Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
These images were recently posted to the Colorado ZR2 club on Facebook by member Matt Feldermann. Matt is an employee at American Expedition Vehicles , GM's partner on the Bison trim of the Colorado ZR2. As you know if you follow the truck, the Bison comes with a bad-ass front bumper. One of the key features of which is to enable a front winch to be mounted. Matt's post helped explain one thing we have always wondered about off-road trucks. Why so few come with a winch option or even a winch mounting point. "Cooling was the #1 concern shared by GM when installing a winch," says Matt. "The positioning of a winch in the AEV Bison bumper is OE validated to have NO effect on cooling whatsoever."
Matt also shared that, "You can see a bracket welded to the tube that holds the winch. It’s a bit unorthodox, but that’s what had to happen to fit a winch on while maximizing approach angles."
Our thanks to Matt for sharing his images.
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
November 23rd, 2018
What makes a Silverado a Silverado?
The thing is, regardless of our love of V-8 power and torque; V-6 engines are the heart of the truck market. Well, Chevrolet says they are.
Read Thom's 2.7L Deep Dive
A few days ago, in Scottsdale, Arizona, we put this proposition to the test, logging miles in a 2019 Silverado powered by the all-new 2.7-liter designed-for-trucks engine. And, as Doug Marcaida might exclaim, "This engine will run!"
Arriving on site, we were greeted by competing vehicles from Ford and Ram. The Ford was powered by its 3.3-liter V-6, the Ram by its 3.6-liter V-6. Before setting foot in a Silverado we took those competitors for a spin to see what Chevrolet—and GMC—are up against.
As you know, Chevrolet has six engines available for Silverado, the older 4.3-liter motor, two versions of the venerable 5.3-liter, one with simple cylinder deactivation, the other with full Dynamic Fuel Management, the 6.2-liter gas engine and a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel. The diesel and 6.2L are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with stop-start, and others use 8-speed automatics.
As Chevy’s business strategy encompasses High Value (Work, Custom, Custom Trail Boss), High Volume (LT, RST, LT Trail Boss) and High Feature (LTZ, High Country) segments, you can see where value customers—mostly fleets—will use the V-6. LE and RST customers will have a wide choice of engines, as will the luxury crowd. Some of that choice revolves around chrome-plated emotions.
Back in January, at the launch of the new Silverado, Rich Scheer director, Exterior Design, Chevrolet Trucks said, "Chrome has become more polarizing, and more personal, than any other aspect of truck design. Some customers want no chrome at all and only body-color or blacked-out trim. Others feel a truck isn’t a truck without chrome bumper, but feel extra chrome can be too 'flashy.' Others want as much chrome as they can get."
Our Red Hot RST with Jet Black seating fell into the no-chrome zone, the only bright work being on the bowtie, nameplate and bright alloy wheels. We didn’t feel the lack of chrome detracted from its handsome appearance.
The all-new 2.7-liter truck engine was specifically designed for Silverado and Sierra (and we're sure several other trucks, soon), and meant to deliver value, which is defined as durability, reliability, performance and fuel economy. The 2.7L is the standard engine for High Volume LT and RST where it delivers 310 horsepower, 348 SAE-certified torques, which is 22-percent more than the 4.3L V-6. There’s no skimping on comparable power.
We think one of the selling points to customers (and management) is the new engine’s EPA rated fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city, 23 on-highway and 20 mpg combined. Notice the high rating for city, where many lifestyle trucks reside. The other thing that’s easily overlooked is the essentially flat torque curve from off-idle 1,500 to 4,000. Equally neglected is that torque doesn’t drop off at 4,000, instead knocking out about 300 lb.-ft. at 5,000 rpm. In other words, it is a solid powerhouse right to the redline.
Some facts we didn’t stuff into our engine story are the Direct Injection and the 10:1 compression ratio that enables. We did touch on the integrated exhaust manifold and how it has a separate in-head cooling system, and that using predictive algorithms the electric water pump can push cool water into the head as soon as you mash the throttle. We also skipped over the charge-air cooler, intercooler to some, with a very low restriction rate and ability to lower intake air temperature by 130°F.
Our notes from driving the competitive vehicles reminded us that the Ford 3.3L in a XLT trim is pleasant, fairly quiet, competent, and under vigorous acceleration feels somewhat leisurely. It gets the job done—with no load. We were surprised by steering pushback from smooth-road imperfections. The Ram Big Horn had a huge display and more modern IP/IC resembling an expensive watch face. Ram has always biased its gear set for impressive launch off the line, so felt more powerful than Ford. We did note tinny controls on steering wheel. Overall, Ram Big Horn was more pleasing, though acceleration produced greater drama than Ford. We didn’t drive the current 4.3L due to time constraints, so can’t offer a head-to-head comparison.
What owners will expect of this powertrain—and please think, "what happens when I step on the long black pedal"—is power, durability, power, reliability, power, and of course, power.
