Diesel Engine And Offroad Package Showcased On Colorado ZR2 Concept

Chevrolet unveiled two future aspects of its new midsize Colorado pickup: a ZR2 package, but mostly a diesel engine.

In introducing the Colorado ZR2 concept at the Los Angeles motor show, Chevrolet unveiled a vision of how it could take the all-new midsize truck’s off-road capability to the next level while also showcasing the upcoming new 2.8L Duramax diesel.

This diesel engine will arrive in the Colorado lineup later in 2015.

“From the bold stance to the trail-ready special equipment, the Colorado ZR2 is all about the fun of driving where the pavement ends – and doing it in characteristic Chevy style,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “Chevrolet has a heritage of the ZR2 representing the ultimate in production-based off-road capability and we’ll gauge the public’s interest in this concept as we continue to explore the possibilities for the all-new Colorado.”

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Chevrolet said the Colorado ZR2’s stance is four inches wider than a production Colorado Z71 and adds new front and rear fascias designed to increase approach and departure angles when driving off road. Ground clearance and rough terrain are handled with a two-inch lift and integral skid plates, while the wider track helps enhance stability in potentially unstable situations.

The Colorado ZR2 concept’s new 2.8L Duramax diesel produces, according to Chevrolet, an estimated 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm.

The Detroit company explained this 2.8L Duramax diesel is part of a new, global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed to deliver more-efficient capability. It features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.

“This new Duramax diesel engine will take efficient capability to an entirely new plateau for the midsize truck segment,” said Johnson. “Its broad torque band makes it very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides a confident feeling of immediate and smooth power on demand – attributes customers will appreciate when trailering.”

The engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Colorado is currently powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 2WD and available 6-speed automatic transmission and has an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, for a combined 22 mpg rating overall, stated GM. Meanwhile, trucks outfitted with 4WD have an EPA-estimated 19 city mpg and 25 mpg highway for a combined 21 mpg.