2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Off Road Truck

There are very few vehicles around which immediately induce an “I-want-this-in-my-garage” from the first look, the 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is one of them. Yes, it is for fact that official websites often portray models with images and videos making them more than what they are – that is the whole point of advertising. But, truth is, this is one heck of a pickup truck which is destined to hit the roads.

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 front

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 – Powerful Mid-Size Pickup Truck

This is a mid-size pickup truck with an added twist to it. It looks a bit different from the upcoming Colorado and there’s a reason for it. What this model has over its cousin is performance and quite a bit of it.

With crude prices hitting lows, pickup sales are hitting new highs. And the USA being the largest singular pickup market on this planet, every single manufacturer wants a slice of this cake as long as it lasts.

The Ford looks to bring its Ranger midsize pickup back to its birthplace. The RAM, Toyota, Nissan, and GMC are among the other big players. There are quite a few mid-size pickups striking a balance between utility and fun.

This 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 has a completely different genetic setup. It’s supposed to be wild, it’s supposed what the Ford F-150 Raptor is in that Raptor series. It’s meant to pump adrenaline into a rider, take on a big boulder, dive into streams and come out for a bit more. And, if the spec sheets and speculations are anything to go by, this is going to be a model worth a thorough look and a buy.

High Strong and Proud

The first thing that you notice about this pickup is that it’s bigger than a base Colorado. But that’s where the story starts. It’s not bigger at all. And the reason it seems a bit larger than life is its ride height and its 50mm front and rear lift. This model also comes with a 90mm wider stance.

One of the most immediate pointers which anyone will notice on this 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is its hood scoop. This is a welcome addition especially considering the fact that new model will go head-to-head against the likes of Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – another performance-based pickup.

Up front, a classic black mesh grille with another black broad line sporting Chevy’s badge replaces the more urban design in base models. The hood section is smaller too, with more muscular front fenders. An observant eye will find two tow hooks stuck in convincingly.

A shortened hood will not, however, change the headlight design. The Chevrolet will keep the same along with a few other design details. Increased ride height gave way to an added black wheel arch accent to the bottom.

Everything else nearly remains the same. The 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 will be available in 2 body options – Extended Cab with a long bed and a Crew Cab with a short bed.

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 interior

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 – Tweaked for more Power

This upcoming model will be powered by either the 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel or a 3.6L V6. The 2.8L Duramax is a top-ending power unit for this Colorado series and this 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 will come with it. It’s an inline-4 16-valve turbocharged engine which comes with DI (Direct Injection) and DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts). Specs are as follows: –

  • Max Output – 181 HP@3400 rpm.
  • Max Torque – 369 lb-ft. @2000 rpm
  • EPA – 30 mpg. [Highway ride conditions, Automatic transmission.]

This is one of the most reliable engines around, powering quite a few GM models other than this 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2. But what this 2.8L is famed for is its torque output despite its compact. Starting off at a 31 mpg plus rating, the GM or rather Chevrolet did well to downgrade on the EPA and maximize the torque output. And this truck is meant to make the best of every single drop of this model.

As for the 3.6L V6 VVT (Variable Valve Timing), it’s a time-tested engine which comes in as a gasoline variant. Specs read in at –

  • Max Output – 308 HP@6800 rpm.
  • Max Torque – 275 lb-ft. @4000 rpm
  • EPA – 27 mpg. [Highway ride conditions, Automatic transmission.]

Workman-like but Fun Powertrain

The 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 comes with an 8-speed auto transmission and an obvious manual shift ability option for the 3.6L is obvious. However, with a max rpm nearing just 5000, the Duramax might see a 6-speed manual transmission. There’s not much of a point in an off-roader with an auto tranny.

Off-Roading Suspension and Drivetrain

This is where the 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 literally starts going off the beaten track. A wider track comes with hugely revised suspension section. It comes with Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) shocks, a segment-exclusive feature which Chevy has pooled in straight from its Camaro Z/28 off-roader.

These shocks adjust as per damping and suspension lift to provide perfect poise individually to every single wheel. They also improve terrain shock events to maximize driver control and minimize unnecessary vehicle lift. And aiding this setup are massive front and rear coil springs. And the Electronic separate Front and Rear locking differentials get the rest of the job done.

This model comes with added underbody shields, rock rails, and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires.

The 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 will come with a 4×4 drivetrain but that is oh-so-obvious again. What matters the most is Chevy’s added details to this setup. A stand-alone Off-Road Mode tech allows you to choose between Desert, Mud or Mountains mode, each setup specific to terrain choice. Individual wheel traction also comes in handy.

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 side

2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 – Aggressively Priced to Compete

With a tag coming in at just a bit above the $40,000 mark, this 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is meant to be a fun-to-ride but powerful model. Trailering capabilities with added packages may give this model a trailering spec of over 7,500 pounds. But this is a niche segment and competing with Toyota’s Tacoma TRD Pro, this performance-oriented mid-size pickup is meant to rock and not roll over.

1 thought on “2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Off Road Truck”

  1. Sounds great but what is the quality of this truck? After taking the ZR-2 of roading will it be a creeking, squeaking daily driver. No mention was made as to the fit and finish of the truck. Is that because it would be an embrassment compared to a Frontier or 4 runner? What of its long term reliability? The Colorado had or has a reputation of one of the worst truck to have due to its low reliability and mechanical failures? Money better spent on 4runner due to its rep for rock solid reliability. Which also help in resale value, if u should want a different vehicle later on.


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