2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Arrives With New Desert Boss Trim

The new Desert Boss package looks great and offers functional upgrades, too.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss
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2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss

The new Desert Boss pack looks ready to rumble. 


Sitting at the tippy top of the new 2023 Chevrolet Colorado lineup is the off-road-focused ZR2. Making its debut Thursday, the updated ZR2 offers an increased level of Baja-blasting performance, as well as a new Desert Boss package that looks pretty rad.

Like every Colorado, the ZR2 comes in Crew Cab configuration with a short box, and it's powered by a 2.7-liter turbo I4 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive. Chevy actually offers three different versions of the 2.7-liter engine across the Colorado range, and the ZR2 has the most powerful tune, with 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. This gives the ZR2 the ability to tow as much as 7,700 pounds.

The ZR2 comes standard with 17-inch wheels and 33-inch mud-terrain tires, sophisticated Multimatic DSSV dampers, an aluminum front skid plate, cast-iron control arms, front and rear electronic locking differentials and a modified 3.42 rear axle ratio for better low-end torque performance. Inside, the ZR2 has a power driver's seat and heated front seats.

2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2
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2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2

The standard ZR2 looks really good.


All of this gives the ZR2 increased off-road capability compared to the Colorado's Z71 and Trail Boss trims. Here's how the three off-road trims stack up.


Colorado Z71Colorado Trail BossColorado ZR2
Power 310 hp310 hp310 hp
Torque 390 lb-ft390 lb-ft430 lb-ft
Approach angle 29.1 degrees30.5 degrees38.3 degrees
Departure angle 22.3 degrees22.4 degrees25.1 degrees
Breakover angle 19.5 degrees21.0 degrees24.6 degrees
Ground clearance 8.9 inches9.5 inches10.7 inches
Front track width 62.6 inches66.2 inches66.3 inches

As for the Desert Boss, it adds a few upgrades -- some functional, some stylish. Its 17-inch wheels are beadlock capable, there's a model-specific off-road bumper and front fascia, a roof-mounted light bar and underbody camera. The Desert Boss also comes with a sports bar and sail panel in the bed, black badges and, of course, special decals.

The ZR2 will launch alongside the rest of the Colorado lineup in early 2023. It's unclear how much the Desert Boss upgrade will be, and we'll have final pricing information closer to the start of production.

2023 Chevy Colorado Looks Better Inside and Out

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