2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 puts the Tacoma on watch
Last November, at the Las Angeles auto show, Chevy debuted their newest truck, the Colorado ZR2, and I was instantly curious about this four-wheel drive dust maker.
Front and rear lockers, plus an available diesel engine.
What's not to like?
Well, Chevy has got a little bit of a surprise hidden just behind those wheels.
F1 inspired suspension.
That's right, Chevy wants to pay you [UNKNOWN] to get down and dirty and I've come here to the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains to find out just how well that gamble has paid off.
[SOUND] Now, most manufacturers, well, they want to take their standard pick up truck to off-road glory.
Well, they look to Fox or Bilstein shocks to do that, but not Chevy.
They went to north to Canada to a company called Multimatic.
Now, these shocks are pretty complicated.
The dynamic suspension, the spool valve Basically what you need to know is it's like two shocks in one.
So while you're on the pavement, it's gonna give you a really smooth, very planted ride.
But it's also a little bit stiffer, so you can take turns Fast and there is little body roll.
But when you go over to the dirt well that's where the fun begins and that same suspension switches to something that is a little bit more soft and supple and really allows you to bomb through the dirt.
The ZR2 is available with a 3.6 liter gas powered engine, good for 308 horsepower and 275 pound feed of torque.
But if you want to get your oil burner on Well we've got a diesel available as well for 181 horsepower and 369 pound feet of torque baby that is what I'm talking about.
The gas powered engine gets a brand new eight speed automatic but the diesel well you'll have to live with the old six speed.
Now when the trail turns narrow and rocky, the ZR2 has got a few tricks up its sleeve.
First off, a two inch lift, bringing the overall ride height to 8.9 inches, cuz you know what?
When it comes to ground clearance, let me tell you more, more is better, better.
And can we talk a little about geometry here?
So the standard Colorado has got a pretty dismal approach angle of 17 degrees.
But the ZR2, thanks to a new redesigned front fascia, ups that to 30 degrees, that's almost twice as much.
So you can really hit obstacles head on and just power right on up.
The first most exciting thing is it not only is there rear locking differential but also a front locking differential even with the independent suspension and the the computer doesn't decide when its gonna lock those differentials I decide.
Cuz there's an actual button that I can dump and push I am in control I am the boss of ZR 2.
I am awesome Woo!
Whenever we're on the high speed off road course, I have switched to a gas model, cuz I found that the diesel, well, it takes a little bit for the turbo to spool up, so, your exit speed is compromised just a bit in the corners.
But, you know what?
If you're a master at left foot braking That's going to be your jam.
But for me, gas is where it's at.
Now here is where these multimatic shocks really shine, especially when you can get all four wheels off the ground.
Which trust me, you can do pretty easily And they just make the truck land, it's so smooth and so soft, but then, the truck settles really quickly so you can change directions super fast.
I would really like to see this setup, maybe, on a short course off road, like, maybe in the torque series where there's a lot of jump and a lot of quick corners, just to see how well it would do on a professional race.
But, out here on this, it's a lot of fun.
Stability in the corners is enhanced by three point five inch wider Turk in the front and in the rare and there is also an off road mode and that's gonna mitigate your truck control, your stability control and also Know your throttle and transmission points.
Now, there's no crawl mode, there's no snow mode, there's no sand mode, so purists are going to be really happy.
But if you're a techy geek, well you might be a little disappointed.
It's super easy to get the rear to hang out on this truck, especially when you're in two wheel drive.
And just a little bit of input on you steering wheel, and it brings it right back in line again.
The transmission does seem to up shift just a little bit faster than I would like.
But, I can operate it manually from this little rocker switch on the gear shift.
It Kinda awkward, but it does get the job done.
But on the whole, both in the rocks and on this off-road course, you know, I really like this truck.
It's small so it can get into really tiny nooks and crannies, and it's got enough power so that you can still have a lot of fun without it being too overwhelming Right now, this is my favorite truck.
The only thing on the ZR2 that I'm not quite sold on are the tiny little 31 inch Goodyear DuraTrac tires.
Still, they've got pretty good tread and they did everything I asked them to do today, so maybe bigger isn't always better.
As for you, if you think that a Raptor is a little bit too much, but a Tacoma is maybe not quite enough Well, you should look at that VR2.
If you've got about $40,000, you can get one at a dealership today.