Are we looking at GMC's Wrangler rival in the making?

Caught from afar hence the low resolution of these zoomed-in spy shots, the test mule was based on the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2. However, it appeared to have significantly wider tracks and a set of massive tires sticking out of the body and indicating the vehicle had some serious off-road capabilities. Both the front and rear were camouflaged, while the overall appearance of the vehicle indicated a production model will not arrive in the near future.

But the million-dollar question is: what was General Motors actually testing? We know GM has been toying around with the idea of doing a Jeep Wrangler rival for some time, so maybe the model has finally received the green light and we’re looking at it. With Ford allegedly bringing back the Bronco, maybe GM wants to have a similar offering by doing a Colorado ZR2-based SUV, one that would likely have standard four-wheel drive.

Chevy Colorado ZR2-based SUV mule spy photo
Chevy Colorado ZR2-based SUV mule spy photo

It’s too soon to say what will power it, but underneath the hood we might find the same turbodiesel Duramax 2.8-liter and the 3.6-liter V6 engine from the 2017 Colorado ZR2 off-road pickup truck due to go on sale next spring.

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According to Sam Fiorani, vice president of vehicle forecasting for Philadelphia-area research company AutoForecast Solutions, new GMC models to grab sales from Jeep “could be a good place to start” for the brand’s growth. He told Automotive News a while back that a “body-on-frame sport utility is a prime candidate” to serve as a Jeep competitor.

Whatever this is, the production version will probably arrive at the end of the decade. As a matter of fact, GMC chief Duncan Aldred has already revealed the company’s phase two of its growth plan, which refers to new products, will begin around 2020. Without going into any details about the future models, Aldred dropped a hint about how GMC could go after Jeep, so these spy shots might be a sign of things to come.

Photos: Automedia

Gallery: Chevy Colorado ZR2-based SUV mule spy photos