The Latest News, Rumors And Changes In The Truck World
Chevy Performance Releases Colorado ZR2 Race Parts
Chevrolet continues to expand the Colorado ZR2 midsize truck’s performance envelope with the introduction of 15 factory race components developed and validated over 10,000 miles of off-road racing.
The parts were developed by Chevrolet Performance engineering in collaboration with Multimatic and Hall Racing. Renowned off-road driver Chad Hall competed in a Colorado ZR2 equipped with these components throughout 2017 and 2018 to develop and validate them in desert racing conditions. During that time, the team completed every mile of every race in the “Best in the Desert” series. Hall Racing also used the Colorado ZR2 to pre-run the grueling Baja 1000 race.
“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.”
Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features front and rear tracks that have been widened by 3.5 inches and a suspension lifted by 2 inches. Functional rock sliders provide better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.
Class-exclusive features include standard front and rear electronic locking differentials, an available diesel engine and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) damper technology.
While the stock ZR2 comes factory-equipped with capability for both low- and high-speed off-roading, these factory race parts focus on desert running while preserving low-speed off-road performance.
Some of their many benefits include 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.
A set of Multimatic DSSV dampers engineered beyond the already formidable bandwidth of ZR2’s stock DSSVs enable the latter. Available Multimatic Front Long Travel DSSV Shocks provide customers with as much as a 15 percent increase in overall front suspension travel, while the Multimatic long travel rear shocks can increase rear suspension travel by as much as 10 percent.
Other components include front and rear jounce shocks to absorb large suspension inputs, using the same technology found on Trophy Trucks, and reinforced components including steel drive shafts, half shafts and tie rods.
“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.”
The parts will be available to Colorado ZR2 customers a la carte or as a complete package.
Ford Offers Yakima Outdoor Accessories in Dealerships
To better meet the needs of adventure-seeking Ford customers, Ford Accessories will offer Yakima outdoor adventure products through Ford dealerships starting with the launch of the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger in early 2019.
Ranger customers will be able to select from a range of available Yakima accessories, and can choose to add the cost to their vehicle financing. For added convenience, all Yakima accessories purchased through a Ford dealership come with a three-year or 36,000-mile Ford warranty; extended warranties also are available.
“We know our customers see their vehicles as extensions of themselves,” said Eric Cin, global director, Vehicle Personalization. “With the addition of Yakima accessories, Ford aims to enhance the experiences of adventure-driven customers by delivering innovative solutions such as truck bed racks that preserve cargo space by lifting kayaks, bikes and skis off the floor of the bed. It’s about making each adventure better.”
Industry projections indicate consumers will spend $45 billion on vehicle personalization parts in 2018, according to the SEMA 2018 Market Report. Considering aftermarket suppliers account for more than 50 percent of personalization accessory purchases, increasing accessibility through Ford dealers may boost dealer business while improving convenience for customers.
Beginning in early 2019, the highest-selling Yakima accessories will be available to meet the greatest customer demand. Available accessories include kayak racks, bike racks, truck-bed storage solutions designed to transport longer items securely, and truck-bed tents that keep customers and their essentials off the ground. Additional Yakima offerings will join the Ford Accessories portfolio over time to give customers access to more of the products that best fit their lives.
Some accessories that will be available in early 2019 include the BedRock Heavy Duty truck bed rack (compatible with SkyRise medium rooftop tent), BaseLine tower and JetStream crossbar cab rack (compatible with MegaWarrior basket and SlimShady awning), LongArm bed extender with pad, and the GateKeeper tailgate pad.
“Offering Yakima products through our Ford dealerships is a win-win,” Cin said. “It provides customers access to quality adventure accessories and gives them another reason to return to dealerships.”
Ford also is exploring a variety of other accessories options to continue the momentum of bringing valuable ownership experiences to Ford customers.
Pinstripe Chris’ Latest Build-It Challenge!
Every once in a while, “Pinstripe Chris” Dunlop shares his wild ideas with us to get our creative juices flowing and give us some “what if” scenarios that we’d love to see recreated in metal. His latest is his version of what a traditional late ’20s to early ’30s roadster pickup would look like if you used a completely fabricated cab and bed, and we love it! Here’s the scoop from Chris:
“Sure, you could start a hot rod pickup build from a more traditional ’27-’34 Ford (Model A or B) either found in good enough shape or start from something like a Brookville body to get going, but why not build from scratch with the influence in mind? Chances are you might want to chop/channel/section the body anyway, so building from raw materials could be the way to go. In the example here, those ideas are addressed and finessed with personal taste in mind without the confines of ‘What did you start with?’ Instead, it’s a hot rod with ideas inspired by tradition. Yes, it would be a heap of fabrication, but it leaves the details up to the designer/builder to create something unique.”
Check out (and buy!) Chris’ work at www.pinstripechris.com.