Top GM Execs Want a More Capable Colorado

2015 Colorado front enviro 2 II

It looks like the Z71 Off-Road Package that debuted on the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado will be getting a redesign. Both Mark Reuss, GM president of North America, and Jeff Luke, GM's head of truck engineering, believe there's potential for a more aggressive off-road package that could be even more capable than the half-ton pickup, according to Automotive News.

Nobody mentioned the words "Raptor-fighter," but if Chevy wants to make the little truck more capable that would likely mean doing more than adding extra stickers and larger wheel and tire options. Both top GM execs have said a dedicated, rugged package is being discussed; in fact, dealers have been asking for it.

Some will remember that earlier versions of the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma offered a dedicated ZR2 off-road package with unique suspension components, heavier-duty axles and gearing, and a greater capability than anything offered by the competition. Some have criticized GM for not making its Z71 trims more capable, but if something like a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor can work in the full-size segment, it seems possible that a downsized version could work well as long as it's at a much lower price.

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Comments

Mini Raptor - too cool

Put the 2.8L diesel in it and I'll take mine in bright white or silver with the 6 foord bed crew cab, please. Oh yes, I'm not paying more than $32K so it better be priced right.

Call it a ZR2.

Lift it 2".

Open up the wheel wells and put some big flares on it, preferably easily replaceable black plastic flares (NOT painted flares).

Put some bigger BFG's under it.

4:10 gears front and rear.

E-locker out back, bare minimum LSD up front (A Torsen like the Raptor would be awesome).

Skid plates.

Offer it on all trims and all cab/bed configurations.

3.6L or diesel only.

Keep the price reasonable.

Keep towing and payload ratings acceptable

Apologies if this is a duplicate post (got an error the first time)

With a base ext. cab 5sp manual and 4cylinder MSRP around 22k, the upgrade 4x4 diesel 6sp auto and Offroad graphics will MSRP around 35k. Not to mention it will NOT be a volume seller.

The volume seller will be a 2.5 speed, auto, crew cab with an alloy wheels and trim upgrade at around 31k.

At this rate, all of the half ton double cab trucks with V8 and six speed auto will sell somewhere around the same price as Colorado (after discounts, incentives, etc).

Having owned 7 GM pickups and several with the Z71 package I must say its really not an off road package. I stopped getting them and just get the trailering package because all I want is the lower gear ratio and locker. Getting old so I like the smother ride.

But it would be nice to see GM put some running gear from a 2500 under the body and a littler power package under the hood.

I may just trade in my full size for the new midsize.

Also, this allows GM to offer an off road package without having to take the Raptor head on. The Raptor is going to be a tough act to follow, it's supremely capable and very popular. This would come in at far less money, it would still fit through a car wash, and it would be much more efficient. I love the Raptor, but it has its sacrifices as a daily driver.

I am very impressed by this truck. Maybe I will consider one of these before I purchase a RAM to replace my F-150 that has been very unreliable.

Can the fake account people and trolls just go away?

I'll throw my 2c in on this, and echo some of what is already been said.

Give it long arm front suspension with coils out back, 3.6 TT caddy motor or 5.3 ecotec, selectable lockers front and rear that revert to limited slips when unlocked(I think the jeep
Rubicon has something like this), 35" BFG's, that would be nice.

They should definitely do a ZR2 package! Lift, bigger tires, maybe even add the 4.3 to the engine roster.
I would replace my Avalanche with a crew cab ZR2 for sure. Heck it would haul almost as much as my Avy!

As usual they are losing sight of what's important which is providing a good value for the working man/woman and instead focusing on higher trims because they're more profitable.

Bring it on Baby!

@Maxx

totally agree.

The auto gas powered 2.5 will be the big seller. The Z package off roader will sell in single digits percentage wise.

And if they don't price the diesel very competitively it will lay an egg. There 's too much headwind there, considering the crappy economy, tolerable gas prices and the higher up front cost of buying a diesel.

The use of the Silverado frame gives GM the chance to do a lot of things right.

