Spied: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Off-Roader

Chevy ZR2 1 II

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


Chevy ZR2 3 II

Chevy ZR2 2 II

Chevy ZR2 5 II

Chevy ZR2 6 II

Chevy ZR2 6A II

Chevy ZR2 7 II



ZR2 = the ultra dumbest moniker for an offroad truck ever...

What's the deal with GM designing vehicles with little to no rearward visibility??

Put a 6ft bed on it like the original ZR2, and this might be my next truck. I don't think I could fit my groceries in that bed!

What an ugly rake. This thing needs a 4 inch lift puck just on the front to get it level!

GM: Level the front and you're good to go on 35's LMAO

Whats next, a malibu off road car? this is a huge fail

Yea, I get that ZR2 sounds more like a sport 2WD truck. But I think we all get it.

The front end is way low! I'm a GM guy and usually look past it, but this is a little much.

Anyone want it with the 2.8 Duramax and a manual trans?_

My 2016 SR Tacoma 4x4 would make that ZR2 look awful off-road!

That rear-end needs to drop down, it looks awful! And those rear lower shock mounts are so low, my wife's Subaru has more running ground clearance!

The rear looks light and dangerous to operate on the street, talk about losing control easily in wet pavement...

Epic failure, GM should stick to pavement only trucks!

they had to lift the rear so much that way you wouldn't rip the spare tire off when you go offroad. Look how low that spare sits, and they have the face of the rim exposed so it can get rashed up.

The question for me is, will the 2.8 Duramax (Cough, VM MOTORI ) need the timming belt changed at, what, 100,000 miles, like the 2.8 in the Liberty?

Well, Edmunds can possibly check the ramp index if GM builds this.

This deserves the 4.3 (if not the 5.3 or 6.2)... for those that don't want to spend thousands extra on the duramax, but still want a little bit of torque....

This will kill the TRD! Thankfully it has much better rearward visibility than the TRD.

Finally....... Gm gets with the program.

What will it cost?

"My 2016 SR Tacoma 4x4 would make that ZR2 look awful off-road!

That rear-end needs to drop down, it looks awful! And those rear lower shock mounts are so low, my wife's Subaru has more running ground clearance!"


The rear end on your 2010 looks awful, too. Haven't seen your 2016. I do't care what they said at Deaver. Those Deaver Springs were all screwed up and flat.

Very, very dangerous to drive and no they did not make your truck 1 ton capable, they made it less capable.

@ Jeff,

My 2016 SR has factory springs on them!

My 2010 SR5 that I still drive does have 9-pack Deavers set to my specifications of 1.5 inches of lift and 700 lbs. payload over factory springs with Fox Racing shocks 2.0 with 14 inches travel and reservoir's.

Do not hate because I can build my standard pickups better than Raptor's, Power Wagon's and even TRD pro's at much less $$$. Some of us know how to build our trucks for off-roading while others want the factory to make the decisions for them!

Is the wheel base wider or just rims with less back spacing?

Only reason you see the spare is due to the picture/camera is at ground level.

Most leveling kits raise the front end just slightly less then level, not above level. Some lift kits, especially on full size Chevy's, raise the front ends up higher then the back....which make them look ugly...

I agree it's weird how low that spare tire is hanging. And how high the back end is up in the air. I don't think when it makes it to production they will have the back end sit so high. I think that first picture may have been taken as the truck was braking. The front end looks really good with that camo on the front. They could potentially make the front end look really good. The colorado looks have already grown really old to me and I've only seen one in person a couple times.

I agree there is no worse name than the TRD. I think ZR2 is a fine name. And I like the tacoma overall more than the colorado. But every time i see TRD I think TURD.

What if it would be because it has a bigger engine ? Maybe a V8 5.3L ? They had it in the previous version of the Colorado/Canyon, I can't believe they wouldn't be able to fit it in the new 2nd gen. The Tacoma TRD pro doen't have any upgrade on the engine. To be a legit off-roader-raptor-fighter, they need to get a special engine in there...

"and 700 lbs. payload over factory

Do not hate"

I don't hate you, but Lou_BC may be going after you for that post.

Getting my popcorn ready. :)

PS Good luck with your 2016. Do you have any plans for mods for it or are you leaving it stock?

The reason the tire is hanging a bit is because it was in the bed of the pickup in the concept and everybody hated that.


Spare tire is so low cause of the small frame width. You aren't going to suck a full size spare up between the frame rails on these with over sized tires that appear to be on it.

oxi, I like your truck but I still think the salesman at Deaver gave you bad info and springs and didn't want to admit/correct it or didn't know any better. As many people have said flat springs aren't right and I'm not sure if they actually increase payload. I could be wrong but I heard all of the weight of the mods added up to decrease payload over factory. Good luck with your 16. Are you selling the '10?.

