The latest stab at the dream surf car was unveiled at the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas on Monday, and it wasn’t a van-shaped iPad. Instead, it’s a neoprened, canopied, key-protecting Chevy Colorado – the surf-specific Z71 – a concept collaboration nearly a year in the works by GM Motors and Hurley.
“This concept is all about functionality,” said Ryan Hurley, Creative Director at Hurley, from an official press release. “When we discussed the project with Chevrolet, we didn’t want just a truck with our logo on it – it had to offer solutions for the challenges surfers face at remote locations, and that’s exactly what it delivers.”
First, full disclosure. It’s a concept design. Until the feedback that Chevy gets from its release is overwhelmingly positive, the truck won’t hit the assembly line for the general public any time soon. The price, should the truck get the go-ahead, is also unknown, though Jessica Rodgers, Chevy’s marketing manager, estimates that it could eventually fall in the same range as a standard Colorado: from the mid-30s to the low-to-high-40s, depending on how tricked-out you want it.
So, what features does the truck deliver? One of the most surprising is the khaki green “Ventiprene” seats, which was created with essentially the same material as your wetsuit and won’t sog or stink the inside of the cab after a session. Another is an included waterproof bracelet that you wear when you’re in the water. Hold it up to the Chevy “bow-tie” insignia, and it can lock / unlock your vehicle. No longer do you need to bury your keys at the base of the lifeguard tower, hoping some villainous soul doesn’t poach your stuff, or your car, when you’re in the lineup. Conceptually, at least, there’s a lot going on with this rig.
There are other features, too. A custom surfboard rack mounted to a Bimini-style cover – it’s made from the same neoprene-y material as the seats – was designed to provide shade on a hot day in the sun. A bed-mounted, extendable Thule rack serves as a drying rack for your gear, along with a space to store portable water containers. The crew cab comes with lifted suspension for mountain / desert terrain travel. It’s a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to seven different devices. A snorkel – a snorkel! – will give your truck some airspace in case you’re unloading jet-skis, or if you’re swamped in a torrential downpour, or if high tide is way too high.
The public’s response will determine much of the truck’s progression. Whether it’ll sell widely or find a niched audience, it marks the next chapter in finding the ultimate surf vehicle.
“We wanted it to accommodate every surfer’s needs,” said Hurley at the show. “From Ghost Tree to Baja, we wanted this truck to be able to do it all.”