Ford shocked all the naysayers when they not only completed but thrived in the brutal Baja 1000 with their “mostly stock” Ford Raptor. Even though there were some slight modifications to the stock truck, it was still rather impressive that it was able to reach the finish line of the grueling off-road race. Now Chevy wants to do the same thing with the Colorado ZR2 and they aim to prove it this weekend at the longest off-road race in the United States, the Vegas to Reno.
We can’t really argue that the Colorado ZR2 is a formidable off-road vehicle. It’s not a direct competitor to the Raptor for a variety of reasons, but it’s an excellent choice for a midsize off-road truck. In fact, it’s so good that it’s actually giving the benchmark mid-size truck, the Totoya Tacoma, some long awaited competition.
The ZR2 will be competing in the stock class at the famous Vegas to Reno and this might very well be the most intense and difficult test the Chevy pickup has ever faced. The truck will be piloted and setup by Hall Racing with help directly from Chevy for the race. They both know that pushing the truck to its limits and beyond while smashing through the desert will help engineers and designers come up with even more ways to make this incredible machine better for prospective buyers, most who will never come close to abusing the truck as it will be in this weekend’s race.
Like the Raptor that competed in Baja, the ZR2 is said to be “mostly stock.” It carries over the same 3.6L V6 rated at 308hp and 275lb-ft of torque, and 8-speed automotive transmission. Other upgrades include a full roll cage, which is a mandatory rule put in place by race organizers, a massive 44-gallon gas tank, and of course full racing seats and harnesses. It’ll also have a full KC HiLite race lighting system to help make night become day when hauling ass through the desert in the dark.
Also, like the Raptor, Chevy is claiming to have only “slightly modified” the ZR2’s suspension system in order to accommodate the added weight of the roll cage etc. No information was given regarding exactly what the upgrades were, but considering the ZR2 utilizes that new Multimatic DSSV damper technology we wouldn’t really understand what the differences were anyways. All we know is it’s held up well in previous tests. However, whether it’ll be burly enough to withstand the punishment of a 550-mile dash through some of the harshest terrains in the U.S. is yet to be determined, but that’s about to change this weekend.