, the Mercedes AMG-GT, and some Aston Martin models. The ZR2 is in very good company!

What are the benefits of DSSV dampers? Unlike conventional shock absorbers, the DSSV dampers can handle big bumps off-road without compromising a smooth ride on the pavement. Their performance does not degrade under heavy use, when heat causes ordinary shocks to come up short. DSSV is a major advance in ride and handling technology. 

Two Hearty Engines To Choose From

Standard engine in the 2017 Colorado ZR2 is the 3.6L DOHC gasoline V-6 with direct injection. Power output is 308 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. The optional 2.8L four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel puts out 186 horsepower and a massive 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The V6 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission; the diesel comes with a six-speed automatic.

The ZR2 Has Style As Well As Performance

The 2017 Colorado ZR2 comes in two body configurations: extended cab with long box, and crew cab with short box. Inside, standard equipment includes powered leather bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, six-speaker audio system with MyLink radio and 8” color touchscreen, 4G LTE WiFi, remote keyless entry, and remote start. 

Outside, there are 17” x 8” aluminum wheels with 31” Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, spray-in bedliner, a more aggressive grille and hood, trailering package and integrated trailer brake controller, all standard.

Safety Is Important

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Colorado ZR2 includes six airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, traction control, trailer sway control, hill-start assist, teen driver feature, and rear vision camera.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Is An Extremely Capable Pickup

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has been designed to excel at a variety of off-road activities. Whether you want to blast across the desert, painstakingly climb over boulders, or explore old logging trails, the Colorado ZR2 has the capability you need to accomplish your mission. It is available now at dealerships nationwide.
















About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.