The BDS Colorado got some ink in the March/April 2015 issue of Truck Truck Magazine. In a story titled Colorado Blitz, the publication summarizes the rush to build our 2015 Chevy Colorado from stocker to SEMA worthy in just a few short weeks. Look for the story in the pages of Truck Trend and if you can’t wait that long click the link to read it online at http://www.trucktrend.com/features/1503_bds_suspension_lifted_2015_chevy_colorado_blitz/
If you haven’t checked out our last post on the BDS Colorado, head to BDS’s Last Minute SEMA Build: 2015 Chevy Colorado for more on the project, our plans, and the execution to turn our 2015 Chevy Colorado into a 2014 SEMA Show standout in under a month. When we left off with the story the truck had less than a week to go before departing on the 2000-mile adventure from Michigan to Las Vegas. The engineering team prototyped a set of Fox coilovers to work with the existing 6” suspension system and parts were arriving from Nitto, Eagle Alloys, Rigid, Extang, and Magnaflow. We got word from N-Fab that the steps were built and getting powdercoated to install once the truck arrived in Vegas. Following a quick check up at the dealership the truck stopped off to install graphics and hit the road for SEMA with 3 days planned for the ultimate test-drive out to the show.
With myself (the marketing guy) behind the wheel of the new Colorado, I set off for a solo journey in route to Vegas to meet the rest of the BDS team for the biggest auto show of the year. We knew there were high expectations for the truck from the amount of coverage it had online and in the press, on forums and from all the phone calls we received so we were excited to get it in front of the 100K+ crowd that attends the show each year. With 3 days to make the 30-hour journey I made stops along with way, took in the amazing scenery, found a few trails off the highway to test of the new suspension. I was blown away with the quality of the ride, the handling, and performance of the new truck. Even with stock gearing and 35” tires loaded down with promotional products for the show the truck handled the drive without any issues. The powerful 3.6L 300+ horse engine and 6-speed automatic took the drive and mountain passes in stride making for a very enjoyable cruise out to Vegas. Along the drive I came across rain, snow, tumble-weeds, a dust storm, farm land, streams, mountains, and deserts with a truck that started the commute with a mere 300 miles on the odometer. I posted photos and videos throughout the trip to BDS’s Facebook and Instagram pages to keep the fans updates on the progress and arrived in SEMA just in time to pull into the booth prior to the show. The show was a madhouse all week and it was easy to see the Colorado was big hit by all the photos, questions, and finger prints on it throughout the week. From GM reps, dealers, customers, and media personnel the truck received its fair share of attention all week long. For many at the show it was their first time seeing a 2015 Chevy Colorado in person, let alone a lifted Colorado on 35s.
Check out the video below that was shot out in Moab in route to the show and stay tuned for more coverage as we recap our week at the 2014 SEMA Show.
Each year the BDS engineering team puts together a custom build. Something cool, new or different. Sometimes its a trail rig for the Ultimate Adventure, other times its a show hauler, but it always serves a purpose and in true BDS fashion gets used and abused to ensure our products will hold up to the demand our customers expect. A few months back as SEMA planning began the BDS crew messed around with a few ideas for a new truck to build for the coming year(s).
We’ve built a several Jeep vehicles over the years and while we do love Jeeps, we all see the potential in the truck market. Both Project Slate and Project KJ proved to be huge successes last year for us so we looked into popular trucks for the coming year(s) that we could use for both R&D purposes as well as promotion. Ideas of a 2015 RAM 2500, 2015 Ford F150, or even a 2015 GM Colorado/Canyon were discussed and debated over. With current RAM HD kits in development and our friends at Extang supplying an early release promo ’15 F150 that we designed kits from the decision was made and we pulled the trigger on a 2015 Chevy Colorado Z71, one of first 3 sold around the country. 5 weeks prior to SEMA the BDS engineering team jumped all over the new truck, measuring, designing, and prototyping parts with a goal of being first to market with lift kits for the new 2015 Colorado/Canyon. With just 3 weeks to go until SEMA the decision was made to bring the truck to the show and planning switched into high-gear as accessories were ordered to turn this truck into something SEMA worthy.
The goal for the suspension was to design 4-6” lift options with the ability to install 33-35” tires. For this project truck the BDS engineers are prototyping a 6” suspension system to feature Fox 2.5” remote coil overs, full width skid plate and rear Fox shocks. The task of designing-prototyping-test fitting is typically a 2-3 month process, the engineers did it in 3 weeks. While BDS was able to expedite this part of the development process it can take 3-6 months for production kits to be boxed up and released for sale. We’ll have more info on these new kits as production parts arrive and kits are released by Spring of 2015. During our downtime between prototyping the suspension our sister company Zone Offroad came by to borrow the truck to work on a few of their lift options as well. Currently the truck has a Zone 1” body lift installed on the truck in addition to our 6” suspension system.
With the suspension covered, we moved on to wheels. The new 2015 Colorado/Canyon uses a unique 6on120mm bolt circle not currently available through wheel manufacturers. After several calls, Raceline and Eagle Alloys were able to custom drill blanks for the project within our truncated timeline. For SEMA we’ll be running 20×9 (5.75” bs) Eagle Alloy 012 series wheels mounted on 35×12.50×20 Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires. We were fans of the old Terra Grapplers as an all-purpose all-terrain tire and are excited to test out the new G2 version to give them our feedback. As new as this 2015 Colorado is we were striking out on many of our go-to accessories when building this truck. After giving Extang a call we were excited to hear they were releasing several bed covers including a Solid Fold tonneau to fit our truck. This will give us extra dry storage with many events and off-road outings planned for this truck in the future. With the new taller stance we wanted an easier way to access the cab. We called up N-Fab to tell them about the project and they were pumped on the idea, prototyping a set of steps for the truck in only a matter of days. While the new headlights work great on this new truck, we wanted to improve the visibility when we’re driving offroad. We’ve been running Rigid LED lighting on all of our company vehicles for years and continue to be blown away at the quality, brightness, and strength of their lights. For this project we’re running a 30” RDS (curved) light bar that will be mounted up front. Magnaflow wanted to be involved on the project, however their new Colorado/Canyon exhaust systems won’t be available for a few months so for the time being they sent a custom tip to dress up the truck until the full system is ready. Finishing off the truck will be a custom vinyl wrap helping this truck mimic the look of BDS’s 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 (stay tuned for photos of the 2 out at SEMA together).
With all these plans coming together we have exactly one week to finish prepping the truck before hitting the road for the long 2000 mile trek to Las Vegas for the 2014 SEMA Show. Parts are arriving on a daily basis and the BDS engineering team is working hard to finish the prep. Stay tuned for an update next week as BDS hits the road for SEMA with the 2015 BDS Colorado and watch for daily updates on BDS’s Facebook and Instagram pages, #bdscolorado.