By on September 2, 2020

If the current vehicle landscape tells us anything, it’s that Americans have never gone so far afield, well beyond the reach of pavement, in as many numbers as they do today. How else to explain the emergence of so many off-road focused pickups and SUVs? Road infrastructure maintenance costs should decline in the coming years as new vehicle buyers blaze their own trail to the office and supermarket.

Watch out, nature.

Or maybe people just like the ability to do such things. Whatever the reason, the list of brush busters grows by the year, and might soon include a new entry from Chevrolet.

The bowtie brand already flexed its off-road chops with the Colorado ZR2 and Bison, but that truck’s a midsize. Ford and Ram are having fun in the full-size space, so why not Chevy? An unconfirmed report in Muscle Cars & Trucks claims a Silverado ZR2 in in development, slated to appear for the 2023 model year.

Allegedly, the Silverado ZR2 will follow the same recipe as the Colorado, with an improved suspension and a reworked front and rear bumper aimed at favorable approach and departure angles. Given that the current Silverado’s chin is mighty flush with the model’s extremely upright face, one wonders what the resulting product will look like. Front and rear electronically locking differentials and Multimatic DSSV dampers also form part of the rumored package.

Going far beyond the existing Trail Boss trim would give General Motors a useful product with which to temp buyers who don’t plan to get too wild, as this thing wouldn’t be a direct rival to either the Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram 1500 TRX. Those musclebound rig are meant for extreme use and high speeds; with the Silverado ZR2, GM will reportedly source power from its existing truck engines. That means a 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8, but not the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel (which apparently doesn’t conform well to changes planned for the model’s reworked face.

It’s not like the 6.2L is any slouch; it just won’t win any bragging rights in this segment. Perhaps GM can focus on price?

As the automaker hasn’t copped to the development of the Silverado ZR2, we can only take the report at face value. It definitely feels like something GM would do, however. That, and, as MC&T notes, GM already turned a Silverado into something ZR2-worthy with the creation of the Chad Hall Racing Truck at the 2019 SEMA show.

[Image: General Motors]

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8 Comments on “Report: Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2 to Gain Big Brother?...”


  • avatar
    MrIcky

    It’s definitely ‘watch out nature’ this year. At least the first half of it- article after article about unprecedented growth in outdoors use, camping, mountain biking, kayaking, etc. Anything to get out of the house while still having a hope of social distancing. Too bad they didn’t have this already on January 1st, seems like an opportunity lost.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an ‘explosion’ of campers and off-roaders next year, as soon as this Covid-19 thing is resolved. People are getting ‘Indoor Fever’ and wanting to get out and away from home for a while.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    That’s no ordinary sticker package!

    It’s just irrational if not irresponsible not to answer every significant model, specialty, or option/package one or both of the other Big 3 pickups are offering.

    Without the GM copycat, mee too answers, we wouldn’t have the Camaro, Blazer, El Camino, Escalade, HHR, and many others.

    GM eventually answered the “Man Step” and it was a good one, after originally badmouthing it like crazy.

    Now GM is quietly sneaking lots of aluminum on to the Silverado/Sierra. All the doors, the hood and tailgate are aluminum. It’s a good start, but I don’t understand the shame.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I don’t think there was ever really shame about the aluminum thing. They just got caught flat-footed by Ford, and tried to turn a negative into a positive with an ad campaign aimed at troglodytes (steel tough and manly! aluminum weak and girly!) — which honestly is a pretty safe bet with truck buyers. But now they’re backed into a corner until buyers forget the ads. Kind of like Ram with so much Hemi-everything advertising (Grog like V8 only!) that they can’t properly promote their thriftier powertrains (Pentastar, hybrid, ecodiesel).

      Maybe there’s a lesson here that it’s time to stop designing and promoting trucks as penile compensation and start designing them for function and promoting them on their merits. Ya know, or not.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    GMC Jimmy based off of Colorado ZR2 would have been a great idea for GM to bring to market before Ford introduced the Bronco. Now it would just be a me too idea.
    ZR2 full size truck is a me to idea for GM as well. One that would be financially rewarding for GM. Instead of spending your time on more off road capability that few would use……IMPROVE YOUR INTERIORS GM!

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Sounds like they are trying to one up the Rebel or make a 1500 to compete with the Power Wagon, not a desert runner. If that is the case it should do OK. Maybe it won’t even be so ugly?

  • avatar

    Wow, another dull GM truck. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

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