Chevy Introduces Colorado ZR2 Concept, New 2.8L Duramax Diesel Engine

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Chevrolet introduced the Colorado ZR2 concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday — showcasing the new 2.8L Duramax diesel engine that will arrive in the automaker’s lineup next year.

“This new Duramax diesel engine will take efficient capability to an entirely new plateau for the midsize truck segment,” says Tony Johnson, a spokesman for Chevrolet. “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 four-cylinder engine, which achieves an estimated 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, is ideal for “tackling the toughest trails,” Johnson says.

The Colorado ZR2’s stance is four inches wider than a production Colorado Z71, with features including 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.

Mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers allows for greater suspension travel. Off-road traction is enhanced with electronic-locking front and rear differentials, which distribute torque to off-road tires mounted on custom 18-inch aluminum multi-spoke, bead-lock-style wheels.

“The design of the ZR2 concept is all about functionality,” Johnson says. “It is inspired by the needs for traversing rock-strewn trails, as well as the aesthetics of competition-style vehicles such as pre-runners — with all elements contributing to safe, sustainable off-road driving.”

Chevrolet first introduced the ZR2 in 1994 on the compact S-10 pickup. It was added to the S-Series Blazer in 1996. It was available through 2003 on the S-10 and in 2005 on the Blazer. Chevrolet also offered the off-road-inspired S-10 BAJA from 1988 through 1991. Like the Colorado ZR2 concept, it was available with a racing-inspired bed-mounted spare tire.

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