The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup is already an impressively capable off-roader. Trick shocks, lifted ride, and those great big wide fenders holding some of the chunkiest tires we’ve ever seen on a production vehicle. Now Chevrolet Performance is increasing that truck’s desert-running capability with parts that were developed and tested in real off-road racing.
It starts with 15 new components. Developed by Chevrolet and Hall Racing to be desert race ready. That’s Hall as in Rod Hall. The team owned by one of the most prominent desert racers of all time. A legend of the gruelling Baja 1000. One of the most punishing races in the world that sees racers complete 1,600 km through the Mexican desert. Though it’s his son Chad handling the wheel work on this one.
As a refresher, the ZR2’s long list of extras includes a 50mm lift, 89 mm wider track, functional rock sliders and bumpers with big cutouts to improve off-road clearance. That’s on top of Multimatic’s near-magic DSSV dampers.
On top of that, the new Chevrolet Performance parts for the Colorado ZR2 lift the truck’s suspension another 25 mm. On top of that, the body is lifted 38 mm for maximum clearance.
That’s allowed room for a new set of Multimatic DSSV dampers to play. They have 15 percent more suspension travel in the front. In the rear, long-travel shocks boost suspension movement up to 10 percent. Perfect for soaking up desert dunes and whoops and cushioning the truck over bumps. The shock rods in the dampers are thicker and the body of the front unit is threaded to allow ride height adjustment.
To go with that lift are new high angle upper ball joints. They allow for more suspension articulation, letting the shocks do their job. New long-travel leaf springs in the rear are needed to supply the lift and let the axle move.
Special jounce strikers are like heavy-duty bump stops. An extra shock absorber that’s super stiff and very short. So if you manage to bottom out all that main shock travel you don’t smash the wheels into the frame. Or bend the frame like a certain desert rival. A cross-beam is necessary to strengthen the truck against those jounce striker impacts. There’s also a new rear differential cover to allow the new suspension pieces to mount and a steel driveshaft that accommodates the lift and is beefier for rock crawling loads.
The parts have more than 16,000 km of durability testing. That’s because they’re the parts that Hall Racing really used to pre-run the Baja 1000 and to complete the Best in the Desert racing series’ nine-event season.
The total cost for these parts is over US $21,000. Not cheap, but if you’re planning on really hitting some jumps, then there aren’t many choices with this kind of pedigree.
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