The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, which was unveiled overnight at a meeting of the Association of the United States Army, is part engineering prototype, part aggressively styled concept car.
Developed in collaboration with the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the Colorado ZH2, is based on the North American Chevrolet Colorado ute.
The ZH2 has an electric drivetrain coupled to a hydrogen fuel-cell system, which combines stored hydrogen with oxygen drawn in from the atmosphere to produce electricity and water.
In addition to powering the car, the hydrogen fuel-cell stack also recharges a 25kW to 50kW Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO) that can provide electricity to devices when soldiers are operating away from the vehicle.
Compared to a regular petrol and diesel powered Colorado ute, the ZH2 drives along almost silently and has a less prominent heat signature, which is beneficial when stealth important. Additionally, the water exhaust has “field uses”, although it’s not clear if it’s potable.
GM has yet to release any numbers related to the Colorado ZH’s drivetrain, including its power and torque output, and the car’s performance and range numbers.
Visually, the ZH2 is set apart from production versions of the North American Chevrolet Colorado by a broader, taller and meaner stance that’s capped with fender extensions and a partially camouflaged body.
Up front, there’s bash plates, narrow LED lights and multiple power bumps on the bonnet. There’s also completely redesigned tray area, with a short open-air bed section and an enclosed boot portion protecting the EPTO unit.
The ZH2 stands around two metres tall and is over 2.1 metres wide, making it at least 120mm taller and 220mm wider than the commercially available ute.
This is largely thanks to the car’s improved off-road capability that comes from its the raised suspension setup and tall 37-inch tyres. Inside the cabin, the ZH2 features a revised instrument cluster and Recaro front bucket seats.
GM will complete calibration and setup of the ZH2 in early 2017 before handing it over to the US Army for evaluation.