It appears General Motors may be considering a Ford Raptor competitor in the near future, though not with the Silverado or Sierra . Reports from GM Authority suggest The General will use the upcoming midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon as the truck of choice.
It seems GM has chosen the smaller trucks mostly due to their compact size and lighter weight, giving them more agility and potentially better handling. Along with being more agile, the smaller trucks will fit into tighter trails, like the famous Rubicon Trail in California — a trail the Raptor is simply too large to navigate.
There are really no solid details to go on, so speculation will have to suffice. It’s likely the new Raptor fighter will come with the largest engine offering, meaning the 3.6-liter V-6. Perhaps GM will allow the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel to power the off-roader as well. Beefy springs and shocks will be a must, along with larger off-road tires. Expect to see the Eaton G80 locking rear differential come standard along with a high-capacity cooling system for the engine and transmission. Generous underbody skid plating will also come included.
As far as naming the new GM truck, we could see a revival of the ZR2 nomenclature last used in regular production on the long-dead Chevy S-10. The name had a recent comeback on a Chevrolet Silverado concept truck back in 2011, but never gained any traction. We already know GM was pondering a “ZR2 package” back when the new Colorado/Canyon twins were revealed in 2013, so the likelihood is rather high the ZR2 will happen. Whether it’s a true Raptor fighter has yet to be seen. Stay tuned for further details.
Note: Chevrolet Colorado Rally Concept pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about GM’s future Ford Raptor competitor.
Why It Matters
Looking at the Raptor, it’s amazing to see how well that truck has done. Heck, even Ford was caught off guard by the truck-buying public’s reaction. If GM can build a seriously competitive vehicle with just as much off-road cred as the Raptor, then The General may have a hit on its hands. Add that to the newness of the Colorado/Canyon trucks, and the sales reports will surely be well into the black.
The kicker will be if GM can give the ZR2 a headline-stealing unique selling point — like say a built-in winch or electronically controlled lockers. Otherwise the ZR2 could be a minor footnote in automotive history rather than a solid alternative/competitor to the mighty Ford SVT Raptor.
The closest idea we have to go on is the 2011 concept Chevrolet debuted in other parts of the world, the Rally Concept. It was based on the then-current global GM midsized truck platform and was powered by the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel. Remember, this is the precursor to the upcoming Colorado/Canyon twin the U.S. is getting in 2015, so a ZR2-style idea has already been put in physical form.