2015 NAIAS LIVE: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept image

The rugged and diesel powered Colorado ZR2 Concept has also made an appearance live during the 2015 edition of the North American International Auto Show after it was first unveiled last autumn during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

General Motors seems to be testing the market for a possible ruggedized off-road variant of the midsized Colorado, featuring a diesel powerplant – a safer bet than taking on the big player Ram 1500 EcoDiesel with a similarly powered Silverado. Getting back to the not so fresh now Colorado ZR 2 Concept, the model features an aggressive front fascia with a revised grille, aluminum tow hooks and an integrated winch. Also present are a power dome hood, custom fender flares and 18-inch bead lock-style aluminum wheels with off-road tires. Specifically designed to tackle the hardship of tough terrains, the engineers changed the Colorado even further, with new front control arms, mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers and electronic-locking front and rear differentials. Overall, the body has been lifted by two inch and protecting the essentials are skid plates. These details enable the ZR2 to boast impressive approach and departure angles – 30.7 and 22.7 degrees, respectively, versus the Z71’s 25/21 degrees.

Inside, ZR2 logos have been embroidered on the front-seat headrests and embossed in the custom Chevrolet Accessories-based floor liners. There’s also a custom inclinometer that shows how close you’re from tipping over or on the side. At the heart of the concept sits the new 2.8L Duramax diesel, delivering 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm and is the first representative of Chevy’s new global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines, featuring variable-geometry turbocharging and mated to a six speed automatic transmission.