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GM's headlining concept for the 2014 LAIAS brings with it many more questions than answers.
www.gminsidenews.com
November 22, 2014
Words by: Mike DeMattia
Photography by Chantal DeMattia



Chevrolet is going great lengths to sell an image in introducing its Colorado ZR2 concept truck. This is in evidence with "Andy", the fit and tan Chevrolet product rep decked out in North Face gear, all while exuding enthusiasm in abundance. What is also clear, is that this truck brings with it some serious hardware: Turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with a boat-load of torque, front and rear driver-selectable, locking differentials, King coil-over air shocks, and enough ground clearance to crawl over Dwight Howard.

What isn't known, is what form this truck will take, should it make it to production. Will it be a faithful reproduction of the concept, like many recent GM efforts, or will it be a tape-stripe and trim package throwback to the 80's and 90's?

What we were told is, that most of the elements of the truck are production ready, especially inside. The seats are essentially re-skinned units from the Canyon All-Terrain. The rest of the interior is Colorado production fare, with the exception of an auxiliary switch that can be used to control any number of accessories its owner might add. It's quite reasonable to assume that a hypothetical ZR2 production interior would mirror the concept very closely.

Outside, things get a bit more questionable. The front bumpers, with their nifty exposed King shock reservoirs, most likely wouldn't pass federal muster, and would have to be toned-down. Ditto for the large winch hook protruding from beneath the grille. The wheels and spare tire kit are a little more likely, though cost could certainly be a factor in those pieces not making the cut. The hood would seem to be a fairly strong candidate to survive the concept stage and make the production truck, too.

As for the drivetrain, it's anybody's guess as to what stays and what goes, but it's worth mentioning that the 2.8 turbo diesel engine will soon be available on the Colorado, so the only question would be whether or not it's offered in a ZR2, either standard or as an option. GM's ubiquitous 6-speed automatic transmission mates to the diesel powerplant and would likely be the sole offering. Less clear is whether the King suspension and locking differentials are part of the final package.

Our trusty ZR2 guide, Andy, says all of the concept elements are on the table for a potential production ZR2. He also told us that, if approved, the ZR2 package would most likely be offered on all cab configurations, though he wasn't sure about bed lengths. This might be the most important news of all, as previous "special edition" trucks from GM, Ford, and RAM/Dodge have often been confined to a single cab/bed configuration, which limits desirability, and thus, sales.

What was emphasized several times is, the future of the ZR2 depends heavily on consumer reaction from the auto show circuit. Chevrolet is encouraging people to provide feedback at the show, as well as on social media, or even directly to GM. So far, according to our North Face poster boy, feedback has been all positive, which bodes well for the truck. Of course, that was only day one of the show, and while spending time around the display truck, we heard numerous people refer to it as a "Raptor wannabe" or that it was a nice truck, but not for the $55,000 price that many show-goers were assuming it to cost. It seems that the car-buying public is becoming acutely aware of GM's premium pricing strategy, so it will need to tread carefully on that front if the ZR2 moves forward.

Chevrolet has a potential hit on its hands in the Colorado ZR2, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered. Whether or not the ZR2 makes production and how it could translate from the concept depends greatly upon how the public reacts. We suggest that you give it a look in person when it hits an auto show near you, as we're sure that Andy would love to hear your opinions.











These are the seats that the GMC Canyon All-Terrain shares with the Colorado ZR2 concept, with the only difference being the "All Terrain" script on the seat back.
 

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"GM's premium pricing point".......ummmm.......wages have gone down to 1980's levels in the US. Just saying......GM keep that in mind, the concept is genious.......but I think I stick to the ordinary Colorado with the 2.8 Diesel?
 

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He also told us that, if approved, the ZR2 package would most likely be offered on all cab configurations, though he wasn't sure about bed lengths.
"All cab configurations"... there are two. And there are what... two beds?

It'll be the same footprint truck. One extended cab, one crew cab. Same overall length.

Mystery solved!

What was emphasized several times is, the future of the ZR2 depends heavily on consumer reaction from the auto show circuit. Chevrolet is encouraging people to provide feedback at the show, as well as on social media, or even directly to GM. So far, according to our North Face poster boy, feedback has been all positive, which bodes well for the truck. Of course, that was only day one of the show, and while spending time around the display truck, we heard numerous people refer to it as a "Raptor wannabe" or that it was a nice truck, but not for the $55,000 price that many show-goers were assuming it to cost. It seems that the car-buying public is becoming acutely aware of GM's premium pricing strategy, so it will need to tread carefully on that front if the ZR2 moves forward.
A Raptor is $45k. Can't be more than that base.
 

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"All cab configurations"... there are two. And there are what... two beds?

It'll be the same footprint truck. One extended cab, one crew cab. Same overall length.

Mystery solved!
I believe there are 2 wheelbases. Extended cab long bed and crew cab short bed on one, and crew cab long bed on another. But I could be wrong..
 

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Look we all know this is an amazing truck and most of us here would buy it if we could. The question is will GM build it? Will they stay true to form? Who knows....
 

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Were you able to get any further information on the suspension changes? I'm wondering if this doesn't make production could it be offered as an accessory package.
 

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This is what you do when you are not serious about actually building great trucks. It has been over 40 years since Total Recall Motors in its other life actually built a truck that was first rate. Now it is simply a pretender which builds gimmick show trucks.
 
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