Automotive

The new Ford Explorer, ZR2 concept and other trucks of the LA Auto Show

The new Ford Explorer, ZR2 con...
The ZR2 is Chevy's vision of a mid-size truck with enhanced off-road capabilities (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The ZR2 is Chevy's vision of a mid-size truck with enhanced off-road capabilities (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Hard Rock (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A1 & Ed's Autosound Chevy SSR (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A1 & Ed's Autosound Chevy SSR (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
This custom Chevy looks like an ultimate tailgate mobile (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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This custom Chevy looks like an ultimate tailgate mobile (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Land Rover Discovery Vision concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Land Rover Discovery Vision concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Land Rover first revealed the Discovery Vision at the 2014 New York Auto Show
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Land Rover first revealed the Discovery Vision at the 2014 New York Auto Show
Close-up: Land Rover Discovery Vision concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Close-up: Land Rover Discovery Vision concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Discovery Vision showcases new design and technology (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Discovery Vision showcases new design and technology (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2015 Renegade Trailhawk package includes red tow hooks, skid plates and off-road fascias (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2015 Renegade Trailhawk package includes red tow hooks, skid plates and off-road fascias (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Renegade Trailhawk has a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, nine-speed automatic transmission and Active Drive Low 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Renegade Trailhawk has a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, nine-speed automatic transmission and Active Drive Low 4x4 system with 20:1 crawl ratio (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom Toyota Tundra (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom Toyota Tundra (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Wounded Warrior Project truck with matching Autohome roof tent (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Wounded Warrior Project truck with matching Autohome roof tent (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom camo truck ready for action (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom camo truck ready for action (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Custom trucks in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Tuned Jeep Wrangler at the 2014 LA Auto Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Tuned Jeep Wrangler at the 2014 LA Auto Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
This Allroad Outfitters rig is ready for adventure (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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This Allroad Outfitters rig is ready for adventure (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Mercedes-based Airstream Interstate (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Mercedes-based Airstream Interstate (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Airstream Interstate (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Airstream Interstate (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Airstream Los Angeles in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Airstream Los Angeles in the aftermarket room (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Galpin Auto Sports shows the 2015 Ford Transit Skyline 350 High Roof Van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Galpin Auto Sports shows the 2015 Ford Transit Skyline 350 High Roof Van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bespoke Coachworks luxury van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bespoke Coachworks luxury van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bespoke Coachworks luxury van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bespoke Coachworks luxury van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
1961 Toyota FJ25 Land Cruiser in Toyota's heritage corner (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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1961 Toyota FJ25 Land Cruiser in Toyota's heritage corner (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
This Land Cruiser features a 3.9-liter six-cylinder engine and 4WD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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This Land Cruiser features a 3.9-liter six-cylinder engine and 4WD (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Toyota lists the base price of the 1961 Land Cruiser as $3,050 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Toyota lists the base price of the 1961 Land Cruiser as $3,050 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
1961 Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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1961 Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2016 Ford Explorer makes its global debut (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2016 Ford Explorer makes its global debut (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The new Explorer will hit dealerships in Northern Hemisphere Summer 2015 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The new Explorer will hit dealerships in Northern Hemisphere Summer 2015 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The all-new Explorer features an upgraded technology suite that includes front and rear wide-angle cameras with washers (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The all-new Explorer features an upgraded technology suite that includes front and rear wide-angle cameras with washers (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The new Ford Explorer celebrates 25 years of the Explorer (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The new Ford Explorer celebrates 25 years of the Explorer (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2016 Explorer gets a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine option, replacing the 2.0-liter EcoBoost (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2016 Explorer gets a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine option, replacing the 2.0-liter EcoBoost (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine puts out 270 hp (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine puts out 270 hp (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Ford also offers 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 and 365-hp 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine options (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Ford also offers 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 and 365-hp 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine options (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2016 Explorer lineup includes a new upscale Platinum trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The 2016 Explorer lineup includes a new upscale Platinum trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Chevy debuts the all-new Colorado ZR2 concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Chevy debuts the all-new Colorado ZR2 concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The ZR2 is Chevy's vision of a mid-size truck with enhanced off-road capabilities (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The ZR2 is Chevy's vision of a mid-size truck with enhanced off-road capabilities (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The ZR2 concept is powered by a 2.8-liter Duramax engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The ZR2 concept is powered by a 2.8-liter Duramax engine (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Colorado ZR2 has 18-in aluminum beadlock-style wheels
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The Colorado ZR2 has 18-in aluminum beadlock-style wheels
The ZR2 has a wider stance and improved approach and departure angles when compared to the Colorado Z71 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The ZR2 has a wider stance and improved approach and departure angles when compared to the Colorado Z71 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The ZR2's custom wheel flares extend over top the off-road tires (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The ZR2's custom wheel flares extend over top the off-road tires (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
2015 GMC Canyon (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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2015 GMC Canyon (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
2015 GMC Canyon (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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2015 GMC Canyon (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Mercedes G350 with an interesting paint choice (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Mercedes G350 with an interesting paint choice (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Mercedes G350 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Mercedes G350 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek inside Bespoke Coachbuilders' van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek inside Bespoke Coachbuilders' van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
A peek inside Bespoke Coachbuilders' van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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A peek inside Bespoke Coachbuilders' van (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Off-road buggy in the aftermarket area (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Off-road buggy in the aftermarket area (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
This custom Jeep is ready for a couple days out in the backcountry (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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This custom Jeep is ready for a couple days out in the backcountry (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The most monstrous truck we saw down in the aftermarket area (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The most monstrous truck we saw down in the aftermarket area (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The white truck on the left was big, too, but looked small compared to its neighbor (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The white truck on the left was big, too, but looked small compared to its neighbor (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Lil' Redd Wrecker 1970s show rod (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Lil' Redd Wrecker 1970s show rod (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
1929 Ford Model A from the International Pacific Highway Expedition of the 1930s (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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1929 Ford Model A from the International Pacific Highway Expedition of the 1930s (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
This 1929 Ford Model A found its way into our truck gallery thanks to a pickup bed and history of "fording rivers, climbing mountain ranges and often driving where no motor vehicle had gone before" (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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This 1929 Ford Model A found its way into our truck gallery thanks to a pickup bed and history of "fording rivers, climbing mountain ranges and often driving where no motor vehicle had gone before" (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Ram was proud to show off its Green Car Journal Green Truck of the Year award-winning EcoDiesel-powered 1500 Laramie (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Ram was proud to show off its Green Car Journal Green Truck of the Year award-winning EcoDiesel-powered 1500 Laramie (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Ram 1500 Laramie (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Ram 1500 Laramie (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Chrysler-powered Lil' Redd Wrecker was originally built for Redd Foxx, star of "Samford & Son"
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The Chrysler-powered Lil' Redd Wrecker was originally built for Redd Foxx, star of "Samford & Son"
Toyota shows a special Hiring Our Heroes 2015 Tacoma (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Toyota shows a special Hiring Our Heroes 2015 Tacoma (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Toyota shows a special Hiring Our Heroes 2015 Tacoma (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Toyota shows a special Hiring Our Heroes 2015 Tacoma (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Think Los Angeles, and the first vehicle that comes to mind is probably a fast, powerful convertible along the lines of the new Ferrari F60 America. A pickup truck or SUV is likely to be well down the list. And that's largely how this year's Los Angeles Show played out with a whole lot of flashy cars. But truck lovers weren't left wanting entirely with a smattering of trucks on display, including the all-new Ford Explorer and Chevy Colorado ZR2 concept pickup.

