Watch out, Raptor! The ZR2 is kicking up dust

Chevy’s highly anticipated Colorado ZR2 is finally arriving in dealership showrooms. The first shipment of ZR2s took place on Friday, April 28, headed from the Colorado’s assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri. Sales of pre-ordered trucks begin early May. The Colorado ZR2 combines increased ground clearance, a wider track, and locking differentials with high-tech Spool Valve shock absorbers to overcome high-speed obstacles. The ZR2 is the first-ever application of Spool Valves in anything outside supercars and dedicated racecars.

Among the first to receive their ZR2 will be Hall Racing. Owner and driver Chad Hall will compete in the upcoming 2017 Best in the Desert race series with a ZR2 modified to pass safety and tech inspections. Hall chose a Red Hot Crew Cab ZR2 fitted with the standard 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. Optionally, the ZR2 is offered as an Extended Cab and with the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel. Hall will compete in BITD’s Vegas to Reno leg sponsored by General Tire on August 18 and 19, along with the VT Construction Tonopah 250 presented by Polaris on October 19 through 22.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2.

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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Hall’s choice of the ZR2 and its involvement in the racing series isn’t by accident, of course. Chevy is undoubtedly anxious to tackle the established off-road pickups, namely the Ford F-150 Raptor and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Marketing aside, the ZR2 does make a solid choice for a high-speed desert race. Its smaller size than the Raptor should allow for better maneuverability, while its 3.5-inch wider track and 2.0-inch suspension lift give it increased stability and ground clearance over a standard Colorado. The ZR2’s suspension is far more advanced than the Tacoma TRD Pro’s, as well, though the trucks are fairly well-matched in the size department.

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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The headlining hardware is the Spool Valves shocks.

The ZR2’s headlining hardware is the Spool Valves shocks. Hailing from Canadian manufacturer Multimatic, the Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers were perfected over the last decade on Formula 1 and Le Mans cars. Road-going applications are extremely limited, seeing fitment only on the Aston Martin One-77 and Vulcan, the Mercedes AMG-GT, the Ford GT, and the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. And aside from being in a hallowed group of supercars, the Colorado ZR2 is the first truck to utilize Multimatic’s DSSV and the first time Spool Valve shocks have been used on a dedicated off-road application.

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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The main advantage DSSV shocks offer is variable damping in real time. No computers or fancy magnetic fluid here. The trick is the internal valve system, the spool valves, that allow the shock to ride soft and comfortable on smooth surfaces and provide firm support when driven hard or over rough terrain. It’s the speed at which the piston travels through the shock tube that determines the damping strength. What’s more, the spool valves are very forgiving of temperature changes, meaning they perform the same way when cold or hot. That’s particularly helpful when blasting through the desert for extended periods.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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Other changes brought by the ZR2 package include a unique front grille and bumper, rock rails under the doors, a heat-reduction hood, and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires mounted on ZR2-specific, 17-inch wheels. Prices start at $40,995 for the Extended Cab, Long Bed Colorado ZR2 with the gasoline V-6. Opting for the Duramax turbodiesel or the Crew Cab configuration (or both) will increase the price. Still, the ZR2 is much less expensive than a Ford Raptor and slightly undercuts the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 here.

Colorado ZR2 vs Tacoma TRD Pro

2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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Curious to see how the ZR2 stacks up agains the TRD Pro? Check it out here.

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