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Chevy Colorado ZR2 unleashed in the US

16 November 2016

Okay, so we won’t be getting the Colorado ZR2 in South Africa, to the best of our knowledge, but there is no harm in looking. Chevrolet have just unveiled the Colorado ZR2 based on the concept that it showed off at the 2014 LA Auto Show bearing the same nameplate.


It looks pretty much identical to the concept but minor changes include the suspension that is lifted by 50mm, the track is 88mm wider in front and back, and 31-inch off-road tires are standard.

The engine choice is the same as that of a standard Colorado, namely a 230kW 3.6-liter V6 or a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel with 500Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Colorado ZR2 has a 454kg bed capacity and can pull 2.2 tons.


What makes this bakkie unique however is the new suspension system with the Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) shocks that were adjusted by a company called Multimatic, which works with F1 cars and set up the 2014 Camaro Z/28. The ZR2 is the first production off-road vehicle to use the dampers.


Chevrolet’s press release states, “Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.”

The spool valve design allows for precise tuning of the shock. For the ZR2, this means in theory that the suspension will be great off-road without sacrificing as much in on-road stability.


The ZR2’s front and rear electronic locking differentials, including the center transfer case allow for nine different options:
2WD, locked rear differential
Auto 4WD
Auto 4WD, locked rear differential
4WD Hi, locked transfer case
4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
4WD Lo, locked transfer case
4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials


There’s also an Off Road mode button that recalibrates traction control, throttle response and ABS for driving in the dirt or mud.