Chevrolet Releases Colorado Z71 Trail Boss 3.0 Concept at SEMA
Off-Roader Goes Just Far Enough to Be a Production-Ready, But Awesome
The first Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Trail Boss was something of a disappointment. Featuring little more than rock-magnet hoop-style side steps and reasonably aggressive tires, those expecting a wild off-roader in the vein of the Colorado ZR2 Concept were let down a bit.
Its second Trail Boss act was a little more legitimate, with off-road lamps and an eye-catching bed-mounted lightbar, with a spray-in bedliner offering some backwoods protection. But still, at stock height and equipped with an approach-angle–killing front air dam, the Trail Boss was a bit underwhelming.
That could change if Chevrolet sees fit to bring its Trail Boss 3.0 Concept from the show hall to the showroom. Making its appearance at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, the Colorado Z71 Trail Boss 3.0 builds on its base vehicle by removing the infernal (but aerodynamic and efficiency-boosting) front airdam, and by replacing the side steps with less intrusive concept rock rails. Additionally, an accessory rally stripe graphics package makes an appearance on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it adds some respectable flash to the concept’s production-ready bodywork. To our eye, we think the 3.0 is lifted a bit over the stock Colorado Z71, although that could be an illusion due to the 86’d front airdam and side steps.
Performance (and aural feedback) should improve thanks to a performance air intake and exhaust. An illuminated black bowtie adds some cool-factor as well, and the interior gets a suite of updates including concept ambient lighting, accessory rubber floor liners, and brushed metal interior trim. Based on the Colorado Z71 Trail Boss Crew Cab, it looks appropriately sporty for a lifestyle truck (we’ve previously only seen the second version of the Trail Boss as an extended cab). The 3.0 concept also features wheels we’ve never seen on a Colorado, and those rugged Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires are tough enough for most on/off-road duties.
To be fair, the standard Colorado’s air dam is easily removable, and we have to admit that its exclusion on the Trail Boss 3.0 is what makes it look so much tougher than its production-vehicle base, so if you’ve already got a 2015 or 2016 Trail Boss in your driveway, remove the airdam, snap a pic, and send it to us so we can check our biases at the door. Either way, we love what Chevy’s done with this Colorado concept, and since many of its unique features are available as dealer-installed accessories, it should be easy to recreate. Regardless, the Trail Boss 3.0 will only help to improve the success of the excellent, well-liked Colorado pickup, even if it does remain just a concept.