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    And Now, The 2014 Chevrolet SS



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 16, 2013

    It feels like an eternity when GM announced that a Holden Commodore would be returning to the states as a Chevrolet, wearing the nameplate of SS. Well its official as GM has pulled the camouflage away and revealed 2014 SS.

    We know that SS is the new VF Commodore wearing some Chevrolet badging. What we didn't know what would be under the hood, until now. The SS will be packing a 6.2L LS3 V8 producing 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. All of the punch is routed to a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Those looking for a manual are out of luck.

    Chevrolet has made sure that the SS delivers on the performance mission and has fitted a sport suspension, Brembo brakes, forged-aluminum nineteen-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone ultra-high-performance tires. The SS has a almost 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity thanks to an aluminum hood and rear deck lid.

    Inside the SS, Chevrolet has equipped it with standard features such as leather seats, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with navigation, Bose nine-speaker sound system, push-button start, forward collision alert and lane departure warning, a color heads-up display on the windshield and the first application of active park assist in a Chevrolet.

    The new SS arrives at dealers in the fourth quarter.

    2014 Chevrolet SS
    Album: 2014 Chevrolet SS
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    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    2014 Chevrolet SS: Performance Sedan with Racing DNA

    DAYTONA, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m. EST – As Chevrolet's first V-8, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan since 1996, the new Chevrolet SS is designed to deliver performance on the street and on the track. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will debut this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway as the SS racecar makes its NASCAR debut during the Daytona 500.

    "The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it's been 17 years since we've offered one," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America. "The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand's rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today."

    The Chevrolet SS benefits from the proven, race-tested, global rear-wheel drive architecture that is the foundation for the Camaro, Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle and Holden's VF Commodore.

    The Chevrolet SS is powered by the LS3 Chevrolet V-8, expected to deliver 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Also used in the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, the LS3 displaces 6.2 liters, more than the 5.5-liter V-8 powering the Chevrolet SS NASCAR competitors.

    The LS3 is married to a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be shifted manually using TAPshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. With an aggressive 3.27 final-drive ratio, the Chevrolet SS accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds – making it one of the quickest sedans on the market.

    To ensure that it turns and stops as well as it accelerates; the Chevrolet SS also features a sport-tuned chassis, including:

    • MacPherson strut front and multilink independent rear suspension geometry
    • Electronic power steering system, optimized for sport driving
    • Standard Brembo brakes, with ventilated, 355-mm rotors and two-piece, four-piston front calipers
    • Forged aluminum wheels, wrapped in ultra-high-performance Bridgestone tires: 19 x 8.5 inch wheels with 245/40ZR19 tires in front; 19 x 9.0 inch wheels with 275/35ZR19 tires rear

    Handling is also improved by a near 50/50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity – made possible in part by the aluminum hood and rear deck lid that are 30 percent lighter than traditional steel panels.

    "Our goal was to create a car that delivers incredible grip and handling balance while cornering, while still being comfortable to drive on the road," said David Leone, executive chief engineer GM global programs. "The perfect weight balance and lower center of gravity were a big part of that goal because it enabled the team to tune for a more comfortable highway ride without sacrificing handling or driver confidence while cornering at the limits."

    Similarly, the design of the SS blends performance cues and premium details.

    "From every angle, the Chevrolet SS says power and performance," said John Cafaro design director Chevrolet passenger cars and small crossovers. "The combination of an aggressive rear-wheel drive stance and body-side attitude with the right balance of detail and refinement inside and out are the perfect home for Chevrolet's V-8 performance package."

    The staggered front and rear wheels, which are pushed out to the corners, enhance the sporting, muscular stance of the SS. Up front, the aluminum hood features a subtle "power bulge" hinting at the power of the engine underneath. At the rear, the tapered, tear-drop shape contributes to improved aerodynamic performance. Premium cues include jewel-like chrome accents, standard high-intensity discharge headlamps and light-emitting diode daytime running lights.

    The spacious interior of the SS will comfortably accommodate five adults, with 42 inches of front legroom, and 39 inches of rear legroom. Leather seating surfaces are standard, as are eight-way power adjustable front bucket seats with additional side bolstering that hug the driver and front passenger in tight-handling situations. The SS emblem is prominently stitched onto the soft-touch instrument panel which features two types of chrome finishes – a satin gloss and a bright chrome. At night, the interior is illuminated by ice blue ambient lighting.

