Exactly two years ago, Chevrolet debuted an off-road Colorado concept at the Los Angeles auto show. Now, the vehicle has been confirmed for production and will receive DSSV shocks for improved suspension performance.
The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 follows in the footsteps of the 2014 Camaro Z/28, which was the first high-volume production road car ever to use DSSV damper technology from Multimatic. On the Z/28, a pair of self-piloted spool valves control fluid through tuned port shapes instead of traditional deflected disc dampers, improving the damper’s precision and predictability. All of this tech is meant to provide the best wheel and vehicle control possible, increased structural stiffness, and an improved ride.
Now, Chevy is bringing the technology to the off-road world with some important additions. Enhanced cooling and increased reservoir capacity for hydraulic oil and nitrogen are just some of the updates. Unlike the Z/28, the ZR2 gains a third spool valve to achieve optimized suspension control needed for extreme off-road situations. This additional valve comes into effect only when the wheel travel moves outside normal operating range on the road. This setup creates a position sensitive spool valve damper that is specifically meant to absorb high levels of energy associated with off-road use, but only when it’s needed.
It’s intriguing to see DSSV technology on off-road trucks, given that it has been a staple in race cars for years. It’s the spec damper for Ferrari GT race cars, Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, DTM, and Formula 2000. The technology also can be seen on high-performance road cars like the Ford GT and Aston Martin One-77.
Other than the new dampers, the production ZR2 features a 2-inch lift, a wider track, flared fenders, and exclusive 17×8-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. The ZR2 also utilizes class-exclusive front and rear electronic locking differentials and Chevy’s AutoTrac transfer case, which together give the truck nine different drive configurations. The production ZR2 gets the same powertrain options as the standard Colorado, including a 3.6-liter V-6 making 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque and the optional 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel I-4, which makes 181 hp and 369 lb-ft. A bed-mounted spare tire carrier will be available as an option.