This is GM's chance to win the hearts of a whole generation of people in their early 20s thru 3Os. Make this truck affordable, deliver value--they will buy it.

Here's hoping they do!

Lift it 2 inches, open up the fenders some, put it on 33s, use the diesel, and use the same axles as the global version. That way we can use ARB air lockers.

Please don't call it "ZR-2." Who's the brand-tard who thought of that...?

I hope that you guys realize that there is a big difference between a more off road capable truck and a Raptor competitor. With the amount of work required to redo almost the entire truck to make it compete with the raptor, Chevy would probably be better served by adding a SFA and making the "wrangler truck" that many have been crying for. Either would amount to a massive redesign of the entire suspension geometry and some serious work to the entire drivetrain as well.

Nice idea, get Fox to do the suspension, rear e-locker, rocker armor, skid plates (not plastic), extended vent lines (F & R diffs T-case), hill descend, switch to turn off all nannies, 33" AT tire...it will sell.

@A L - I agree on both counts ;)
I think that it should be offered with the diesel and the V6 motor. It would be interesting if there could be a TTDI option borrowed from the Cadillac line.
This truck is the best platform for GM to use for an off-roader. The Raptor would be a tough act to follow as well as the Power Wagon.
A "small" truck would be the best of both worlds since it has a 1,000 lb advantage over a full sized truck. The 6 inch narrower width is a plus. let the full sizers plow through bush to keep the trails open :)

A "real" off-road package should be offered in ALL trim packages.

@MaXx - there is validity to your statement but since when do auto companies really care about the "low end" buyers?

When I purchased my 2010 F150 I was talking to the sales manager and he said the average length of ownership based on sales at his company (they own both Ford, GMC, Chevy dealers) was 38 months. I pointed out that my last new truck I kept for 15 years. He promptly lost interest in talking to me.
They don't make much money off of you or I so unfortunately they will not try too hard to keep us happy. I suspect that other than CAFE rules, that is a big reason why regular cab trucks are a dying breed.

They won't make a true off-road capable truck or a true Raptor fighter because they don't want to steal half ton sales, mainly GMC Sierra sales.

@zr2s10 I totally agree. The new 4.3 with a ZR2 off-road package would make this an awesome truck!

I would buy it as soon as it is available.

I still have my '02 ZR2. Just make sure to offer a manual transmission with this. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

I cannot wait the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado, 2.8L Diesel.
The sample is so beautiful, and hopeful.
Best wishes to GM

Still waiting on the HD All Terrain that was unveiled 3 years ago....

@Lou BC--Count me as one of those long term owners that the dealers are not interested in. I have had my 99 S-10 for 15 years next April and will have had my 08 Isuzu for 6 years next June. I am not as interested in the off road packages but would be interested in the mid trim level extended cab of the Colorado/Canyon.

GUTS
GLORY
RAM > FORD

Adding a rear locker is a must. Look at the Tacoma. With the rear locker and a rather mundane sport suspension, the Tacoma is pretty capable. GM would just need to upgrade the current suspension and add the rear locker. They could even do this package in two steps, with the latter, having a long-arm front suspension and 285s (33").

They need to put a 6"lift on it with 35" swooper swampers on it with the Duramax.

@Joe, the 6.6 Duramax! :)

The article above is PROOF that Ford LOSES AGAIN with their outdated uninspired CRAP. Yet you FORD KOOL AID GIRLY GIRLS CONTINUE TO BUY THEM LIKE THERE IS NO OTHER. Take off the rose colored glasses and see the writing on the wall GIRLY GIRLS!!!!! LMAO

Someone said it earlier and I agree bring back the zr2 package I love how the new z71 looks and by the time it comes out I'll be in a place to buy one . I've owned a few s10 in the past thought the old Colorado was awful and I've even owned a frontier. I now have a pathfinder and would love get another pickup and I don't need a full size (I have a silverado 2500 duramax) so now that new Colorado is out and so far the best looking mid size (haven't seen the canyon yet) I want one.