Scott N. - NAH

Waste of time since oxii thinks he knows more than engineers.

The tag on the door is legally what one has to go by.

Even Deever says it is illegal to exceed manufacturer ratings for public roads.

That means oxii has to buy a full sized pickup to trailer his queen to his favourite mud-hole down the street from his new house.

Mind you........ post zombie apocalypse all bets are off........


Lou_BC, wow cant believe you said that, the tag on the door is legal from when it left the FACTORY. It does not however, include what was done at the dealer. i dont know the whole story here, but just because the door sticker says one thing does not mean its what the end result is. The only way to know that is to actually weight it and do the math

Nitro - the door sticker lists GVW and cargo rating. You are correct that weighing the truck is the best way to determine cargo.

A long time ago "oxi" had claimed that one could up the ratings based on "higher rated" aftermarket springs.

Even Deever said that you could not exceed manufacturer set GVW.

I'm sure that if you wanted to hire an Engineer and have him issue a new rating for your vehicle you could do that.

@Nitro - this dud added steel skid plates, a huge snout bash plate, canopy, rear bumper etc that basically pushed the stock truck to sit close to manufacturer rated GVW empty.

@lou, gotcha..

@Northern California ever here of the cRaptor!

See yah in second place Toyota.

I want one

Stinkbug rake looks stupid

Alls you will see is Toyotas tail gate.

Is this the same idiotic oxi from a while back? Come on man, first you are comparing a modified truck to a stock. Second, any drivetrain upgrades on your truck because just tires and a lift (that you are fairly uneducated about) aren't going to help in traction situations when a tire is in the air and you are spinning that "limited slip". If you have light bars and no lockers, a mall crawler you must have.

14" of travel, you must have long armed that suspension.

Those aren't rocker guards. Those are power retracting off-road steps. But would also act as a guard too I guess.

I was driving behind a nice white Colorado last week on my way to work and noticed the low hanging spare tire on it and thought the owner probably had a flat tire and put the spare tire back on wrong. But now I realized that's how they fit. Good looking truck but not a true off-roader.

Most will use the new Hilux here, good Off Road

@ Lou_BC

I am not even going to respond to your childish antics! You know how many light pickups I have seen on the highways pulled over and forced to run the scales? NONE!

Troopers do not care, their focus is heavy duty semi's, not light trucks! Wake up!

Do us all a favor and call the FBI to raid SEMA. How dare they market and sell ILLEGAL aftermarket stuff?

Have the FBI raid BFGoodrich for selling larger tires than what the factory puts on? FBI raid Fox Shocks, King Shocks, local tire shops that mount and balance those larger tires that the data plate states should not be on their truck and so forth!

See how your argument sounds stupid! I have been off-roading and been part of off-road clubs over the last 25 years. And trust me when I say my Toyota's have been moderate when compared to some full-size and Jeep's out there! Not once have I seen state troopers raid off-road parks, sat there and inspected all off-road trucks and Jeep's, placed them on scales, etc...

You sound so silly with that argument because you lack the common sense to understand a pickup! I have been doing mods for 25 years and I can tell you my trucks are safer, stronger and can haul more than what the factory builds.

According to you, anything placed on a truck that the factory did not put on is illegal. So let's start with simple things:

Toppers: illegal
Aftermarket bumpers: illegal
Winches: illegal
Bigger and longer travel shocks and a-arms: illegal
Heavy duty leaf springs or coils: illegal
Snorkle: illegal
Larger diameter tires: illegal
Wheel spacers: illegal
K & N air filters: illegal
Headers: illegal
Larger and wider rims: illegal

You get the idea I hope? Sorry to confuse you but you do not have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do to my truck, that is not how it works!

And first of all, I do not tell you how to build your truck, so what gives you the right to come after mine? To each their own and leave it at that! We do not have to conform to your way of thinking. I get it, you are a government conformist and those that do not conform to a standard pickup are felons in your mind!

Well, we are not! We make trucks better, stronger and the ability to carry more! We are living the pioneering days of how this nation was built upon, the ingenuity and free spirit that made this nation great while conformists like you want to make sure everybody drives the same trucks to conform!

Go join your local government spying community policing group! Leave us independent and free thinking truck builders alone! We do not tell you how to live your life, so do not tell us how to live ours please!

@ Scott N.