    An integrated center stack includes infotainment, climate and other vehicle controls. The Chevrolet SS also offers a long list of technology features as standard equipment including:

    • Color, in-dashboard touch screen that supports Chevrolet MyLink and the next-generation navigation system
    • Bose® Nine-speaker premium sound system
    • Color heads-up display
    • Push-button start
    • StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control
    • Forward Collision Alert
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Side Blind Zone Alert
    • Rear-vision camera Rear Cross Traffic Alert

    The SS is also the first Chevrolet to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which provides hands-free parking help. This efficient 'hands-free' parking assistant uses the ultrasonic sensing system to detect the width and depth of either parallel or reverse right-angle parking spaces. While the driver controls the throttle, transmission, and brake, the Automatic Parking Assist controls the steering inputs necessary to neatly park the Chevrolet SS.

    The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be available in the fourth quarter of 2013, with prices set closer to the on-sale date. When it arrives in showrooms, the SS will join the Corvette and Camaro, whose combined sales have made Chevrolet America's favorite performance brand for the last two years.

    2014 CHEVROLET SS PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

    Overview

    Model: Chevrolet SS

    Body style / driveline: front-engine, rear-drive

    Construction: unitized body structure and frame; two-sided galvanized steel (except roof)

    EPA vehicle class: large

    Manufacturing location: Elizabeth, Australia

    Powertrain

    Engine: 6.2L OHV V-8

    Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162

    Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92

    Block material: cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners

    Cylinder head material: aluminum

    Valvetrain: overhead valve; two valves per cylinder; roller lifters

    Ignition system: coil-near-plug ignition

    Fuel: sequential fuel injection

    Compression ratio: 10.7:1

    Horsepower (hp/ kW @ rpm): 415 / 309 @ 5900

    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 415 / 563 @ 4600

    Fuel: premium recommended not required

    Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic w/ TapShift

    Chassis/Suspension

    Front: multi-link MacPherson strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; fully adjustable camber, caster and toe

    Rear: four-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; fully adjustable camber and toe

    Steering type: electric power

    Brakes

    Front

    Type: ventilated disc

    Rotor diameter x thickness (mm): 355 x 32

    Caliper four-piston fixed

    Rear

    Type: ventilated disc

    Rotor diameter x thickness (mm): 324 x 22

    Caliper: single-piston sliding

    Wheels/Tires

    Wheel size and type: 19 x 8.5-inch forged, fully polished aluminum (front)

    19 x 9-inch forged, fully polished aluminum (rear)

    Tires: P245/40R19 (front)

    P275/35R19 (rear)

    Dimensions

    Exterior

    Wheelbase (in / mm): 114.8 / 2916

    Overall length (in / mm): 195.5 / 5185

    Overall width (in / mm): 74.7 / 1898

    Overall height (in / mm): 57.9 / 1491

    Track (in / mm): front: 62.6 / 1590

    rear: 62.4 / 1612

    Interior

    front / rear

    Seating capacity: 2 / 3

    Legroom (in / mm): 42.3 / 1074 39.7 / 1008

    *SAE certified.

    Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

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    It's nice, but as a V8-only car, I can't imagine it being any more than a niche model. Chances are it will sell for at least $40K, and the market for such an expensive car without much visual character or a prestigious badge is small.

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    The car looks fine but what I have issue with is 415 HP? LS3? No Magnetic Suspension? No manual?

    These issues on a 40K plus car is a major miss. Why by this car when there is much better options out there for the same or cheaper price?

    All that is wrong here can be fixed very easy but why miss on the first try?

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    So basically, after a five model year wait, we get an uglier G8 GXP plus a few gadgets and minus the manual.

    Way to fiddle while Rome burns, GM.

    Should have simply swapped the nose and badges and had this here for 2010.

    Overthought, overwrought, and underwhelming.

    ...and very,very late to the game.

    Edited by Camino LS6
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    It's nice, but as a V8-only car, I can't imagine it being any more than a niche model. Chances are it will sell for at least $40K, and the market for such an expensive car without much visual character or a prestigious badge is small.

    the whole point is that it is a niche model. the impala is the volume car.

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    The car looks fine but what I have issue with is 415 HP? LS3? No Magnetic Suspension? No manual?

    These issues on a 40K plus car is a major miss. Why by this car when there is much better options out there for the same or cheaper price?

    All that is wrong here can be fixed very easy but why miss on the first try?

    really people should be happy this car exists at all.

    some of the other stuff may come later. Get a CTS v is you want all the other stuff.

    What I am missing, white leather that the commodore has...

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    No manual option? understandable--most American consumers can't drive a manual, and the competition (Charger R/T and SRT8) isn't available w/ a manual either......

    I like the styling overall, but the front fascia is nasty w/ the trendy fish mouth lower grille. At least in 2-plate states some of the ugliness will be hidden by the license plate. And in dark colors the vile black plastic bar won't be as noticeable. What is interesting is the fascia isn't a Chevy thing--Holden has some ugly front ends on past performance versions...

