Chevy is Pushing the Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept into Production; Will Probably Call it the Colorado Bison
One of two Chevrolet Colorado concepts that were presented at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show is reportedly headed to production. That’s the word coming out of Off-road.com, which alluded to the Colorado ZR2 AEV as the concept that could be turned into a full-blown production model. Specific details have yet to be revealed, but if it’s true, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 AEV will probably carry the “ZR2 Bison” name.
Idiot Tries To Off-Road In The Wrong Place, Gets New Silverado Stuck In Frozen Pond: Video
Trucks are fun, aren’t they? Big suspension, big tires, and all four churning the mushy, muddy ground... what’s not to love? Unfortunately, even the most capable of vehicles out there can’t handle everything, a lesson hard-learned by one Silverado driver in Illinois who apparently found the limits of his friend’s new Chevy pick-up early before sunrise New Year’s day.
The story was captured by local Fox news affiliate Fox2/News 11, who spoke with Austin Opp from the Chain of Rocks Recreation Corp., which owns the muddy ground in question. “When the lake goes dry in the winter, there’s a lot of temptation for guys to think they can just come out here and go four-wheeling,” Opp said. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen out here. Nobody’s usually dumb enough to try to go out on the lake, and he did.”
Apparently, the truck’s owner and his friend ventured out onto frozen lake assuming it was a frozen field. By the time they had realized their mistake, they broke through the ice and were quickly stuck in the grime. To try and fix the problem, the duo rented a backhoe, which, predictably, broke through and got stuck as well. Now, both the truck and the backhoe will remain where they are until spring, at which time the thaw will sink the vehicles under six to seven feet of water.
New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet’s soft debut of the 2019 Silverado 1500 Trailboss foregoes the big, juicy details, but gives us a great first glimpse at the all-new, next-generation pickup. About the only official specs include the higher strength steel bed floor, a substantial reduction in overall weight, and the presence of that new Trailboss trim. Chevy is withholding the rest until the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in mid-January.
Nevertheless, we’re going over what we know so far and taking a close look at the differences between the outgoing 2014-2018 Silverado and the 2019 model. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!
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2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven
The current Chevrolet Silverado isn’t that old, really. It debuted for the 2014 model year and underwent a very mild cosmetic refresh for 2016. Yet, in the high-stakes game that is the American pickup market, Chevy has to stay current. An all-new Silverado is destined for 2019, but until the fall of 2018, we’re stuck with the current truck. While the 2017 Silverado is hardly a bad apple, Chevy is keeping it fresh by offering several special edition models and among them is this, the Midnight Edition.
I recently spent a week driving a 2017 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition, driving it the same way any truck owner would, well, save for towing a 9,300-pound trailer. I didn’t have one laying around. I did throw a couple coolers and lawn chairs in the bed, haul five people around, take the kiddo to school, and muddle through everyday life like anyone would. Turns out, the Silverado is a fantastic vehicle for active families.
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The Handiest Feature on the 2017 Chevy Silverado
Pickup trucks have gotten bigger and taller over the years, and an unfortunate side effect is the height of the cargo bed. For anyone less fit than a teenager or Olympic gymnast, climbing into the bed can be difficult. Automakers have combated this with various step designs like Ford’s fold-out tailgate step and Nissan’s adoption of aftermarket-style pop-out steps that hide under the fenders. But it’s Chevrolet that wins the simple-is-better prize with its integrated bumper steps.
I recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition and found the steps to be an essential tool for using the cargo bed. My week included hauling coolers, folding lawn chairs, and Lacrosse equipment. Thanks to the Chevy’s nose-heavy rake, everything tended to gather around the bulkhead, making getting into the bed to retrieve things a necessity. The bumper steps proved absolutely invaluable.
Now, I’ve used Ford’s fold-out tailgate step plenty of times on several different F-Series trucks, and though it works, it’s just not as effective as Chevy’s bumper step. Ford’s obvious downfall is its step requires action to use it. I have to stop what I’m doing, empty my hands, and lower the step. It’s just not as slick, though, in Ford’s defense, I can climb up its step without using my hands – something I can’t say about the Chevy’s bumper step and stake pocket hand-grab.
