2017 SEMA: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 concepts image

The US automaker is making tough even tougher in front of the worldwide audience of the SEMA show in Las Vegas, presenting the new Colorado ZR2 AEV and Race Development concepts.

Make no mistake, if you choose to buy a truck for proper off-roading, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is one of the most bad-ass choices possible, even when standard or featured in the recent ZR2 Midnight and Dusk special editions. But it appears the tough can indeed get tougher – as the automaker exemplifies at the aftermarket convention. And both come with a next generation suspension developed by Chevrolet Performance with reworked versions of the truck’s Multimatic DSSV suspension dampers, new front half shafts, unique tie rods and front ball joints, a differential cover plate, long-travel rear leaf springs, and an “anti-wrap link” for the rear axle.

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The ZR2 AEV concept was made in partnership with off-roading aftermarket supplier American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) – gaining new front and rear bumpers, new skid plates, fender flares, and 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 tires on AEV’s own DualSport beadlock wheels. A new snorkel intake for the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, extra LED lighting, a new bed-mounted storage rack carrying accessories are also here to complement the modifications.

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Go for the ZR2 Race Development concept and you’ll be able to play at high speed in the desert – with Chevrolet gaining experience in this department from a campaign with off-road racer Chad Hall. The stock 3.6-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic carry over, but the concept boasts a 1.5-inch body lift kit, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires, skidplates for the rear shocks and rear differential, a tough steel driveshaft, new wheel spacers with longer wheel studs, and a performance-focused air intake and exhaust. Last, but not least, the DSSV dampers have been retuned for long travel.