    Will be interesting to see how it compares to the Charger in inevitable comparison tests. I think I'd rather have the Charger--more distinctive interior and exterior, etc.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Based on the minor visual updates of a 5 year old design this does nothing for me, regardless of interior or specs (well maybe if it has managed to shed 300lbs since the g8...)

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    Exterior: I don't quite love it, but I don't despise it.

    Interior: No complaints whatsoever.

    Powertrain: Engine output between the Charger R/T and SRT8 is an interesting place to be... which car does it compete with?

    Also, in natural light, silver does this car NO favors whatsoever. (Photo source: Autoblog)

    post-4345-0-06995800-1361032526_thumb.jp

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    reading the autoblog comments.....so many idiots.......all the people with the stupid comments, and 99% of those commenting can't even afford the gas on their 15 year old beater their parents gave them or they are people who will never buy a brand new car because nothing will never be good enough.

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    There is nothing that can fix this car faster than 7.0 liters and a 6 speed manual.

    415 HP and parking assist the SRT guys must be having a toast right now to a good coming year.

    Lets hope it make a better race car vs street performance car.

    There is no excuse to have that little HP and not have an option for more.

    Hell my 4 cylinder SS will do 0-60 in 5 seconds.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    Generally speaking, I have no problem with 415HP.

    Except that it was available in Pontiac flavor..... in 2009.

    What, exactly, have we been waiting for five years for?

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    Get the car here first, add the special versions over time is what they will do.

    Regal GS showed up as stick only first and now you still see a ton of them unsold or lightly used. I love sticks but honestly the car will launch better with automatic because then the dealer can take them as inventory with the confidence that they can actually end up selling it to a more broad swath of customers.

    The average redneck that will be interested in this car through a chevy dealer is likely going to want an automatic.

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    Better nose, easier and faster, and also cheaper to do:

    post-394-0-07138100-1361037411.jpg

    We could have had this for at least 3 years by now.

    i read something that said they might consider bringing the SS wagon here, but likely not the Ute.

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    Get the car here first, add the special versions over time is what they will do.

    Regal GS showed up as stick only first and now you still see a ton of them unsold or lightly used. I love sticks but honestly the car will launch better with automatic because then the dealer can take them as inventory with the confidence that they can actually end up selling it to a more broad swath of customers.

    The average redneck that will be interested in this car through a chevy dealer is likely going to want an automatic.

    Couple problems with that logic, Reg.

    This car is positioned as a limited production piece aimed at enthusiasts. It doesn't qualify without a manual.

    Remember, the G8 GXPs were nearly all spoken for before they were even built.

    The other problem is that this entire platform is due to be replaced for 2016.

    That means that there isn't time to introduce a better version and get any benefit from it.

    This car needed to be right at introduction.

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    Better nose, easier and faster, and also cheaper to do:

    post-394-0-07138100-1361037411.jpg

    We could have had this for at least 3 years by now.

    i read something that said they might consider bringing the SS wagon here, but likely not the Ute.

    Not really my point in posting this, I was just referring to the front end - and how GM already was using it in other markets on this car.

    This car (in whatever bodystyle) could have been here as a Chevy as early as 2010.