In Phoenix downtown traffic, hitting almost every stoplight, the new 2.7L and its 8-speed moved ahead briskly, easily keeping up with traffic with only mid-throttle application. The engine just works. It's happy and strong, and on two-lane highways where passing is important it spools up quickly and does its job. You do get some engine noise of course, but with far less drama than other base engines.
Outside Phoenix, on the back roads where we could do Wide Open Throttle runs, the 2.7-liter revved somewhat higher than a larger engine might, and with a different kind of engine sound that wasn’t intrusive or thrashing. If we were idling at 1,500 rpm and then accelerating briskly, we got a somewhat noticeable lag that's similar to any engine's transmission kick-down lag-time. However, if we had any pre-existing power, for instance when climbing steep grades or prepping for passing, then there was no lag between throttle and acceleration. Overall, it feels like a pleasant base engine and we are certain we'll see it in other vehicles.
Official EPA for our RST was 21 Overall, 20 City, and 23 Highway with an axle ratio of 3.42. That is a standard towing ratio, not a high fuel mileage ratio attempting to bias the fuel economy figures. We’ve seen that, haven’t we? There’s no cheating, no fudging, so those EPA mileage figures are in the ballpark. Again, it's a real truck, a real truck engine.
If you’re wondering about cost, our RST with 43% Made In USA parts, listed at $50,625 including $1,495 destination. We had $7,630 worth of options like Bose audio, HD rear vision camera, aluminum wheels, 10-way adjustable seats, the Safety Package of backup and forward assist, trailer hitch, etc., all the cool stuff you'll likely add to your truck.
Our final thoughts, the all-new 2.7-liter should not be compared with a 6.2L V-8 that transforms a Silverado into a Corvette with a bed. However, it is an engine that will knock your socks off when thinking of the technology that makes a relatively small turbocharged engine effectively and reliably move a truck.
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
Chevrolet announced a new list today for Colorado ZR2 race components. The list consists of 15 off-road racing parts ranging from the ZR2's special Multimatic DSSV shocks ($4,187.50) to jounce shock systems ($1,231.35 front and $1,543.75 rear). The parts are presently all suspension-related. Chevy has not included any engine upgrade parts.
These parts were developed by Chevrolet Performance in conjunction with Multimatic and Hall Racing. Chad Hall drove over 10,000 miles in two race series using beta versions of these components to wring out any bugs and to ensure a perfect final product for Colorado owners. “Off-road racing is a brutal test of a vehicle, and especially its suspension components,” said Mark Dickens, executive director of Chevrolet Performance Variants, Parts and Accessories and Motorsports. “Over two years, Chad mercilessly pushed these ZR2 parts to the limit for the ultimate in development and validation. After seeing the success of the Colorado ZR2, customers have been hounding Chad for help building their own ‘Hall Racing ZR2,’” Dickens continued. “For the first time, you can buy the same Chevy Performance Parts that raced and won in the desert. All you need to add is the required safety equipment to build a pre-runner for scouting the Baja 1000 or a full-blown race truck capable of competing in the race itself.”
Chevy says that these racing versions of the similar parts already on every ZR2 focus on desert running while preserving low-speed off-road performance. For example, the parts can add an additional 1-inch suspension lift and a 1.5-inch Body Lift on top of the ZR2’s factory ride height and up to 15 percent more suspension travel for extreme high-speed off-roading. AThe racing Multimatic DSSV dampers are engineered to go beyond the already formidable bandwidth of ZR2’s stock DSSVs. The available Multimatic Front Long Travel DSSV Shocks provide customers with a 15 percent increase in overall front suspension travel, while the Multimatic long travel rear shocks increase rear suspension travel by as much as 10 percent.
“These parts can be purchased individually to suit each customer’s needs, or as a complete package,” said Dickens. “This gives customers the flexibility to build their truck up over time, purchase only the parts they need for their particular interest, or buy the complete set to build their own ‘Hall Racing’ ZR2.” Jump to the new online list here.
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
Chevrolet announced the prices for its Colorado ZR2 Bison today. The V-6 extended cab Colorado ZR2 Bison starts at $48,045, or $49,645 for crew cab models (including $995 destination). This represents a $5750 premium over the ZR2. Given the additional content which includes rear steel bumpers, full skid plates, and fender flares, plus the Chevrolet-backed warranty, Chevy says this represents a relative bargain.
GM offered a comparison to a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. GM says the equivalent Jeep would ring in at $50,025. Dave Harriton, president and founder of American Expedition Vehicles (GM's partner for the Bison), commented on the Bison's pricing, saying, “Although they play different roles, and are for different customers, a fully loaded Rubicon with similar levels of capability and equipment will be over $50,000. However, when looking at other factory off-road vehicles on the market, the ZR2 Bison is unmatched for all-around versatility.”
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