To celebrate the unveiling of the new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck at the LA Auto Show, I was invited to put one to the test on an exclusive, extreme off-road course. The indoor course replicated the rugged terrain of General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground, where the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 passed an impressive assortment of off-road simulations including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.


I got to experience first-hand how this extensive testing and development shaped the new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which came out on top as an exciting upgrade to the Chevy line-up, with new off-road features and the most competitive off-road technology of any truck in its segment. The ZR2 delivers exceptional performance and is as comfortable tackling the daily commute as it is rock crawling, running on two-track trails, or sprinting through a dessert.



I was amazed at how effortlessly the ZR2 handled the rock crawling segments and loved seeing the new Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology in action. Visually, the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The response had been so overwhelming that the designers decided to keep the original design as aesthetically close to the original while building the best off-road vehicle possible. It was a powerful decision.  


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – interior
2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – interior


The new ZR2 includes:


  •         5,000 lbs. towing weight
  •         A shared 2017 Colorado powertrain
  •         An optional bed-mounted spare tire carrier
  •         Tapered front ends to increase clearance of obstacles
  •         31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction


Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) Damper Technology


One of the most impressive features I saw in action is the DSSVTM damper technology; this is what gives the ZR2 the ability to balance itself off-and-on-road, and was put to the test atop a rock cliff, where our ZR2 was effortlessly able to re-balance and then push itself out of a jam. If you don’t plan on taking your truck off-road, know that this feature is also useful in real world applications too, and is what keeps the truck moving efficiently. You need all of the wheels to be able to hug the road independently to handle curves or when taking off.   


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 -- Multimatic DSSV Damper
2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 — Multimatic DSSV Damper


The ZR2 featured the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the LA Auto Show truck segment. With class-exclusive, electronic locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations detailed below), which enable it to drive, speed, crawl, pull, and get itself into all sorts of fun. This really is an amazing truck and one I highly recommend if you love the thrill of driving off-road, and want to get your tires dirty.


Drive configuration includes:


  1.       2WD
  2.       2WD locked rear differential
  3.       Auto 4WD
  4.       Auto 4WD, locked rear differential
  5.       4WD Hi locked transfer case
  6.       4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
  7.       4WD Lo locked transfer case
  8.       4WD Lo locked transfer case and locked rear differential
  9.       4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front, and rear differentials


The Male Standard Verdict


The new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck is obviously an award-winning truck, as evidenced at the LA Auto Show, but what you might not know is how diverse this truck is and how much it has to offer. I’ve never been drawn to a truck in the way that the ZR2 pulls me in. The aesthetics are rugged yet comfortable, it rides so smooth on and off the road, and has tons of extras that make this a fantastic option if, like me, you live somewhere that you need to commute, but want to tear off-road of the weekend to tackle the nearby desert, beach, or mountain.


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2


The ZR2 can handle it all; I expect to see many on the road soon!


For more information, or to find your local Chevrolet dealer, please visit and book a test drive today.



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