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Get lost in the woods with these tuned Chevy Colorado ZR2 trucks

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a pretty capable off roader right out of the box, but Chevy wanted to show that the pickup truck had more unlocked potential. So it brought two Colorado ZR2 concepts to the 2017 SEMA show decked out with even more off road gear.

The Colorado ZR2 AEV concept was build with help from American Expedition Vehicles, a company known for building the types of trucks you’d want to ride out the zombie apocalypse in. Built for endurance rather than outright speed, it’s powered by the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine available on the stock ZR2.

AEV added its own front and rear bumpers and fender flares, the latter designed to maximize clearance around the tires. The truck also features LED auxiliary lighting, a snorkel that lets it breathe while fording water, and beadlock wheels that stay attached to the rim even when tire pressure is low. A cargo rack in the bed holds a small refrigerator/freezer, aluminum storage cases, and NATO-style fuel cans.

The ZR2 Race Development Truck incorporates lessons learned from racing a ZR2 in the Best of the Desert off-road race series, Chevy says. It uses the stock 3.6-liter gasoline V6 engine, as well as long-travel versions of the stock ZR2’s trick DSSV shocks. The Race Development Truck rides 1.5 inches higher than a stock ZR2, on 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires.

Other modifications include skid plates to protect the rear shocks and rear differential, a steel driveshaft, and wheel spacers and extended-length wheel studs that move the wheels further out from the hubs, giving the truck a wider stance. Chevy also fitted a new air intake and performance exhaust, but did not say whether these parts increase power output from the V6.

The Colorado ZR2 AEV concept and Race Development Truck aren’t slated for production. Like most SEMA builds, they’re meant to show off the modification potential of the vehicle they’re based on, and attract attention on the very crowded floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the show. With automakers from Acura to Kia showing off customized cars, the Chevy contingent has plenty of competition.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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