When we saw the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 concept at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, we knew it could fill a void in GM's lineup that both Ram and Ford have capitalized on for more than a decade. With relatively few focused modifications to the Colorado chassis and suspension, the concept also seemed like a no-brainer for those looking for a capable off-road competitor to Toyota's Tacoma TRD Sport and new TRD Pro midsize pickup. Recently, our spy shooters sent us these images that seem to imply we won't have much longer to wait to see this desert racer in Chevy dealerships. Here's what they sent:
"Judging from this prototype caught testing on public roads in Michigan, it looks like GM is finally bringing the Chevy Colorado ZR2 concept truck to production. A quick analysis of this prototype suggests that the ZR2 is finally a go. Here's what we see:
"The front bumper covers only a fraction of the front tires, clearly suggesting that a version of the Colorado ZR2 concept's prerunner-inspired front end is in play on this prototype.
"It also appears that the outer corners of the front bumper camouflage are designed to be easily removable — enabling a quick-disconnect ability to provide a much greater approach angle whenever it's needed for backcountry high-adventure.
"The camouflage also could be hiding the uniquely placed King Off-Road Racing Shocks that were on the concept, which were an attention-grabbing element of the ZR2 and could provide segment-leading abilities.
"Here are some other ZR2 details that we think will likely make it to production:
"A hood scoop: We can see one lurking under the prototype ZR2's camo.
"The prototype has wider fender flares to accommodate larger tires, implying that the production vehicle will have a wider track width.
"The ZR2 concept had a 2-inch lift compared with a standard Colorado, and this prototype also looks to be riding higher for better ground clearance. Interestingly, the front end looks like it could be lifted a little more to provide a level ride.
"The prototype showcases a version of the concept's rocker protectors for the side sills as well as a substantial front skid plate.
"The Colorado ZR2 concept had its spare tire mounted in the bed for maximum auto show pizzazz. That detail never was expected to see production, and it looks like it did not. This prototype has its full-size spare mounted conventionally underneath the bed, and the spare looks to match the other all-terrain tires.
"The Colorado ZR2 concept hit the show circuit with GM's 2.8-liter baby Duramax diesel engine. We can't say for sure what is under the prototype's hood but it appears from the tailpipe to be the gasoline V-6. While a diesel in the production ZR2 would be welcomed by many, its inclusion in the concept likely was just to highlight the powertrain that was set to be an option on 2016 Colorados."
KGP Photography images