For off roading the best option will be the diesel by a long shot. I find it odd, also, that Chev want to improve the vehicles capability. They had a very capable vehicle off road in the global Colorado. All they needed to do was fine tune a couple of areas, ie, new body look, interior, etc.

It got me wondering why did Chev/GM alter the chassis etc, if it works fine on ours. These changes must have a lot to do with cost cutting.

As Lou pointed out this is the best platform for an off roader that GM has. To try and build a Raptor competitor would be a waste of money as the style of off roading a Raptor excels at is different.

The Colorado diesel will be best going through rough mountain tracks etc. You don't need to go at 100mph off road. The Raptor is limited by size. Size is a killer for off roading.

We don't have those shopping mall off roaders here as I don't think many would sell. We go to some of our great after market suppliers and customise our off roaders to suit our exact requirements. It might add several thousand dollars to our pickups, but its worth every cent.

But generally an "off the shelf" 4x4 mid sizer here is quite excellent off road now.

The most popular is a 2" lift with different springing rates and dampers. The springs and dampers are set to what the expected payload and use of the vehicle will be.

I don't like it, looks like a front end from a car and I have a z71 Silverado and wish I didn't have the z71. Lowered pickups are better!

For off roading the best option will be the diesel by a long shot. I find it odd, also, that Chev want to improve the vehicles capability. They had a very capable vehicle off road in the global Colorado. All they needed to do was fine tune a couple of areas, ie, new body look, interior, etc.

It got me wondering why did Chev/GM alter the chassis etc, if it works fine on ours. These changes must have a lot to do with cost cutting.

As Lou pointed out this is the best platform for an off roader that GM has. To try and build a Raptor competitor would be a waste of money as the style of off roading a Raptor excels at is different.

The Colorado diesel will be best going through rough mountain tracks etc. You don't need to go at 100mph off road. The Raptor is limited by size. Size is a killer for off roading.

We don't have those shopping mall off roaders here as I don't think many would sell. We go to some of our great after market suppliers and customise our off roaders to suit our exact requirements. It might add several thousand dollars to our pickups, but its worth every cent.

But generally an "off the shelf" 4x4 mid sizer here is quite excellent off road now.

The most popular is a 2" lift with different springing rates and dampers. The springs and dampers are set to what the expected payload and use of the vehicle will be.

For off roading the best option will be the diesel by a long shot. I find it odd, also, that Chev want to improve the vehicles capability. They had a very capable vehicle off road in the global Colorado. All they needed to do was fine tune a couple of areas, ie, new body look, interior, etc.

It got me wondering why did Chev/GM alter the chassis etc, if it works fine on ours. These changes must have a lot to do with cost cutting.

As Lou pointed out this is the best platform for an off roader that GM has. To try and build a Raptor competitor would be a waste of money as the style of off roading a Raptor excels at is different.

The Colorado diesel will be best going through rough mountain tracks etc. You don't need to go at 100mph off road. The Raptor is limited by size. Size is a killer for off roading.

We don't have those shopping mall off roaders here as I don't think many would sell. We go to some of our great after market suppliers and customise our off roaders to suit our exact requirements. It might add several thousand dollars to our pickups, but its worth every cent.

But generally an "off the shelf" 4x4 mid sizer here is quite excellent off road now.

The most popular is a 2" lift with different springing rates and dampers. The springs and dampers are set to what the expected payload and use of the vehicle will be.

For off roading the best option will be the diesel by a long shot. I find it odd, also, that Chev want to improve the vehicles capability. They had a very capable vehicle off road in the global Colorado. All they needed to do was fine tune a couple of areas, ie, new body look, interior, etc.

It got me wondering why did Chev/GM alter the chassis etc, if it works fine on ours. These changes must have a lot to do with cost cutting.

As Lou pointed out this is the best platform for an off roader that GM has. To try and build a Raptor competitor would be a waste of money as the style of off roading a Raptor excels at is different.

The Colorado diesel will be best going through rough mountain tracks etc. You don't need to go at 100mph off road. The Raptor is limited by size. Size is a killer for off roading.