Still, the Chevy’s bumper step takes the cake for the simplest design and one that isn’t going to break. The bumper step is also seen on General Motors’ other pickups, including the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Sierra and Canyon. GM fans will remember the bumper step making its debut with the 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche.
Chevy Wants You To Join Its Club
Chevrolet has a big celebration coming up – it’s turning 100 in 2018. As part of the automaker’s year-long hubbub, Chevy is promoting is recently launched Truck Legends program. Basically, it’s a club for those who own a Chevrolet. But not just anybody can get into the club, even if they’re wearing a bowtie. Members must have a Chevy with more than 100,000 miles on the clock. Also welcome are those who have purchased or leased more than one new Chevy in their lifetime. But wait, there are more stipulations.
Not every Chevy qualifies. This is the Truck Legends program, after all.
Of course, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Heavy Duty qualifies – I mean, what’s more Chevy than that? Included are Chevy C/K trucks that pre-date the Silverado name. The Colorado makes the cut too, as does the old S-10 that came before it. The Avalanche is also included. And Chevy would be amiss if it didn’t include the Tahoe and Suburban, the latter of which is the oldest vehicle nameplate in existence that has been in continuous production since its inception. The first Suburban rolled off the assembly line in 1935, making it only 17 years younger than the Chevrolet brand.
So what’s being a member of the Truck Legends mean? Besides bragging rights, the free membership gives you access to exclusive memorabilia like can include customized decals with mileage milestones and the number of Chevys a member has owned. Members are also eligible for giveaways like premium concert and Major League Baseball tickets. Dealerships can also offer special incentives to Truck Legends members not available to the general public. New members can join the more than 5,400 existing members at the Chevy Truck Centennial celebration December 16, 2017, at the Texas Motor Speedway to meet celebrities like Dale Earnhardt Jr. while getting to see Chevy’s latest products.
And while Chevy didn’t mention it, those who attend the December event might be seeing the next-generation Silverado. The 2019 model could very well debut at the L.A. Auto Show in late November. As for you Chevy Blazer, Trailblazer, SSR, or LUV owners, it doesn’t seem your body-on-frame truck is truck enough for Chevy’s truck club. For those who are truck enough, you can join here.
2018 Chevrolet Silverado & Colorado Centennial Editions
Chevrolet marks its 100th year of building trucks in 2018, and as expected, the automaker will be throwing itself a celebration. To help commemorate building more than 85 million trucks over a century, Chevy is launching a special edition for the 2018 Silverado half-ton and Colorado mid-size pickups. Called the Centennial Edition, these one-year-only models come with several unique features that help Chevy express its accomplishment and its loyal customers show off their dedication to the blue-blooded American brand.
“The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us, and is equally important to our customers,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks Advertising and Marketing director. “That’s why we will be celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks over the course of the next 100 days. It’s important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment.” Mixed into Chevy’s celebration is the national launch of its Chevy Truck Legends program, which honors loyal customers. The iconic Chevy bowtie also gets a throwback makeover for 2018, recalling the first bowtie design introduced by Chevrolet co-founder William C. Durant in late 1913. The bowtie wears a throwback color called Centennial Blue, which matches the paint color found on early Chevy trucks. The dark blue hue is the paint color used on the Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions. Of course, there is more than the paint color and badging, so keep reading what the Centennial Editions include.
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2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Now Arriving in Showrooms
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.
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2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
These are exciting times for truck enthusiasts who also like off-roading. The 2017 Ford Raptor is out, launching the second generation of Ford’s halo F-150. Toyota has its new-for-2017 Tacoma TRD Pro that’s based on the new-for-2016 Tacoma. And Chevy comes late to the party with its Colorado ZR2 – a production truck based on the concept version from 2014. These three trucks represent the upper crust of the pickup segment. It’s a prestigious group that’s focused on going fast over rough terrain while still conquering the daily commute.
