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Off-Road Racing Is All The Rage, And It’s Definitely Caught The Interest Of Chevy

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 ZRX
The Hall Racing Colorado ZR2. Image via Chevrolet.

Chevrolet, which is synonymous with motorsports, is about to enter a new era of racing with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R. This is significant for several reasons, but mainly, because GM is going to bring its GT3 customer program in-house, offering the Z06 GT3.R to third party race teams for the notable sum of $735,000 USD. Private customers will take priority after racing team customer orders are fulfilled. But racing is no longer limited to the confines of a track, as evident by the meteoric rise in off-road motorsports. And as such, it has Chevy eying the opportunity of one day selling turn key Colorado ZR2 race trucks to private customers.

Mike McPhee, Marketing Director for Chevrolet Trucks, clued us in that a Colorado ZR2 customer race truck program could resemble something like the Corvette Z06 GT3.R program that’s been officially announced. However, he stopped short of confirming this outright.

“Whether it’s GT3 race car with Corvette, maybe there’s an off-road program we could be doing, and it’s definitely something we’re keeping a close eye on,” said McPhee.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 Hall Racing Best In The Desert Championship Race Truck
The Chad Hall Racing Silverado ZR2 race truck. Image via Chevrolet Performance.

At the moment, Chevrolet exclusively fields its Colorado ZR2 (and Silverado ZR2) race trucks through Chad Hall Racing. The trucks run stock engines, with some modifications to the interior (stripping out the interior, adding a cage, etc.) and some suspension modifications that sometimes lead to additions to the accessories portfolio, such as long-travel Multimatic shocks.

“It’s an area that we’re very interested in,” said McPhee. “Nothing to announce right now but it’s something that we’ve got our eye on.”

At one point, desert races like the Mint 400 and events like King of the Hammers seemed like a niche interest from dusty hobbyists. Today, they attract thousands of spectators, globally renown drivers, and big-name sponsorships. Ford Performance has taken the liberty to see to that. Ford Performance also takes the liberty to sell the Ford Bronco DR to privateer customers for $200,000 USD, and seeks to do similar things with the wide array of S650 Mustang Dark Horse race cars. The Bronco DR is built by Multimatic in Markham, Ontario, filling manufacturing capacity left behind by the Ford GT supercar, which has finally concluded its production run.

The production version of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 raises the bar for midsize off-road trucks with a more robust powertrain, improved suspension, larger tires, and heightened levels of technology. These upgrades have proven to be beneficial to the race truck, as well. Hall Racing fielded the new Colorado ZR2 in a 500 mile Vegas to Reno desert race last August, and finished a full 34 minutes faster than the best time of the outgoing Colorado ZR2 race truck from 2021.


2023 Chevrolet colorado zr2 race truck Chad Hall Racing
Image via Chevrolet Performance.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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