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    2010 would have probably been too soon..they would have taken a lot of flak for having a G8 rebadge, so they waited until Holden had the MCE. Plus given GM's financial situation back then, it probably couldn't have happened.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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      Multimatic Inc., based in Markham, Ontario, is a renowned maker of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in championship-winning motorsport vehicles, including recent Formula One winners.
      The first volume production vehicle to use DSSV dampers was the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be the first application of Multimatic DSSV damper technology to an off-road vehicle.
      “From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers, “ said Mark Dickens, executive director, Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering, Chevrolet. “We also know that Multimatic’s motorsport development mentality would allow us to bring a uniquely precise and repeatable custom damper to market even more quickly than a traditional damper system.”
      Compared to deflected-disk valving common on most dampers, the ZR2 employs spool valves that offer increased precision and manufacturing repeatability along with enhanced ride and handling performance both on- and off-road.
      The Colorado ZR2’s DSSV dampers are position-sensitive. Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.
      “A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning,” Dickens said. “The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences.”
      Design meets mud, sand and rock
      Visually, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumer response to that concept was so overwhelming, the team knew they needed to carry as much of the original design into production as possible.
      “For both the concept and the production versions of ZR2, the exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock,” said Rich Scheer, director of design for Chevrolet Truck. “The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and even the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.”
      Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors will be standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.
      The ZR2 also features 17 x 8 inch aluminum wheels, in a pattern exclusive to the ZR2, wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction. 
      The front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches, with new cast-iron control arms for greater durability in off-road situations. As a result, the ZR2 offers greater wheel travel and stability while traversing steep grades.
      The front bumper of the ZR2 has tapered ends, to increase the tire clearance when approaching obstacles. The bumper also integrates a thick, aluminum skid plate protecting the radiator and engine oil pan, while the transfer case is protected by an additional shield. Above the bumper, the ZR2 features a more aggressive grille and hood – with black insert – to complement the other exterior changes.
      A bed-mounted spare tire carrier, seen on reveal vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be available as an accessory. “The bed-mounted spare tire adds a rugged look to ZR2, and serves a functional purpose. By relocating the spare to the bed, ZR2’s departure is improved and prevents any damage to the spare when you’re crawling over obstacles,” said Scheer.
      Class-exclusive electronic lockers, available diesel engine
      The ZR2 also features the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the segment. With class-exclusive, electronic-locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations:
      2WD 2WD, locked rear differential Auto 4WD Auto 4WD, locked rear differential 4WD Hi, locked transfer case 4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case 4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials Extensive work was done to integrate the electronic lockers and allow them to seamlessly interact with the traction control, stability control, and hill-descent control. In addition, a new “Off-Road Mode” button, in combination with the traction control switch, allows the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control calibrations to be tailored to different driving conditions. Off-road Mode also alters the throttle progression and shifts calibrations to give the driver better control and responsiveness.
      The ZR2 shares its powertrains with the 2017 Colorado, and it will be the only extreme production off-road truck to offer the choice of gas or diesel engines.
      The all-new 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and will provide excellent range to overland drivers.
      Even with all of the off-roading upgrades over the base truck, the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 lbs. – enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys – or carry 1,100 lbs. of payload.
      As such, the Colorado ZR2 offers a distinct position in the market: Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado offers an unrivaled suite of powertrain technologies; compared to full-size off-road trucks, the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter, enabling greater agility over obstacles and better trail access.
      “It’s amazing what a difference a foot of width makes off road,” said Dickens. “The smaller size of the Colorado is a huge enabler for taking the ZR2 more places, and getting it through tighter spots than you could access with a full-size truck.”
      New, off-road development track at GM’s Yuma Proving Ground
      For the development of the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet developed new off-road test areas at General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground.
      The Yuma Proving Ground is located on 2,400 acres of land in southeastern Arizona. Opened in 2009, Yuma features a range of tracks, laboratories and courses. 
      The new off-road facility features a multitude of off-road simulations, including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.
      Yuma Proving Ground’s new off-road course allowed the team to test multiple iterations of components on the ZR2 is a single day. These components were then tested a real-world facilities like Moab, Johnson Valley, and Rubicon to ensure the ZR2 is trail-ready right from the factory.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It was three years ago that Chevrolet showed off the Colorado ZR2 concept at the LA Auto Show. It was a mean looker with an aggressive look, raised suspension, and meaty off-road tires. Imagine our surprise when Chevrolet revealed the production version tonight in Los Angeles.
      The 2017 Colorado ZR2 keeps the mean look of the concept with a new front end treatment, raised hood, skid plates, 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires mounted on 17-inch wheels, and an optional spare tire carrier in the bed.
      But under the skin is where the juicy changes are. Chevrolet has widened the track by 3.5-inches, raised the suspension by 2-inches and equipped it with unique spool-valve dampers from Multimatic - yes the same folks who are being tasked with building the upcoming Ford GT. The dampers first used on the Camaro Z/28, come with six different tuning curves up front, and four in the rear to provide better ride and handling characteristics over different terrains. 
      Engine choices include the 3.6L V6 (308 horsepower, 275 pound-feet) and 2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel (181 horsepower, 369 pound-feet). The four-wheel drive system features a set of electronic-locking differentials for the front and rear axles.
      No word on pricing on when the Colorado ZR2 will arrive at dealers.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New Colorado ZR2 A "Segment of One" Among Off-Road Pickups
