By on November 15, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Fans of trim packages from the ‘90s take note: Chevy is reintroducing its ZR2 package, this time for their mid-sized Colorado pickup.

Chevrolet revealed a Colorado ZR2 concept two years ago at the L.A. Auto Show and the rumour mill has been awash with recent reports of a reprise. Now, Chevy has officially announced its butch off-road variant … this time with a diesel.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Announcing the edict of “putting the customer at the center of everything we do” on stage in L.A., Executive Vice President Alan Batey praised the Chevy team and claimed an increase in their conquest sales as well as loyalty. Declaring Chevrolet to be the fastest-growing full line manufacturer in the industry, GM honchos reminded folks they are poised to sell more than 900,000 pickups in the U.S. this year.

A new ZR2 package will likely help these efforts, equipped as it is with a two-inch suspension lift, front and rear electronic differentials, knobby 31-inch Goodyear meats, and what looks to be a deliciously aggressive approach angle. Front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches. Unique spool-valve dampers are position sensitive, featuring an extra piston-mounted spool valve to deliver additional compression damping in extreme off-road situations. Previously appearing in track-focused configuration on the Camaro, the dampers are manufactured by Multimatic, the same team who supplies suspension bits to F1 teams.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The ZR2 will be offered with both gas and diesel engine choices — a unique option to the off-road faithful. The 3.6-liter gas V6 cranks out 308 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of twist while the available Duramax diesel offers 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of stump-pulling grunt. An eight-speed automatic is standard. The ZR2 will tow up to 5,000 pounds and its payload is rated at 1,100 pounds.

There’s every reason to believe GM will do well with this trim, especially given that Chevrolet has only a 43-day supply of Colorados right now. That’s well below the industry norm of 73 days, meaning the Colorado is exceeding expectations and remaining in demand. Chevy currently offers the Colorado in a myriad of special editions, from a dipped-in-ink LT Midnight Edition to an off-roadish Z71 Trail Boss.

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Those of us with memories relatively unaffected by Crystal Pepsi and Stone Temple Pilots albums will recall the ZR2 as a special off-road/suspension package offered by The General on the second-generation S-Series. It debuted in 1994 on the Chevrolet S-10 and the GMC Sonoma pickup trucks and two years later it expanded to the natty two-door Blazer. Never one to leave marketing opportunities on the table, GM also applied the trim to its diminutive Tracker.

With that in mind, care to make wagers on which will be the next Chevy model to be ZR2’d? Oddsmakers estimates: Silverado = 10:1, Tahoe = 15:1, Trax = 30:1, Equinox = 50:1, Corvette = 1,000,000,000:1

[Images: General Motors; © 2016 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

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