2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2: The Midsize Pickup Gets a Total Redesign

Chevy announced that the all-new 2023 Colorado ZR2 will be unveiled on July 28, 2022, and in doing so, teased some flashes of the front, rear, and profile of the off-road-iest Colorado. GMC  previously previewed its 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X, the brand-new GMC variant of the ZR2, which should also debut sometime this summer. Both trucks preview lineup-wide changes coming to the Colorado and Canyon, which are due to be totally redesigned for 2023.

The Colorado ZR2 of course, sports unique gear tailored toward off-roading, but look past those bits, and its general characteristics hint at what to expect (at least, visually) from other 2023 Colorados. Introduced as a 2015 model (after being adapted for the U.S. market from a global pickup that already had been on sale for some time, making it effectively even older), the Colorado has seen little more than cosmetic updates since. While the ZR2 blasted its way on the scene in 2017, the ultra-capable 4×4 still wasn’t enough to offset the Chevy’s general sense of age. We don’t know the details of exactly what makes the Colorado ZR2 “all-new,” but we’re going to find out this summer—and the teaser clip from Chevy’s YouTube channel helps.

In the clip, Chevy flashes the Colorado ZR2’s new front end, a definite divergence from the current model’s rather uninspiring nose. The old Colorado looks like it wears the face of a very boring crossover, not a truck. First impression on the 2023 version? It looks rad—and definitely trucky. The headlights are narrower and the grille edges run vertical rather than slanting inward. Big nostrils flank the sides, and the whole nose looks more vertical, sharper, modernized, and contemporary. It looks “very Chevy,” with hints of Silverado and even Camaro.

The notched taillights scream “baby Silverado!” and the tailgate surface gains some dimension by jutting out, culminating in a large Chevrolet decal or stamp across the whole rear. We can’t read what else is on the tailgate and bedside right by taillight, but the fender flares look tasteful. It’s hard to discern bumper details, but it’s definitely shaped differently than the current Colorado ZR2.

We don’t get a good, clear profile view, but the mid-section doesn’t appear to change too much from the current Colorado ZR2: the side mirror placement, window shapes, cab shape, and wheel wells don’t appear too different. To accommodate the new front end, it’s likely the front fenders will be different. The wheels look black, and they seem to fill the wheel wells the same way as the current ZR2, with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels.

As for the inside, the dash bezel and steering wheel are different and, like the exterior, squarer in appearance, hinting at major interior updates.

You can’t see it in the video, but one giant unconfirmed tidbit about the 2023 Chevy Colorado lineup is that it will almost certainly gain the larger Silverado’s available turbocharged 2.7-liter I-4, which would be awesome. As the standard engine for the Silverado’s Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, and RST (Double Cab) trims, it makes 310 hp and a massive 420 lb-ft of torque. Some suspect this engine is fully replacing the Colorado’s 3.6-liter V-6 and the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel, though both might survive, with the six as a base option for fleets and the diesel an option for oil-burning aficionados.

The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 might go on sale late this year, but more likely it’ll hit the market early next year, both in regular and hardcore ZR2 guises.

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