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Trail ready Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 spied in the desert

10:53PM - 19.07.'16

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Chevrolet is serious about knocking the Toyota Tacoma off the top of the midsize pickup truck market. The new Colorado has been on sale for a few years now, delivering both solid performance and sales. We recently saw the Colorado add the segment's only diesel engine. While the Colorado performs well on the road, some TRD versions of the Tacoma still rule the trails. We now have desert spy shots showing that Chevy seems to be testing a more capable off-road iteration of the truck.

Nearly two years ago, Chevrolet revealed a Colorado ZR2 concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. While Chevy stated that the truck was only a concept, it showed the company was at least considering building something more suited for the dirt. Nothing definitive has been announced, but the truck in the photos does look like a fairly complete vehicle.

Although the front is completely covered, some details, like a reworked front bumper, can still be made out. Despite being a truck, the current Colorado has some serious limitations. Mainly, the front bumper is designed for aerodynamics and the low-hanging plastic greatly hampers the truck's approach angle. The new one removes the plastic and will allow the truck to move along trails without scraping. If scraping can't be avoided, the spy photos show a beefy skidplate underneath. Also, a couple of tow hooks appear to peek through the mask.

Around the side, it looks like the Colorado has been given slightly more ground clearance. Flared wheel arches hint at a slightly wider track for this truck. More aggressive off-road tires have been fitted to the standard wheels.

Aside from the looks, we can only speculate as to what else Chevy changed. We assume that, like the concept, the truck will wear the ZR2 name that last appeared on the S-10. The 2014 concept was powered by the current 2.8 liter Duramax diesel that will most likely be available alongside the 3.6 liter gasoline engine. The concept also featured goodies like new front and rear differentials, monotube shock absorbers, and new wheels. Hopefully all of these will be available.

The Tacoma looks to have some serious competition. Expect to see a fully fleshed out Colorado ZR2 in the coming months.

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