Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Gets AEV Treatment at SEMA

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It's been a good couple of years for the Chevrolet Colorado. Not only did it come out of the gates just three years ago and take a huge bite out of the top-selling Toyota Tacoma's market share, but earlier this year the stocky and stout Colorado ZR2 off-roader took the mid-size segment by storm. In fact, it won our most recent head-to-head contest against the class leader and is selling well. Chevy tells us there's a tight 25-day supply, and 1 of every 10 Colorados sold is a ZR2.

But you don't keep the momentum going by standing still. That's why Chevy engineers, along with the famous Hall Racing team, have created specialty parts to improve the performance of an already top-notch off-roader. All that research and development was thrust into the spotlight at the 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas in the form of the ZR2 AEV concept.

Those familiar with the growing overlanding industry have heard of American Expedition Vehicles, a growing company based in Wixom, Mich. AEV upfits Jeep Wranglers and Ram pickups with some of the strongest, most well-engineered aftermarket components around; they are designed to make those vehicles more capable and ready to explore.

The most important parts of this ZR2 concept are underneath: There are a pair of long-travel, re-arched leaf springs; longer front coils; front and rear high-impact jounce shocks; bigger tires; stronger front half-shafts; high-angle ball joints; stiffer tie-rods; retuned Multimatic DSSV shocks; and a special anti-wrap link arm attached to the rear differential.

Each of these parts were created with the idea of making them available to regular ZR2 customers in the future, just in case they want to upgrade their pickup's performance. This is a strategy that's worked well with Chevy Camaro and Corvette customers, who appreciate having additional performance options.

Among some of the more interesting AEV-installed parts on this race-ready ZR2 (equipped with all the suspension upgrades mentioned above) are Jeep Wrangler-style front and rear bumpers with LED lighting, complete underbody skid plating, a high-intake snorkel, fender cutouts and flares, 35-inch tires, custom Dual Sport wheels, a custom utility rack, NATO-style fuel cans, an ARB 12-volt refrigerator/freezer and a Hi-Lift jack. Our favorite feature on this concept vehicle is a unique safety panel that includes controls for electrical charging, water tanks, campsite lighting and compressed air.

Although the Colorado ZR2 AEV is a concept, we like the potential it presents for possible accessories for regular and ZR2 Colorados. If there's one thing we know about off-road enthusiasts, it's that they like to know they can go even farther with just a few modifications.

Let the folks at GM know what you think about this concept in the comments section below.

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That's how you do it. Are you watching Ford?

Wow, that thing looks mean.

I want that front bumper minus the winch on my ZR2...

I want that front bumper minus the winch on my ZR2...

Do it GM!

And it has a Diesel. Great truck.

And it has a Diesel. Great truck.

TFL made a video showing a white ZR2 development truck that's in a new Chevy SEMA media release. Looks like the ZR2 engineers have been busy developing mods from the Hall Racing ZR2 into potential parts for a factory truck. High articulation upper ball-joints, new front half-shafts in place of the CV axles to allow for more suspension travel, hydraulic bump stops on all corners, an anti-wrap link on the rear axle, skid plates on the lower shock mounts, etc. The AEV ZR2 is an awesome setup too. The 35's really look good on the truck.

Looks like GM is taking the Raptor Jr. seriously.

Wow GM has really dominated the midsize truck space lately. The Tacoma may sell more but its rep as the offroad midsize truck is disappearing fast. If GM releases something close to the Race development truck the Ranger Raptor Jr is going to have a tough time. Especially knowing that it's going for a mini-Ram rear suspension design. Very surprised the Raptor Jr. is going to a coil spring rear suspension.

Wow chevy got out of the pepboys isle 5 crap for SEMA add ons and the GM fans gobble it up faster than a 2nd government bailout. It still cant hang with a Raptor and is only a Decadish behind both the Raptor and the Power Wagon. I would like to see air outlets offered on full size trucks. That would be handy.

I think Clint's feelings are hurt because Ford still does not have a mid size pickup in the US.

The air outlets he refers to would be really great after an evening of Chili Relenos and a few ice cold Pabst in the pint cans.

Clint is just mad bc his Raptor just got beat in a head to head comparison at Motor Trend....SO YA IT CAN HANG/BEAT YOUR RAPTOR

I like it! Not another sticker package with black wheels! A truck that can really be used!
Bumpers look great! Tan wheels and paint look better!
Have not been a Colorado fan....till now!!!
This is good enough to be called S-10!!

Do you think they are trying to compete with full size trucks Clint,
or there a Ranger Raptor in this fantasy?

You need to see this truck in person to unlike it. Nothing great about it. Old people rejoice you can climb the curb on your way to the cafeteria.

Plenty of good looking and more capable Tacoma's at SEMA, but the liberal media only likes the Colorado!

Shame on them, shame...

@ oxi: why are you so hung up on the liberal media thing. Truthfully, Liberal media is far more are accepting of foreign content them conservative media.

Looks like they threw a LUND Catalog at it. Ghey.

Reading comprehension for all those who say Chevrolet/GM did anything... this is an AEV build. Doing a non-Chrysler vehicle is definitely branching out for them, though.
10% take rate for the ZR2 is impressive, though; way higher than the TRD Pro Tacoma.

Reading comprehension for all those who say Chevrolet/GM did anything... this is an AEV build. Doing a non-Chrysler vehicle is definitely branching out for them, though.
10% take rate for the ZR2 is impressive, though; way higher than the TRD Pro Tacoma.

Posted by: Mr Knowitall | Nov 2, 2017 11:05:36 AM

GM Performance partnered with AEV on it. If you look at the suspension you can see that it has all the parts from the race development truck GM also showed at SEMA this year.

Rollbars are a little strange looing but they're functional.

The bars on the bed are a signature of the overlanding crowd. They usually throw a tent up on top and haul gear below. Very functional when you're out in the middle of nowhere for extended periods of time.

The 35's really make the ZR2 look beefy. Great job AEV and GM.

Awesome job with this package application, it would be a true and unexpected game changer if GM were to Green-Light this truck into production, even if it happened to just be in limited numbers.

I see a lot of Taco's with this Caliche color. A bit generic looking but around here, the mud will blend well to not look too dirty after a run off-road.

how soon will the high rise snorkel be available

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