Automotive

Trick dampers make Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 an off-road warrior

Trick dampers make Chevrolet C...
The Colorado ZR2 is a unique take on the off-road truck
The Colorado ZR2 is a unique take on the off-road truck
View 25 Images
The Colorado ZR2 was previewed two years ago
1/25
The Colorado ZR2 was previewed two years ago
Clever dampers make the ZR2 more comfortable and capable off-road
2/25
Clever dampers make the ZR2 more comfortable and capable off-road
The ZR2 is available with a diesel or petrol engine
3/25
The ZR2 is available with a diesel or petrol engine
The Colorado ZR2 is a unique take on the off-road truck
4/25
The Colorado ZR2 is a unique take on the off-road truck
The new front-end on the Colorado gives the ZR2 a better approach angle
5/25
The new front-end on the Colorado gives the ZR2 a better approach angle
There is a subtle bulge on the hood to make the ZR2 look more special
6/25
There is a subtle bulge on the hood to make the ZR2 look more special
The magic happens under here on the Colorado ZR2
7/25
The magic happens under here on the Colorado ZR2
The wheels on the Chevrolet ZR2
8/25
The wheels on the Chevrolet ZR2
The wheel-holding tray in the Colorado looks cool, but makes it tough to carry things in the bed
9/25
The wheel-holding tray in the Colorado looks cool, but makes it tough to carry things in the bed
Behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
10/25
Behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
The diff-locks in the Colorado ZR2 allow for nine unique configurations
11/25
The diff-locks in the Colorado ZR2 allow for nine unique configurations
The clever dampers that give the ZR2 its off-road prowess
12/25
The clever dampers that give the ZR2 its off-road prowess
The dampers allow for more precise, repeatable performance in the ZR2
13/25
The dampers allow for more precise, repeatable performance in the ZR2
The Colorado on the floor of the Los Angeles Motor Show
14/25
The Colorado on the floor of the Los Angeles Motor Show
Chevrolet gets some air in the new Colorado ZR2
15/25
Chevrolet gets some air in the new Colorado ZR2
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
16/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
A peek at the DSSV suspension
17/25
A peek at the DSSV suspension
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
18/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
19/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
A look at the ZR2 undercarriage
20/25
A look at the ZR2 undercarriage
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
21/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
22/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
23/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
24/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
25/25
Chevy reveals the all-new Colorado ZR2 in LA
View gallery - 25 images

Back in 2014, Chevrolet unveiled the Colorado ZR2 Concept in Los Angeles. It looked production ready, and company executives said they'd gauge public interest and think about building it. It would appear the public has spoken, because Chevy has pulled through and unveiled the production ZR2 in Los Angeles after two years of thinking.

The headline feature on the ZR2 is its high-tech Multimatic DSSV dampers, a technology Chevrolet has previously used in the Camaro Z/28 and the likes of which are common in the paddocks of Le Mans and Formula 1. DSSV (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers make use of (you guessed it) a spool valve in their body rather than a regular deflected disk valve.

According to Chevrolet, this allows the shock to be precisely and consistently tuned, and allows compression and rebound damping to change based on the load and conditions they're facing. During regular driving, the spool valves in the aluminum damper housing have been tuned for a pliant ride, but a third piston-mounted spool valve offers additional (uniquely tuned) compression damping under extreme off-road use. The front dampers also have a separate rebound valve for when the suspension is close to full extension.

"From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers," says Mark Dickens, executive director of performance parts and motorsports engineering at Chevrolet. "A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning. The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences."

The Colorado ZR2 was previewed two years ago
The Colorado ZR2 was previewed two years ago

Along with the trick dampers, Chevrolet has fitted electronic locking differentials at both ends, and a proper transfer case as well. This setup allows nine drive configurations, and there's also an electronic off-road mode which loosens up the anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control for more gravel-road fun. Although it's not nearly as complex as the multi-mode system on the Ford Raptor, it should still be enough to take you deeper into the wilderness than before.

Unlike the other off-road trucks on the market, buyers will have a choice of a diesel or petrol engine. The petrol V6 makes a handy 308 hp (230 kW) of power and 373 Nm (275 lb.ft) of torque, while the optional diesel pumps out 181 hp (135 kW) and 500 Nm (369 lb.ft) of torque, useful for boat-towing. Both engines are hooked up to an automatic eight-speed gearbox.

Although it's taller and wider than the standard Colorado, there aren't all that many unique styling touches to set the ZR2 apart. Even the skid plates and revised bumpers have been fitted for function, not form, improving ground clearance and approach angles compared to the regular model.

No pricing information has been announced for the Colorado ZR2. The car is on display at the Los Angeles Motor Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action.

Check out the ZR2 in action in the video below:

Source: Chevrolet

View gallery - 25 images
3 comments
guzmanchinky
And yet 99% will never see dirt.
NealMc
I hope they don't see dirt. The control arms are made in China, and the upper has a lower factor of safety than you would want in an off road setup. There's an inherent flaw in the castings that the overseas foundry will not fix or sort for. Swap 'em before you put some abuse on these things.
VincentWolf
Chevy needs to bring back the Avalanche with a P100D type powertrain.