Chevy dipped its toes in the performance off-road sector with the ZR2 concept truck, and Ford debuted the 2016 Explorer. Beyond those two notables, we've compiled a gallery spanning concept SUVs, classics dating back as far as the 1920s, and jacked-up customs straight out of the SEMA Show.

2016 Ford Explorer

The biggest truck/SUV debut of the LA show was the refreshed Ford Explorer. The 2016 Explorer marks 25 years for Ford's venerable SUV, with more than seven million of the vehicle sold in the United States during that quarter-century run.

The updated Explorer doesn't rest on its laurels, offering a range of new technologies and features headlined by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine available in the base, XLT and Limited trims. That engine replaces the 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost, upgrading output to "at least" 270 hp (179 kW) and 300 lb-ft (407 Nm) of torque with no expected loss in fuel economy. Carryover engine options include the 290-hp (216 kW) 3.5-liter V6 and 365-hp (272 kW) 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, with the Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System also making the trip to 2016.

The 2016 Explorer lineup includes a new upscale Platinum trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The 2016 Explorer lineup includes a new upscale Platinum trim (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The new Explorer has much the same overall look as the current model, but it gets a few notable modifications. The front fascia, in particular, has benefited from some work, most noticeably in the redesigned grille. That grille has been pushed higher, along with the headlamps. The new headlamp design includes integrated cooling grilles carved around the lower lamps, adding another dimension to the Explorer's face.

Ford has retuned the Explorer chassis and will offer new tire options for the standard 18-in and optional 20-in wheels. Newly available technology features include smart-charging USB ports throughout the interior, a foot-activated liftgate and active grille shutters.

The Explorer will go on sale in the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2015 in five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, Sport and the all-new Platinum. The Platinum trim focuses on upmarket style, including "Nirvana" leather seating, ash wood and brushed aluminum trim, a 500-watt Sony audio system, and a premium technology package with enhanced active park assist, lane keeping and rain-sensing wipers.

Chevy Colorado ZR2 concept

The Ford Explorer will have more of an immediate impact on the market, but we found the Chevy Colorado ZR2 to be the most interesting truck debut in LA. The concept carries a variety of upgrades aimed at the great rocky yonder, showing what an off-road-specific version of Chevy's midsize pickup could look like.

Chevy lifts the Colorado ZR2 with a 2-in (5 cm) kit and stretches the track by 4 inches (10 cm), offering improved clearance and stability. Clearance is also helped by the modified front and rear fascias, which raise approach and departure angles to 30.7 and 22.7 degrees, respectively, from 25/21 on the Colorado Z71.

Chevy debuts the all-new Colorado ZR2 concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Chevy debuts the all-new Colorado ZR2 concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The ZR2 puts its 181 hp (135 kW) and 369 lb-ft (407 Nm) of 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel muscle to dirt with 275/65R18 off-road tires rolled around 18-in custom aluminum beadlock-style wheels. Electronic-locking front and rear differentials assist the tires in gripping and going, and the King mono-tube coil-over shocks with remote-mounted fluid reservoirs provide cushioning. The pickup bed is home to a spare wheel/tire set and 48-in (122 cm) Hi-Lift jack.

The ZR2 wears a variety of added and redesigned components, in addition to the modified front and rear fascias with flip-out tow hooks and front winch. The all-new grille, power dome hood, custom wheel flares and rocker guards, and skid plates distinguish the truck as the off-roader in the family. The package is finished with a concept Cyprus Green paint job and Henna Orange accents.

"Chevrolet has a heritage of the ZR2 representing the ultimate in production-based off-road capability and we’ll gauge the public’s interest in this concept as we continue to explore the possibilities for the all-new Colorado," says Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager.

Check out additional photos of the Explorer and Colorado ZR2, along with loads of other trucks, 4x4s and large vans, in the gallery.

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