Mostly Stock 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Survives 500-Mile Desert Race

Real performance trucks race, and the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is proof of that. The next-generation pickup finished Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno contest over the weekend, less than a month after its public unveiling. Chad Hall Racing rode the red and black machine to a final time of 12 hours, 24 minutes and 49 seconds, which is very impressive considering the 500-mile course over rough, bouncy terrain.

This truck’s time was also 34 minutes faster than the outgoing Colorado ZR2’s best of 12:58:36.259 in 2021. Chad Hall Racing was also behind this run, and with this weekend’s result, the team has reached the finish line for a sixth consecutive year. This speaks as much to the Chevrolet’s reliability as it does to its performance.

The 2023 Colorado ZR2 race truck actually shares a lot with the production model. It features the same turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, along with the same eight-speed automatic transmission. An oversized fuel tank capable of carrying 50 gallons is one of the few upgrades that aren’t safety related; Goodyear Wrangler mud terrain tires went in favor of BF Goodrich rubber, which is no surprise since that company is a team sponsor.

Importantly, Chad Hall Racing’s new Colorado ZR2 also wears the stock Multimatic DSSV shocks. They’re built to be virtually insensitive to heat, and even if you take one out in the desert, you’re unlikely to put them to such a tough test. Don’t expect to trade them for a lower Colorado.

If you look at the timing sheet, you will see that the Colorado ZR2 won its class. It’s also the only truck that was entered in the class, so that was always going to be the case. Nonetheless, it crossed the finish line with an extremely respectable time, and it looks like this new generation is performing even better than the original.

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