Chevy shows Colorado, racer concepts
Los Angeles — Chevrolet showed two concept vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show: an aggressive-looking, off-road capable Colorado ZR2 and a futuristic race car.
Chevy hinted Wednesday it could offer the Colorado ZR2 for sale in the future. But for now, race car lovers will have to settle to driving the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo (VGT) concept in PlayStation 3’s “Gran Turismo 6” video game.
The ZR2 builds on the midsize Colorado Z71 production truck and Chevy’s history with the ZR2 trim package last offered on the S-10 pickup in 2003 and Blazer SUV in 2005.
“Isn’t it beautiful,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain following the truck’s unveiling. “Our team just did a tremendous job. It takes Colorado to a whole new place.”
General Motors Co. and Chevy revealed the sporty Colorado a year ago at the LA Auto Show. At that show, Reuss, who was then GM’s North America president and now oversees global product development, told reporters that an off-road capable model was a possibility for the Colorado.
The ZR2 concept is 4 inches wider than the Colorado Z71 and has new front face and rear fascia to “increase approach and departure angles when driving off-road.” The concept also has higher ground clearance and its wider stance helps with stability. The Colorado ZR2 has flip-out hooks, a built-in winch, new grille, headlamp housings and a power dome-style hood.
“Chevrolet has a heritage of the ZR2 representing the ultimate in production-based off-road capability and we’ll gauge the public’s interest in this concept as we continue to explore the possibilities for the all-new Colorado,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager, in a statement.
It rides on off-road tires and has a spray-in bed liner, GearOn accessories, a Hi Lift jack and matching spare wheel/tire assembly with a quick-release function mounted in the truck bed. Under the hood, the ZR2 concept features GM’s new Duramax 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which will be available on the production Colorado late next year.
The Colorado and more premium GMC Canyon midsize truck went on sale in the fall. GM returned to the midsize truck segment after a two-year absence and sees growth opportunity even as segment sales contracted to about 227,000 sales last year.
Chevrolet also showcased its “interpretation of the ultimate race car,” which was developed through the Vision Gran Turismo project.
“It is a designer’s vision of the future of racing,” said Clay Dean, . “Like the Chaparrals of old, this Chaparral displays a blatant disregard for current racing norms.
“It’s an entirely new kind of race car built around progressive technology.”
Created at GM’s Hollywood Advanced Design studio in California, the Chaparral 2X VGT was inspired by the pioneering race cars created more than 45 years ago by Texas-based Chaparral Racing and Chevrolet. The process took just less than a year, with the physical car model taking about three months to assemble, a Chevrolet spokesman said.
The concept racer includes a laser-based propulsion system that helps the video game player hit a 240 miles per hour top speed and to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 1.5 seconds.
Video game enthusiasts will be able race the Chaparral 2X VGT in the “Gran Turismo 6” game after downloading an online update during the holiday season, GM said.
Detroit News Staff Writer Michael Wayland contributed to this report.