We don't have those shopping mall off roaders here as I don't think many would sell. We go to some of our great after market suppliers and customise our off roaders to suit our exact requirements. It might add several thousand dollars to our pickups, but its worth every cent.

But generally an "off the shelf" 4x4 mid sizer here is quite excellent off road now.

The most popular is a 2" lift with different springing rates and dampers. The springs and dampers are set to what the expected payload and use of the vehicle will be.

@Ken - how would a true offroader/Raptor fighter on this platform steal 1/2 ton sales? I assume you mean GMC 1/2 ton sales but since they do not make a 1/2 ton Raptor fighter or a 3/4 ton Power Wagon fighter a Colorado off-roader would only have Toyota and Nissan to battle against.

Guys putting 10-20K of mods on their new 1/2 ton or HD aren't going to be interested in this truck since image is all that they are after.

Hard to be a street queen poser boy in a small truck. (I'm sure Oxi er expedition will chime in)

I doubt that an itty bitty diesel (sarcasm on) will roll much coal or sound all than menacing - that is what that poser crowd wants = look at me in my street queen.

@Big Al from Oz - The trucks that I tend to see modified for offroad use in more remore areas are set up as you describe. Mild 2-3 inch lifts with bumper and winch mods. Cargo racks for the aluminum 12 ft boat are common. Most are HD's since they are used as the "base camp" rig. As long as the truck can crawl into an old cut block to set up camp, that is what they get used for. Quads and side-by-sides are common. There are Jeeps and small 4x4's like the Samurai that are used instead of quads.

Anything else tends to be play vehicles. The trucks with the really big lifts and the 44-48 inch mudders tend to be street queens or used close to town to prove their toughness in the big mud hole 200 metres from the main road. There are a few powerlines and play areas around my town that are the domain of these guys.
I used to rescue those guys all of the time in my stock (except for tires and bull bar) Ranger. In the parking lot of the diner or at the pub, they talked a mean game and were quick to ridicule my little truck but they had to suck it up hard when i was pulling them out or brought them parts for trail repairs.
One of my favorite stories was when one buddy called another friend to get him unstuck. That guy got stuck and then another guy who came to get him out also got stuck. It was one of the funnier experiences of my youth. I pulled 2 guys out of the way just to rescue the guy with the 'most capable" offroad truck of the bunch.

Sounds like they're already planning to screw up a great idea. There is such a thing as taking things too far and so far Ford, Ram and GM have taken things WAY too far!

@Lou BC,

About 10 years ago, I went into a Toyota dealer to test drive a Tacoma. The salesman said,"but wouldn't you rather have a Solara?" I said "They're nice but I need a truck. Saw this one on your lot, it looks to have the features I want in my price range, lets go for a spin."

He says "sure thing, just wait right here and I'll bring it around."

So what does he bring around? The Solara!
Knowing full well that the Solara wasn't going to work for me, I obliged just to waste his time and put miles on the car.

When we got back to the dealership I said, " ok that was fun, now about that Tacoma, I just have a few ques...." and he smirks and walks away.

It is precisely that horsecrap we need to get rid of the middleman. Elon Musk has the right idea. Sell direct.

I had high hopes for this truck right up until GM said the manual transmission will only be available in the 2wd W/T with the 4cyl gas engine.

Like many small truck enthusiests I was hoping for a diesel 4x4 with a stick, but apparently GM hates us.

@Lou BC--Good story, thanks. I think an off road package like the S-10 had would sell but I think it is not the same as a Raptor. It would be better to make this a competitive truck against the the Tacoma off road package.

I do like the looks of this Colorado even though I am not a fan of painted plastic bumpers, but that seems to be the way trucks are going as cars have gone. I myself liked the S-10 much better than the last Colorado, but this new Colorado appears to be a step in the right direction.

There were many small truck enthusiasts who were in love with the idea of a smaller truck, but that was all they were in love with. The idea. The actual truck they will come up with many reasons not to buy. Not everybody is this way, but as a general rule many are making such feelings known in the comments.