The only mods on my 2016 SR are the Solid Fold 2.0 hard bed cover and I sold the OEM Firestone Destination tires 245/75 back to the stealership and installed proper BFG KO2's 265/75 on with no mods to the suspension!

They look great and fit nicely into the wheel wells.

Lou will declare them illegal and will call to get me pulled over. How dare I have larger diameter tires than what the data plate states, lol!

Tyler - don't ask details. He'll post pictures of his entire life to prove how intelligent he is.

@ Lou_BC,

Is that all you do on here, never post anything of merit, just personal attacks and gibberish?

You obviously own a stock truck, great, good for you but leave us alone that like to mod them to be safer, stronger, go more places and haul more with them, we do not like your liberal, save the trees attitude! Heck why are you not driving a Prius with the responses you give on here?

Lou_BC Then he'll cry, because you can then tell where he lives. Just like the last time, then you will be called a government spy again HAHA!

I remember when the ZR2 was as serious package on the S10. This will sell well, lift, tries, shocks, bumper, stance it checks all the boxes and a little more probably also have a locker. Little trucks are all about looks and off road mojo (even if it never gets used). The little boys and old men that have the money to waste on these trucks love that stuff. Now for the classic chevy blacked out "special" edition version.

"we do not like your liberal, save the trees attitude!"

Funny considering I started out life as a logger and worked in Forest Resource management.

Poor little bayyyyybeeeee

You play off road............. focus on "play"

oh and some paranoid end of world zombie apocalypse bug out truck.


johnny doe - yes. agreed.

The guy works at an Oshkosh military plant and that somehow makes him freekin' Rambo.

Finally an off-road pickup truck is spied and the all the media doesn't rush to assume it being a raptor-competitor.

Kudos PUTC

I'll be keeping my eyes on this one. I really like the way it's looking so far and I'm looking for a new mid-size to replace my 3rd gen Dakota.

OOXXII: it is NOT what you put on the truck that is the argument! But what you put on your truck, that is not stock, and then THINK you can haul more, and then actually go out a DO IT. Then you get into an accident, that is still NOT your fault, BUT the other driver, if he was not totally at fault by being drunk or maybe even reckless, when he hits you, even in front of a POLICEMAN, and totally breaking the law while getting into an accident with you, and you both go to court. He shows up with a very good lawyer, and the lawyer goes in front of the jury/judge, with the facts after the investigation that PROVES that YOU were in a vehicle that was modified beyond the factory ratings, ( listed in the door jamb) for YOU to read and adhere too, gives a compelling case of your blatant and or criminal actions that may have added up to a control issue on YOUR part. That is the argument others here are trying to and for many years I might add, inform you, that the good/bad/shyster lawyer can find to add to his telling of his clients side, of victimhood. Then it is here, in the internet for the powers that be can find as a telling history of your blatant disregard and then YOU are up the creek, without your deaver paddle!!!!!! That is what we have all been trying to get you to listen too!!!!!!!you have been warned!!!!

I don't like the two hanging shocks points. That is just waiting to get damaged going over a rock or a log.

When will the Colorado ZR2 be released in Canada

Why can't GM just put the concept version into production. The concept looked amazing and seeing this I'm not too impressed anymore. Doesn't seem like a true off road/Baja truck I was hoping for. GM should take a page from ligenfelter and southern comfort motors. What they did with the reaper was awesome, that's how an off road truck should look not just a front end restyle which is really the only difference you can really see from the stock version of the Colorado...SMH

I almost bought a 5.3L Colorado as it had some umph. Then I drove it with a 5 cylinder and realized what a piece of junk the rest of it was.

I laugh at you brand loyal/protectionist GM lovers as they continually burn you. I'll take my now 7 year old TuRD over a new polished turd Chevy and it'll still give me less trouble. With the exception of having to replace the heater resistor I have had zero problems with it. None of my GM/Ford/Dodge pals can say that. Not one.

@ Point Out
I'll take my now 7 year old TuRD over a new polished turd Chevy and it'll still give me less trouble.
Yeah if you confine your truck to the malls, I guess you would have less trouble.

I have an '02 S10 ZR2 5spd (original owner, daily driver til 2010) and aside from the occasional ball joint or wheel bearing, no issues. psst, it has 4 wheel disc brakes, remind me, do any of the Tacoma's come with 4 wheel disc.. No.. too bad, enjoy your drums.

I am not defending the first gen Colorado's because it devolved versus the S10 it replaced and I was one of the first to say what a piece of crap it was.

But I love how all you Toyota owners feel the urge to thread crap on a truck that is not even out yet. Must feel threatened or inferior in some way.

The comments to this entry are closed.