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Breaking in half never sounds good, but we’re celebrating the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 anyways! Because even though the 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 experienced structural failure, it managed to finish the Mint 400 in first place. 

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 wins the Mint 400 

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 breaks frame and wins Mint 400
2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 | the_xcaliber

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 was one of the many vehicles in the prestigious Mint 400 off-roading race. The race near the Las Vegas strip takes place over 400 miles over two days in grueling conditions. 

There are 500 race teams in over 50 classes from 25 different states and 15 different countries in the event. It’s a worldwide battle for glory and fame in the ‘Great American Off-Road Race.’ 

So, having your truck break in half sounds like it would ruin your odds of winning or even finishing the race. The racing team was pretty dedicated because once the truck broke, they decided to keep on going. 

This broken truck beat the Jeep Gladiator, which came in seconds, and a Toyota Tacoma failed to finish. Isn’t the Tacoma known for being durable?

Anyways, the Mint 400 is used to test how capable and durable vehicles are, so Chevrolet probably gathered plenty of data. However, people will want to jump this truck and subject it to beatings, so is it strong enough? 

Why did the Colorado ZR2 break? 

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 may have suffered structural failure due to the location of the mourning point for the roll cage. It’s attached in front of the rear shock jounce jumpers. This may have placed too much stressed leverage on the frame. 

Plus, the Colorado ZR2 was carrying tons of extra weight. Spare tires, tools, a heavy-duty jack, a fuel cell, and other equipment added hundreds of pounds to the racing rig. 

It bent between the cab and rear bed at almost a 45-degree angle with 40 miles left in the race. The bend was at the weakest part of the truck. This type of damage can be related to landing a harsh jump or overloading the frame. 

On a positive note, this truck may have been a pre-production model, so the mounting point for the roll cage could be revisited. This would prevent other Colorado ZR2 models from experiencing this problem on the pavement and while off-roading. 

Also, the racing Colorado has been put through the paces. It was equipped earlier in 2022 and has traversed over 1,000 miles of harsh terrain. Breaking in half was its first significant problem. A Chevy Silverado ZR2 finished the race without any problems. 

How is the 2023 Colorado ZR2 equipped for racing? 

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 race truck
Chevy Colorado ZR2 | Chevrolet

The Chevy Colorado ZR2 used in races could be a stock truck with a few racing upgrades. For example, it looks like it’s equipped with larger, beefier tires, and we can spot rock rails. It probably used the new 2.7-liter turbocharged engine with 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. 

Upgrading to the ZR2 adds Multmatic speed-sensitive spool-valve dampers, a front/rear locking differential, ZR2-specific knuckles, cast-iron lower control arms, and a rear double leaf-sprung suspension. 

Advanced tech lets you see your pitch/roll, GPS location, altitude, g force, wheel slip, and transfer case status. Plus, there are up to 10 different camera views for off-roading. 

It’s understandable to be concerned about the Chevy Colorado ZR2 breaking in half, but it still won an incredibly tough race. Simply finishing it is an accomplishment! Also, this problem may have been addressed before production started.