@MaXx--I would like to cut out the middle man as well. If you are looking for a truck, you are looking for a truck and not a car. My wife just bought a new CRV last June and after the ordeal of buying a new car I would much rather order what I want online and pick it up when it comes in. There is so little choice in colors and options that it would be just as easy to just say I will take the next one off the assembly line that is Diamond Pearl White with heated tan leather seats and a navigation system.

@Doom
GM have a 6 speed manual that can be used behind the 3.6 V6 and the 2.8 diesel. It shouldn't cost them much to install them.

Our previous Izuzu based Colorado came with the manual with the 3.6 V6 engine.

We can get any level of trim in the Colorado diesel with a manual transmission. We might pay a little more for our vehicles, but at least we can get most anyone how we want configured.

I think manufactures are trying to push what they want onto the consumer a little. Why not have both gearbox options across the range of Colorado's. This attitude by the manufacturers has me puzzled.

A manual in the diesel for off road would be the best option, as a manual is more useful off road.

The effective and efficient operation of a manual transmission appears to almost lost in NA from what I've read.

@Big Al--It is getting harder in NA to get a manual transmission in most vehicles. The full size half ton pickups are for the most part all automatics as most cars and crossovers. When I bought my Isuzu I was first looking at the ones with the manuals because that is what I really wanted. The manual Isuzus available as the Colorado's were all ones with vinyl seats, cheap trim, and rough riding. My old S-10 is a much nicer vehicle with a nicer interior and better ride and it has a 5 speed manual. My S-10 will probably be the last manual I will ever own because a better packaged midsize truck with a manual is not available. At this point I am just glad that they are offering this truck--beggars can't be choosers. It is getting harder to get exactly what you want so it becomes getting something close is all you can hope for. This is not only true for vehicles but true for clothing as they have stopped making specific sizes and it is M. L, XL, or XXL and shoes are L or XL with width sizes in Regular or Wide. Even the off the rack clothes don't fit right. The only thing is that clothes are cheaper than a truck and when you spend that kind of money on a new truck you want what you want.

I agree, I wish they would offer the stick with 4x4 in higher trims and other engines. The other small truck manufacturers offer it, so I don't know what GM's problem is?

It's kind of stupid to only offer the stick in the 2wd extended cab work trucks. I mean, the only people that buy those in any great number are fleets, and fleets only buy automatics anyway. It's basically doomed to failure.

Then they'll stupidly claim they offered a stick and no one bought it......well duh, try offering it in a configuration people actually buy. Like a reasonably well equipped 4x4 truck.

What happned to the 6 CD players? I was intersted, but won't buy one without it.

@The Real Lou
As has been pointed out what we call off roading is a little different than what some of the bloggers on this site consider off roading.

We call what they do 'hooning'. We do have people that go out for some extreme competitive off roading, but that is generally in older vehicles that are heavily modified. Even a Raptor would fall apart in a weekend doing what these guys do.

The payload of our midsizers is an advantage, we can carry over 1 400lbs off road. I don't know if some of the guys who read on this site realise, but you should halve your load when off roading.

That means, if your pickup is rated to carry 1 800lbs, then you shouldn't load up more than 900lbs. Unless you go out and buy one of those suspension kits I was describing.

Also, WTF is skid plates?

Are they the under body protection? The ones that protects your gearbox, fuel tank, intercooler/radiator, etc?

If so, don't they come standard on all 4x4s?

@The Real Lou
As has been pointed out what we call off roading is a little different than what some of the bloggers on this site consider off roading.

We call what they do 'hooning'. We do have people that go out for some extreme competitive off roading, but that is generally in older vehicles that are heavily modified. Even a Raptor would fall apart in a weekend doing what these guys do.

The payload of our midsizers is an advantage, we can carry over 1 400lbs off road. I don't know if some of the guys who read on this site realise, but you should halve your load when off roading.

That means, if your pickup is rated to carry 1 800lbs, then you shouldn't load up more than 900lbs. Unless you go out and buy one of those suspension kits I was describing.



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