Despite a tapering of the muscle car market, off-road performance and adventure vehicles are all the rage right now in America. They come in all sorts of forms; as big as the EarthRoamer XV HD, as small as the 2021 Bronco Sport, and somewhere in between, there’s the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup truck. This is currently the only thing General Motors has to compete with the significant off-road offerings from either Jeep or Ford, and it was recently refreshed for the 2021 model year. However, today brings news not about the refreshed ZR2, but the next-generation Colorado ZR2.
According to a report from GM-Trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is slated to get a sand-surfing “Baja Mode” after the 2021 model year. Details were murky beyond that, so we tapped our own network of sources to get a better understanding.
Here’s what we’ve uncovered: the Baja Mode will debut on the next-generation Colorado ZR2, which is based on the 31XX-2 Platform and will debut in 2023 as a 2024 model year truck. It will be a drive mode that will optimize the truck’s behavior over sand. Of course, it won’t be able to keep up with the sheer power and speed of the newly revealed 2021 Ram TRX, but as far as midsize trucks go, it will likely have the Jeep Gladiator Mojave watching its back.
As we here at MC&T originally reported, the 32XX-2 platform is a revised version of the 31XX platform we currently see today. The 32XX platform, as well as a Bronco-fighting body-on-frame SUV program that was based on it, vanished into the aether during GM’s 2018 corporate restructuring. Somehow the automaker thinks it’s more profitable to build compliance-oriented electric Cadillacs for China instead. We’re not salty about it at all.
Like the rest of the 31XX-2 truck family, the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be powered by the 2.7L turbo four engine currently found in the larger Silverado and Sierra 1500 trucks. It will be the only engine available, with a 10-speed automatic being the only transmission available.