We’ve talked often about driving purists and how much they tend to hate the automation of everything, even so much as to want the manual transmission to live on much longer. While this group can complain about their electronic aids that make it easier for everyone to hit the track with confidence, the off-road enthusiasts that have been driving forever have similar complaints to lodge. Their complaints are more about terrain assistance technology which makes it so their vehicles do a vast majority of the work in an off road setting, taking the control virtually out of their hands.
This happens with the various terrain selection modes that can be offered on most of the models on the road right now. Whether it’s through the use of a transfer case that can decided between 4WD or AWD or with a system that can choose to engage the hill descent system the driver is only needed to steer most of the off road vehicles we have now, giving the group of enthusiasts that have been on the trails for many years something to complain about. Thankfully there is at least one vehicle heading out way that will change this feeling for them.
Chevrolet is ready to offer us a 4WD vehicle that puts the controls back in your hands as the driver. This new truck will be the Colorado ZR2 and it will give us the old school feeling with the electronic locking differentials in the front and rear that are controlled by a toggle switch on the dashboard. There will be nine different power flow configurations in your hands and the traction, stability and hill descent systems will respond to the transfer case and the settings you choose, not the other way around. In fact, you can turn off the ABS and traction control to ensure you have the drive you want.
Currently there is only one other off road vehicle that offers a similar setup, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. With this form of off road driving you’re back in control and you get to decide what you think is best for the terrain. This makes it easier for you to do some of the fun things you like to when out in the wilderness rather than allowing the truck to choose the settings that make the most sense to the system. With the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 you’ve been given back the reigns and get to make your own choices.
While this setup is old school compared to some of the dynamic technology we have on the market today, Chevrolet isn’t taking this truck all the way to becoming a vehicle that purists will love. The ZR2 will be offered with the automatic transmission and not with a manual, but that’s more of a minor details of the package than what you might think it would be. Starting in the spring of 2017 the ZR2 will be available and ready for you to drive it away and start enjoying the fun out in the wilderness; will you be ready?