      New performance variant of the Chevrolet Colorado excels in tight two-tracks, technical rock-crawling, fast desert running and on pavement LOS ANGELES — Just as introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado reset the bar for mid-size trucks, the new Colorado ZR2 is poised to reset expectations for off-road trucks. Chevy’s new performance halo for the Colorado lineup will feature more off-road technology than any other mid-size pickup when it goes on sale.
      The ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.
      Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features a much wider track and a lifted suspension. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.
      Class-exclusive features include front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine, and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.
      As a result, the Colorado ZR2 delivers exceptional performance in a variety of scenarios – from technical rock crawling to tight two-track trails to high-speed desert running to daily driving.
      “Our engineers have been incredibly successful developing Corvette and Camaro performance variants with broad performance envelopes,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The ZR2 applies that same philosophy to off-road performance. You can go rock crawling on Saturday, desert running on Sunday, and comfortably drive to work on Monday. This truck can do it all, and do it all well.”
      First off-road application of Multimatic DSSV dampers
      To achieve this unprecedented balance of on- and off-road performance, the Chevy engineering team turned to a surprising partner in creating the ZR2’s dampers, which are the heart of any off-road truck.
      Multimatic Inc., based in Markham, Ontario, is a renowned maker of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in championship-winning motorsport vehicles, including recent Formula One winners.
      The first volume production vehicle to use DSSV dampers was the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be the first application of Multimatic DSSV damper technology to an off-road vehicle.
      “From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers, “ said Mark Dickens, executive director, Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering, Chevrolet. “We also know that Multimatic’s motorsport development mentality would allow us to bring a uniquely precise and repeatable custom damper to market even more quickly than a traditional damper system.”
      Compared to deflected-disk valving common on most dampers, the ZR2 employs spool valves that offer increased precision and manufacturing repeatability along with enhanced ride and handling performance both on- and off-road.
      The Colorado ZR2’s DSSV dampers are position-sensitive. Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.
      “A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning,” Dickens said. “The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences.”
      Design meets mud, sand and rock
      Visually, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumer response to that concept was so overwhelming, the team knew they needed to carry as much of the original design into production as possible.
      “For both the concept and the production versions of ZR2, the exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock,” said Rich Scheer, director of design for Chevrolet Truck. “The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and even the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.”
      Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors will be standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.
      The ZR2 also features 17 x 8 inch aluminum wheels, in a pattern exclusive to the ZR2, wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction. 
      The front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches, with new cast-iron control arms for greater durability in off-road situations. As a result, the ZR2 offers greater wheel travel and stability while traversing steep grades.
      The front bumper of the ZR2 has tapered ends, to increase the tire clearance when approaching obstacles. The bumper also integrates a thick, aluminum skid plate protecting the radiator and engine oil pan, while the transfer case is protected by an additional shield. Above the bumper, the ZR2 features a more aggressive grille and hood – with black insert – to complement the other exterior changes.
      A bed-mounted spare tire carrier, seen on reveal vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be available as an accessory. “The bed-mounted spare tire adds a rugged look to ZR2, and serves a functional purpose. By relocating the spare to the bed, ZR2’s departure is improved and prevents any damage to the spare when you’re crawling over obstacles,” said Scheer.
      Class-exclusive electronic lockers, available diesel engine
      The ZR2 also features the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the segment. With class-exclusive, electronic-locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations:
      2WD 2WD, locked rear differential Auto 4WD Auto 4WD, locked rear differential 4WD Hi, locked transfer case 4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case 4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential 4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials Extensive work was done to integrate the electronic lockers and allow them to seamlessly interact with the traction control, stability control, and hill-descent control. In addition, a new “Off-Road Mode” button, in combination with the traction control switch, allows the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control calibrations to be tailored to different driving conditions. Off-road Mode also alters the throttle progression and shifts calibrations to give the driver better control and responsiveness.
      The ZR2 shares its powertrains with the 2017 Colorado, and it will be the only extreme production off-road truck to offer the choice of gas or diesel engines.
      The all-new 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and will provide excellent range to overland drivers.
      Even with all of the off-roading upgrades over the base truck, the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 lbs. – enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys – or carry 1,100 lbs. of payload.
      As such, the Colorado ZR2 offers a distinct position in the market: Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado offers an unrivaled suite of powertrain technologies; compared to full-size off-road trucks, the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter, enabling greater agility over obstacles and better trail access.
      “It’s amazing what a difference a foot of width makes off road,” said Dickens. “The smaller size of the Colorado is a huge enabler for taking the ZR2 more places, and getting it through tighter spots than you could access with a full-size truck.”
      New, off-road development track at GM’s Yuma Proving Ground
      For the development of the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet developed new off-road test areas at General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground.
      The Yuma Proving Ground is located on 2,400 acres of land in southeastern Arizona. Opened in 2009, Yuma features a range of tracks, laboratories and courses. 
      The new off-road facility features a multitude of off-road simulations, including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.
      Yuma Proving Ground’s new off-road course allowed the team to test multiple iterations of components on the ZR2 is a single day. These components were then tested a real-world facilities like Moab, Johnson Valley, and Rubicon to ensure the ZR2 is trail-ready right from the factory.
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