Putting an off-road-centric spin on its recently launched midsize truck, Chevrolet pulled the covers off of the Colorado ZR2 Concept. While just a show truck, the one-off Colorado showcases the all-new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine slated to join the Colorado's lineup next year. 

"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," said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. While we think the Ford Raptor may have something to say about being "the ultimate in production-based off-road capability" when it returns for 2016, the Colorado ZR2 Concept is still interesting in its own right. Like Johnson said, Chevrolet does have a history with the ZR2 nameplate dating back to 1988 when it was introduced on the S-10 Baja. If the public takes a liking to it, perhaps we'll see a variation of the Colorado ZR2 Concept in production form down the road. 

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Wider body, shorter overhangs

Standing four inches wider than the production Colorado, the ZR2 Concept also sports a new nose and tail that reduces front and rear overhang. In turn, this helps to bolster approach and departure angles when going off-road. At 30.7- and 22.7-inches, respectively, the ZR2's approach and departure angles beat the Z71's measurements, which stand at 25- and 21-inches. The additional width helps stabilize the ZR2 Concept in off-roading conditions.  A two-inch lift and skid plates are also present on the ZR2 Concept and, like the S-10 Baja, a racing-inspired bed-mounted spare tire is featured, too. Mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers by King are designed with greater suspension travel and feature remote-mounted fluid reservoirs. 

Other off-road enhancements include electronic front and rear differentials and custom 18-inch aluminum multi-spoke, bead-lock-style wheels wrapped in 275/65R18 tires. Custom wheel flares and rocker guards help with the Colorado ZR2 Concept's aggressive stance. An all-new grille and headlamp housings feature blacked out accents while a power dome-style hood imitates the one seen on the heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado. Inside, ZR2 logos are embroidered in the front-seat headrests and embossed in the floor liners and instrument cluster.  A custom inclinometer, which shows the degree of incline from front to back and side to side, is also showcased on the Colorado ZR2 Concept. 

The one for sure feature from the Colorado ZR2 Concept is the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine. Scheduled to be available next year in the Colorado already in production, the smaller Duramax engine is rated at 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and features a variable-geometry turbocharger which helps deliver power in an even fashion. This new Duramax engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission in the Colorado ZR2 Concept. 

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