The mid-size pickup truck class has always been a hit or miss class in my opinion. If you wanted to have a great midsize truck there’s really only one suitable option and that’s the Toyota Tacoma. Not only are the known for being nearly bulletproof reliability, but the Tacoma is very capable when it comes to off-road capabilities. But the one drawback with the Tacoma, and all other trucks in its class, is that it seems to be underpowered.

Notice the winch cable upfront. Photo: gm
Notice the winch cable upfront.
Photo: gm

Well, the power aspect is exactly what caught our eye with the new Colorado ZH2 Concept that Chevrolet is working on for use in the military. Who are we kidding, the power aspect is exceptionally interesting yes, but really it was the aesthetics of this truck that got my attention. Is it not the best, and meanest, looking mid-size truck you’ve ever seen? More on that in a moment. Let’s get back to the powertrain on this new ZH2.

Photo: motortrend
Photo: motortrend

As maybe you’ve already expected it’s going to be a hybrid, but not the hybrid that’s suddenly become popular thanks to the high-performance applications in the Holy Trinity cars for example. While it will use electric motors to put power to the ground which is nothing new, its the rest of it that’s so interesting to me. They’re calling it a Hydrogen Fuel Cell.

It almost looks like a regular motor, almost. Photo: tfltruck
It almost looks like a regular motor, almost.
Photo: tfltruck

Hydrogen is one of the most powerful and volatile elements known to mankind, even more than Uranium like most would expect. As a matter of fact, it’s second only to something called Francium which is so rare there’s said to be less than an ounce on the entire planet.

Photo: motortrend
Photo: motortrend

Now the technology of what exactly is going on in the fuel cell under the hood of this badass looking truck is way over my head I’ll be honest. Plus Chevy is being very secretive about the details so we don’t have a whole lot to go off. But what we do know is that there will be electric motors proving power to the ground, and the electricity needed to power those will be generated withing this fuel cell by combining oxygen with a liquid form of Hydrogen that will be stored on the vehicle. So it would basically be an electric car with a fuel tank.

Photo: motortrend
Photo: motortrend

The exact power output of the ZH2 is unknown as of this writing but it’s safe to assume it won’t win any drag races. But it will have the instant torque of the electric motors which will come in handy in really rough terrain that military personal encounter quite often. Not only will this thing go anywhere, but it won’t make a sound while it does it.

Photo: jalopnik
Photo: jalopnik

Because it’ll be electric powered it will virtually silent as well as putting off a drastically reduced thermal heat signature. These things are incredibly important when you’re trying to move undetected. It’s also believed that the fuel consumption will be minimal at best, so therefore it will be able to move silently across the desert, or whatever hell-hole it gets dropped in, for long periods of time. It’s even been rumored that the fuel cell will produce enough juice to not only run the truck, but any electronics brought on with it if needs are. Plus it would theoretically create water as a by-product so it could potentially save your life in more ways than one.

They're calling this the Electrical Power Takeoff Unit which we assume is how it will  power other electronic devices. Photo:  motortrend
They’re calling this the Electrical Power Takeoff Unit which we assume is how it will power other electronic devices.
Photo: motortrend

Getting back to the overall look of this badass looking truck, we should probably clear something up. It’s probably not right to consider the ZH2 a “mid-size” truck seeing as how it was stretched in both length and width. Preliminary reports claim that the ZH2 will stand more than 6.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide and will come stock with 37-inch tires. Now I’m fairly certain that there’s no way 37’s would fit on any midsize truck without serious aftermarket work like suspension and body lifts. It doesn’t stop there either, not only does it look the part of a badass off-road military vehicle, but it’ll act like it too thanks to the entire truck being fully reinforced both inside and out.

Photo: motortrend
Photo: motortrend

So what does this mean for us as the everyday consumer and offroad enthusiast? Should we be expecting a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to be released to the public? Well, unfortunately we don’t quite know yet. But if we had to guess we would think it was very unlikely. We have to assume it’s incredibly expensive to build and therefore wouldn’t make financial sense quite yet. But, if it does work like it’s been advertised we could be looking at a glimpse into the future of the automotive world. Only time will tell.

Upgraded five-point harness Photo: motortrend
Upgraded five-point harness
Photo: motortrend

As far as we’re concerned Chevy should go ahead and build this exact truck only instead of this new innovative hydrogen powertrain, just slap the 650hp LT4 supercharged 6.2L V8, that also powers the Corvette Z06, under the hood and call it a day. Then we would have the new Ram Rebel TRX, Ford Raptor, and something from Chevy competing for the king of off-road production trucks. I know, only in my dreams right.