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We’re In A Golden Age Of Off-Road Trucks And SUVs

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss 2022 Detroit Auto Show NAIAS
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

The off-road vehicle segment has been evolving exponentially over the past few years, with manufacturers launching new trucks and SUVs capable of driving well off the beaten path. The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is one such competitor within the market, and during a recent interview with MC&T, Colorado ZR2 chief engineer Nick Katcherian discussed this topic, touching on that the team considers SUVs like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler as competition.

“It’s huge. And we watch, not just Tacoma and Gladiator. We watch the Bronco, we watch the Wrangler,” Katcherian stated. “We’re watching what they’re doing because we do in some sense feel like we compete with them.”

Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

This is true, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 represents a highly capable off-road truck that’s been described as a “segment of one”, but with so many vehicles fighting for space, it was important for Chevy to develop something that’ll have something to fight for customer dollars. It might not have the stubby wheelbases as found on the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler, but the added utility of a truck bed is a solid tradeoff.

“There’s architectural limitations to a pickup truck that are different than a super short SUV. But we know that we have the bits in here (The ZR2) that will compete really well in that space overall,” Katcherian continued. 

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Interior
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Details

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 accomplishes its ability to compete in the segment with the help of now-standard 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires, reworked suspension geometry that moves the Multimatic DSSV dampers to an outboard location – out of the way from obstacles – and improved approach, departure, and breakover angles. The new off-road specs for the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 are as follows:

  • 10.7 inches of ground clearance
  • 38.3 degrees of approach angle
  • 25.1 degrees of departure angle
  • 24.6 of breakover angle

The truck’s footprint has also been adjusted, with the front axle moved forward for less overhand and a sportier stance. Lastly, true locking front and rear differentials are still present and accounted for. 

All of that means that right from driving off the dealer lot, you have a competent off-road truck that can keep up with your friends in other vehicles, which is where the vast majority of the off-road fun is had. 

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.


Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.


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