What Is Included in a Chevrolet Z71 Package?by Andy Josiah
"Z71" is a Regular Production Option, or RPO, code that U.S. automaker General Motors uses for its off-road suspension package. This particular option is most famously associated with vehicles out of GM's Chevrolet division.
Z71 Off-Road and Suspension Enhancements
The major feature of the Z71 package is its enhancements for a vehicle's off-road capabilities, including bigger wheels -- specifically, 18-inch aluminum wheels -- which are fitted with on- or off-road blackwall tires. The Z71 offers specially tuned springs and mono-tube shocks for the suspension to better support the vehicle's weight and tire contact, as well as further dampen shock. This is combined with an automatic locking rear differential to improve the distribution of drive shaft power.
Z71 Exterior Enhancements
As for exterior features, the Z71 package accentuates the wheels with wheel flares integrated into the vehicle's body above them, and replaces the steel grille with a chrome one. The exterior additions are not just cosmetic, though, as the tubular assist steps enhance elevation into the vehicle, the recovery hooks are for towing purposes, and the skid plate and front fascia protect the vehicle's undercarriage and nose, respectively.
Availability and Price
As of December 2010, General Motors offers the Z71 for the Tahoe, Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban and Colorado -- SUVs and trucks from its Chevrolet division. Owners of any of the aforementioned vehicles would need to pay an additional $1,535 to add the Z71 option.