Posted on October 5, 2011 at 12:00 am
[UPDATE: Naza Quest will begin selling the new Colorado this December]
After months of building up anticipation for the model and giving a sneak preview using a concept truck, Chevrolet finally shows what the actual production Colorado looks like. Revealed in Bangkok this morning, the Colorado arrives with the declaration of being ‘designed and engineered to be General Motors’ toughest, highest-performing and most-refined midsize pickup truck ever’.
It has taken 5 years, US$2 billion development program to bring this all-new truck to the market and it will be offered in more than 60 markets around the world. It’s said to be the most-extensive clean-sheet midsize truck program ever executed in Chevrolet’s 100-year history. Based on GM’s global body-on-frame, rear-drive midsize truck architecture, the new Colorado is designed, engineered and executed to deliver best-in-class appearance, performance, versatility and refinement. It also has been developed to meet the highest-possible safety standards wherever it is sold.
Included in the Colorado range are features such as electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system featuring electronic brake force distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, cornering brake control and driver and occupant front airbags. Of course, availability of some of these items will version-dependent and might not be present in low-end versions which would be aimed at customers buying the vehicle purely for commercial use. Nevertheless, it’s a far cry from the days when trucks were basic machines that had no such options at all.
According to Brad Merkel, GM’s Global Vehicle Line executive for Midsize Trucks, the Colorado offers the strength, design and performance needed to compete with the world’s best truck nameplates. “Our objective from the beginning of the program was ‘haul anything, go anywhere’ – and that’s exactly what the new Colorado delivers,” he said. “We have engineered it to meet the needs and desires of commercial and personal buyers alike. It can be a workhorse, a family hauler, a lifestyle vehicle, or a truck that plays to the higher-end premium buyer.”
He went on to say: “That versatility is a big win for our customers. Regardless of configuration, they’re getting the features of a common frame and body structure, high-performing powertrains and outstanding refinement. There are no sacrifices in fundamental hardware or aesthetics, from a very basic two-door work truck all the way up to a premium crew cab.”
The development of the all-new Colorado was led by a highly skilled team of GM engineers in Brazil who used their expertise to tailor the vehicle for a number of global markets, including those in Southeast Asia. Team members lived in Thailand during the Colorado’s development, immersing themselves in the highly competitive truck market and observing how Thais use their vehicles and the driving conditions they experience. That expertise led to the development of new Colorado models covering three specification levels.
The new lineup was designed to deliver ride and handling characteristics unexpected of a midsize pickup thanks to two levels of chassis and suspension tuning. As a result, it is claimed to be equally adept both at hauling and towing and at serving as a day-to-day city commuter.
The range uses an all-new global family of GM-developed turbodiesel 4-cylinder engines designed to deliver a leading combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The two Duramax diesels, built at GM Thailand’s newly-opened US$200 million engine plant, are available in 2.8-litre and 2.5-litre displacements.
The 2.8-litre unit features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness, while both engines feature components designed to last for 240,000 kilometers. Its output is 132 kW/180 bhp with 470 Nm of torque, while the 2.5-litre unit produces 110 kW/150 bhp and 350 Nm of torque. 5-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions are available.
Reflecting the global resources of GM, the Colorado’s styling was created by the GM’s design centre in South America. It takes many cues from the Colorado concept vehicles revealed at global auto shows in Thailand, Argentina, Australia and Germany throughout the year.
Design highlights include a power dome in the bonnet which, combined with a raised cowl, is intended to give the Colorado a strong, purposeful appearance. Higher-mounted dual projector headlamps are positioned beneath the power dome, intended to emphasize visual strength in the face of the vehicle.
Also prominent is the dual-port grille – an unmistakable Chevrolet cue – that carries a three-dimensional grille mesh. Chrome appointments in the grille surround, door handles, tailgate handle, mirror caps, and headlamps and foglamps on high-level models are intended to provide a premium appearance.
The goal of premium appearance is also reflected by detailed sheet metal work throughout the exterior, including the bonnet and door panels, which blend layers of natural light for an uncluttered, natural surface appearance. A first for a Chevrolet pickup truck is the use of LED-illuminated tail lamps.
With a flowing instrument panel, integrated centre stack and trademark Chevrolet dual cockpit design, the interior of the all-new Colorado combines car-like characteristics with the boldness expected of a pickup. The use of LED backlighting in the instrument cluster and air-conditioner controls in Chevrolet’s trademark “Ice Blue” illumination is designed to provide a high-definition appearance. Occupant comfort is claimed to be outstanding with segment-leading front and second-row shoulder room, headroom and seat height.
The first market to get the Colorado is, not surprisingly, Thailand since it is built there (not just for the second largest pick-up market in the world but also for export). It will be launched in other markets progressively and Naza Quest Auto has confirmed that it will definitely be in Chevrolet showrooms in Malaysia before long.
To know more about Chevrolet models in Malaysia, visit www.chevrolet.com.my
Read other articles about the Colorado here
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