Uncle Sam wanted the Chevy Colorado, and he got it again. The United States Army is currently welcoming their latest recruit, the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We can’t wait to see how they make this mid-size off-roading beast even cooler.
The US Army Recruited the Chevy Colorado ZR2
GM has been awarded a $214 million contract to build, field, and maintain 649 Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISV) that can carry nine people at once. This defense subsidiary will include an additional 1,416 units if the vehicle that is based on if the Chevy Colorado ZR2 performs well.
This contract is separate from the defense contract GM was previously awarded for an ISV recently put in production to carry four people and their gear.
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To meet the Army’s needs, the Chevy Colorado will be light enough to be sling loaded into a UH-80 Blackhawk helicopter and small enough to fit in CH-47 Chinook.
The Chevy Colorado ZR2 currently has a 2.8-liter turbo diesel engine that provides 186 horsepower that will need to provide troops and their gear with the ability to get up to highway speeds on the pavement and while off-roading.
To build upon the Chevy Colorado ZR2 platform, it will be stripped down to its basic parts. Then it will be custom fitted with inhouse hardware for armor protection and equipment that’s commercially available.
The new GM ISV will use 90% of commercial off-the-shelf parts, including Multimatic’s position sensitive valve suspension dampers that automatically assess wheel travel to adjust the damping force.
The Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military Grade Truck (XMT) is another ISV based on a civilian truck that went into production last year. But we aren’t sure if Jeep was awarded the contract for the lightweight, tactical truck.
Is the Chevy Colorado ZR2 a Good Truck?
Yes, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 is an excellent truck. You can get started in one for about $41k, which is cheaper than the Ram Rebel and Ford Raptor. It’s also $2k less than the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
The Chevy Colorado ZR2 has a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine that pumps out 308 horsepower and 208 lb-ft of torque. You can also upgrade to the GM exclusive Duramax 2.8-liter turbo-diesel engine that provides 189 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It can tow up to 5,000 lb and carry a payload of up to 1,357 lb.
For off-roading, you get the Autotrac transfer case, tubular rocker protection, Boron steel skid plates, front wrench provisions with recovery points, and AEV stamped steel bumpers. With all of this gear, to go anywhere, the Chevy Colorado still maintains a smooth and comfortable ride.
The Chevy Colorado ZR2 also allows you to stay connected while you’re off the map. The built-in 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot will power your favorite devices. Plus, the infotainment center can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the wireless charging pad will keep your smartphone alive.
The Chevy Colorado ZR2 is already pretty cool. Now it’s being used by the US Army to become even more capable. We aren’t sure what it will take to drive one of the new nine-passenger prototypes, but at least you can buy the civilian version now.