If you're a truck manufacturer and have decided to build an off-road special, sooner or later you will be entering it a desert race to prove its merit. Ford and Toyota have done it with their respective models, and soon Chevrolet will be joining this crowd with the Colorado ZR2.
The truck seen here was developed and built by Hall Racing. Competing in the Best in the Desert’s General Tire “Vegas to Reno” (the longest off-road race in the U.S), the Colorado ZR2 will be in class 7300, reserved for stock mid-size trucks and SUVs. 'Stock' carries a different meaning in racing as the ZR2 has some modifications for the race such as a rollcage, racing seats and harnesses; 44-gallon fuel tank, and additional lighting.
Otherwise, most of the mechanical bits such as the 3.6L V6, eight-speed automatic, front and rear locking differentials, and the stock wheels. The Multimatic spool valve shocks have been tweaked, but Chevrolet doesn't mention how. The truck will also be acting as test bed for possible new parts for the ZR2 and regular Colorado from Chevrolet Performance.
Press Release is on Page 2
COLORADO ZR2 MAKES COMPETITION DEBUT IN AMERICA’S LONGEST OFF-ROAD RACE
- Hall Racing to compete in stock-class with ZR2 in Best in the Desert Racing series
LAS VEGAS — Chad Hall of Hall Racing will debut a modified 2017 production Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 during Best in the Desert’s General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race presented by FOX.
“Vegas to Reno,” known as “the longest off-road race in the United States,” begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday in Las Vegas and ends at various times on Saturday morning, August 19, in Reno, Nevada. More than 350 contestants are expected to participate this year’s 550-mile race.
The course encompasses a wide array of grueling terrain, from silty desert wallows, to dry lake beds and mountain passes as high as 8,000 ft. above sea level.
Entered in class 7300, which comprises stock production mid-sized pick-ups and SUVs, Hall Racing’s modifications to their ZR2 include sanctioning body-mandated safety items such as a roll cage, a 44-gallon racing fuel tank and racing seats with safety harnesses. KC HiLites racing lights, two-way radios and a GPS system have also been added.
The truck retains the stock ZR2’s 3.6L V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a modified version of ZR2’s Multimatic DSSVTM damper technology.
In addition to Hall Racing’s alterations, this crew cab ZR2 acts a testbed for Chevy Performance and hints at a range of potential parts to be offered for ZR2 as well as the standard Colorado.
“The components being tested on this truck are ultimately intended to take the already-exceptional off-road capability of the Colorado to the next level,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports for General Motors.
“Racing them allows us to quickly understand their performance attributes and reliability in the extreme environment of off-road racing, ensuring the highest performing components for Colorado customers.”
Hall Racing, the winningest family of off-road racers in the legendary Baja 1000, has a long history of racing with General Motors production-based vehicles in both Best in the Desert and SCORE desert series.
“The Colorado ZR2 is one of the most capable production platforms we’ve used as a foundation for our racing program,” said Chad Hall. “The base Colorado is strong and robust with the expected advantages of a midsize package. ZR2 adds great technology, like the Multimatic DSSVTM dampers and the front and rear locking differentials that are vital to stock class desert racing.”
The 2018 Colorado ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a midsize 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 front and rear tracks that have been widened by 3.5 inches and a suspension lifted by two inches. 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 standard 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 with all Chevrolet trucks, the Colorado ZR2 is built with durability in mind, including a fully boxed frame, roll-formed high-strength steel bed and Duralife brake rotors.