Chevy’s right-sized pickup truck has earned more than a few fans, with the off-road crew coming a few years ago when the model got its ZR2 line. We’ve heard GM is planning some upgrades for the upcoming model year, an afterthought that has been supported by this spy shot from our team of cracked photographers.
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Packing trick suspenders plus an aggressive approach and angle of departure, the current Colorado ZR2 can get in (and off) certain off-road trails where bigger guns like the Raptor and Power Wagon can’t. The development mule shown here looks to incorporate the same tricks with an aggressive front end poised to pound sand dunes and rocks, plus a ride height that appears to be higher than the existing ZR2.
Those are Goodyear Territory A/T tires, a great choice for this type of rig but can certainly be traded for some tough off-road chops at any point during development. The body of the four-door Crew Cab was clearly visible, as was the officer’s short box. Today’s ZR2 is also available in an Extended Cab variant with a long box; both styles have the same overall length. It’s unclear if this mix will continue after the refresh given the general public’s thirst for Crew Cab pickups. Also note the sturdy rock sliders along the sides.
Various factory rumors point to a completely different powertrain in the next Colorado ZR2, appearing as the 2.7L Turbo which also appeared in the Silverado’s sibling. In the truck, the engine produces 310 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, the latter figures representing a jump of 70 lb-ft in 2022 compared to the older model. That much power in the mid-size ZR2 will entertain you without stopping.
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If this happens, it’s likely to end the Colorado’s current engine options: an adequate 3.6L V6 gasser, a 2.8L diesel that doesn’t suit the truck’s personality at all, and a 2.5L four-cylinder engine. banger that no one is talking about. Also allegedly on tap for the updated Colorado ZR2? The so-called “Steel Mode” which will likely just be the ticket to blowing up the dunes in Glamis.
Well equipped, this bow tie would make a great foil for the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. Let the game begin.