The Raptor might be the premiere pickup, having birthed this niche segment back in 2010, but the Toyota and Chevy new-comers aren’t slackers. In fact, thanks to their smaller sizes compared to the full-size Raptor, these mid-size pickups are more agile and can fit down narrower trails. The famed Rubicon train in California, for instance, is too narrow for the Raptor’s immensely wide track. The Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2, however, should have no problem traversing the tight terrain.
The Toyota and Chevy are also less expensive (or rumored to be) than the Raptor. That puts them basically in a head-to-head fight for customers. Typical things like design, features, and brand loyalty goes a long way in choosing which truck is best, but a more objective comparison should be made. That’s especially true for someone who’s ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.
That’s where this article comes in. We’re going to dive deep into the features and specs of both the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 in order to help you, the customer, make a better-informed decision.
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Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Spied in the Desert!
The clatter and hubbub surrounding the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 off-road pickup has died down since Chevy debuted a concept of the pickup at 2014 LA Auto Show. However, it seems the noise is about to pick up. Our friends over at TruckTrend just spotted this camouflaged Colorado running around the desert. The truck appears to have a suspension lift and a more aggressive front end. Mud terrain tires and fender flairs closing resembling those on the ZR2 concept are clearly seen.
So is this the Colorado ZR2? There’s no way to be completely sure.
Still, the Colorado is well past its introductory phase and it’s likely GM is ready to inject some life back in to the pickup. A purpose-built off-roader would certainly put GM on better ground with customers considering a Ford Raptor, Ram 1500 Rebel, or one of the Toyota TRD Pro products.
Through the camo we can see this test mule is missing the built-in recovery winch that made headlines in 2014. It’s very possible the winch won’t make production, but we’re hoping it was simply left off this truck. Perhaps it will be an option. Also not present is the pre-runner style rear bumper and rocker panel guards.
One thing not missing is ground clearance. Just look at the air under this Colorado! There’s also no low-hanging air dam just begging to be ripped off. Underneath, skid plating and beefy control arms are easily spotted.
GM will likely offer both the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 and 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel as engine options. In either case, expect the current six-speed automatic to handle shifting duties. Then again, if GM is really serious about making the ZR2 a Raptor fighter, the new 10-speed automatic could make its appearance. We’d also love to see GM shoehorn the 5.3-liter V-8 into the ZR2. You know, for a little something extra. We seriously doubt GM would be that adventurous, though. Regardless, 4WD should come as standard equipment with the ZR2, making it a formidable truck off the beaten path.
If GM green lights the project, we’d expect the Colorado ZR2 to debut sometime before the end of 2016 as a 2017 model. The ZR2 would be the range-topping model for the Colorado, with prices reflecting that accordingly.
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Classic Dealership Training Video Showcases 1981 K10 Blazer: Video
Ah, the second-generation Chevrolet Blazer – a masculine truck with big power, 4WD capability, and looks to stun. The truck was introduced for the 1973 model year and lasted through the 1991 season, but for 1981, the SUV received a new front grille and several updates throughout. Chevy put together this fantastic training video for its dealerships to educate sales staff on the changes. Thanks to the magic of the internet, the awesomely retro video is available to anyone to watch.
The 10-minute video goes over four key areas of improvement for the 1981 Blazer: economy, mobility, utility, and value. Telling sales staff about these changes is great, but demonstrating is even better. That’s exactly what the video does – while pitting the Blazer against its arch rival, the Ford Bronco.
Of course, the Chevy-made video points out all the positives of the Blazer and “week points” of the Bronco, so it’s best to watch with a grain of salt. This is hardly objective reporting. Then again, it’s hard to argue with the Blazer’s better fuel economy numbers with each of its engine options, including the venerable 5.0-liter, 305 cubic-inch small-block V-8.
Regardless of the verbal messages within the video, watching these now-classic SUVs scramble up a dirt hill, trudge through loose sand, and sit pretty with unmolested interiors and factory-fresh paint is fantastic. There’s no doubt these trucks are on their way to becoming collectables with increasing value and desirability.