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Launch Story

14 Jun 2012

THE first shipments of Holden’s new-generation Colorado one-tonne ute are arriving in Australia in time for this week’s official launch, with vehicles being rushed out to dealers desperate to fulfil more than 1500 customer pre-orders.

A six-month launch delay for the Aussie brand’s most important product launch of 2012 – caused by last year’s floods in Thailand that affected the Colorado factory at Rayong – has hurt Holden’s sales figures in the first half of the year, and the company is keen to make up for lost time.

In addition to successful website registration and pre-sale campaigns, plus the offer of a free tow bar for orders placed before June 30, Holden will soon launch a big advertising push.

Holden senior manager of product communications Kate Lonsdale told GoAuto the company wanted to “make sure everyone knows we have a new Colorado out and about”.

As one of Holden’s top-selling models, the Colorado has achieved an average of around 1100 units a month.

Consequently, Holden executive director of sales, marketing and aftersales John Elsworth said the Colorado launch could not come quick enough and was “thrilled” with response to the pre-sell campaign.

The Colorado will apply further heat to the already competitive one-tonner segment, which has received a lot of new metal recently in the shape of the co-developed Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50, Volkswagen Amarok (automatic dual-cab and single-cab variants of which will launch next month) and SsangYong Actyon Sports.

Isuzu’s new D-Max, which shares its chassis with the Colorado, is also being launched in Australia this month.

Bluetooth telephone connectivity, electronic stability control, curtain airbags and ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution are standard across the Colorado range, although no reversing camera is offered and parking sensors are relegated to the accessories list.

Nevertheless, Holden has set the safety equipment bar high and the company is hopeful of achieving five ANCAP stars with the new Colorado to satisfy the increasing number of fleets demanding vehicles have the maximum crash-safety rating.

Mr Elsworth said the new Colorado will enable Holden to tap into crucial new markets in mining, construction and farming and that the standard safety features will give the company a competitive edge in fleet circles while appealing to private customers.

The Colorado joins the five-star Mazda BT-50 and VW Amarok in having range-wide ESC and side airbags, but the Ford Ranger can be specified without side airbags and the Nissan Navara, Toyota HiLux and Mitsubishi Triton currently only offer standard ESC and side airbags on higher-specification variants or as an optional extra.

A combination of four trim levels and 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains are offered across single-cab, space-cab and dual-cab body styles, with the single cabs being offered as cab-chassis only and the space cab only available as a 4x4.

Dual cabs and space cabs are available with either cab-chassis or pick-up body styles depending on specification level.

An all-four-cylinder diesel engine line-up is offered for this generation of Colorado.

The entry-level DX single-cab-chassis 4x2, which is exclusively powered by a 110kW/350Nm 2.5-litre engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission, is priced from $26,990 (plus on-road costs).

All other variants employ a 132kW/470Nm 2.8-litre engine with standard five-speed manual transmission.

A six-speed automatic transmission is offered for $2000 extra on all grades except the manual-only DX.

Every Colorado has at least a one-tonne payload and can tow 3500kg braked, except the 2.5-litre DX, which can tow 3000kg braked.

The most economical combination is a 2.8-litre 4x2 with manual transmission in LX trim with a dual-cab pick-up body, which consumes 7.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, which equates to CO2 output of 218 grams per kilometre of CO2.

A 4x2 DX cab-chassis with the 2.5-litre engine is slightly less economical at 7.9L/100km and at the other end of the spectrum is the 4x4 cab-chassis model with automatic transmission, which consumes 9.3L/100km and emits 249g/km of CO2.

The new Colorado range-opener is $4500 less expensive than the equivalent previous-generation diesel variant and is priced $1500 lower than the old 3.6-litre petrol base model.

The extra standard safety equipment should help make up for its $2500 premium over Toyota’s equivalent in the top-selling HiLux range.

A body-coloured front bumper, air-conditioning, alarm, multi-function trip computer display and an audio system with auxiliary input and USB iPod integration are standard across the range, with all models but the single-cab DX 4x2 and 4x4 variants getting carpet, rather than vinyl floor coverings.

All 4x4 variants have a high- and low-range transfer case with electronic on-the-fly mode selection.

A high ride height is standard across the Colorado range, providing 210mm of ground clearance, a 30-degree approach angle, 22-degree departure angle and 23-degree break-over angle for the pick-up body style.

Pick-up variants have a 1534mm wide, 466mm high tray, which is 1795mm long on the space cab and 1484mm long on the dual cab.

All Colorados are 1882mm wide (excluding mirrors), with space-cab and crew-cab pick-ups 5127mm in length and 1780mm high, with single cabs 5mm taller.

The Colorado’s wheelbase is 3096mm, with front and rear tracks identical at 1570mm.

Single-cab Colorados feature a three-seat split-bench front seat with centre lap belt, while the dual-cab and space-cab body styles – the latter fitted with ‘suicide doors’ like Ford’s Ranger Super Cab – have separate six-way adjustable front seats.

LX grade, from $27,990 in 4x2 cab-chassis form, adds electric mirrors, cruise control, a multi-function height-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, body-coloured door handles and mirrors (with integrated turn indicators) and, on the pick-up body style, a demister and protective frame for the rear window.

The LT specification level, from $36,490 as a 4x2 dual-cab pick-up, gains 16-inch alloy wheels front fog lights.

Top-grade LTZ variants (from $40,990) are only available in space-cab and dual-cab pick-up formats, the latter with a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains.

LTZ spec adds climate-control, 17-inch alloy wheels (with full-size alloy spare), an alloy sports bar, side steps, a soft tonneau cover, self-levelling projector headlights, LED tail-lights, and chrome finish for the mirrors, interior and exterior door handles, rear bumper and tailgate handle.

Inside is an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a gear selector knob in leather (manual) or chrome (automatic), an upgrade from two to three rear head restraints (on the dual cab, which also upgrades from six to eight speakers), two seat-back pockets and a rear centre armrest.

Crew cabs have a 60/40 split-fold base on the rear seats with under-seat storage, while space-cab variants are fitted with rear storage compartments over which temporary-use seats can be folded down.

The Colorado’s design homeroom was Brazil, with input from Thailand and Australia for the final touches, and Holden’s Kirsty Lindsay was involved in developing its “attractive and hard-wearing” interior trim.

Holden says more than two-thirds of Colorado accessories are unique to the brand and were designed, developed and engineered in Australia.

Holden will offer around 40 individual accessories for the Colorado, with some bundled into the packs.

The $490 Essentials pack comprises carpet or rubber floor mats, headlight protectors, bonnet protector and side window weather shields, while the $1880 Trade pack includes a tow bar, nudge bar, and tray liner.

Dual cabs can have the $3185 Predator pack fitted, which includes a nudge bar, sports bar, three-piece hard tonneau cover, tray liner and rear parking sensors.

The off-road oriented Nullabor pack costs $4215 and includes a tow bar, nudge bar, snorkel kit (2.8-litre engine only), driving lights and cargo liner, with a bull bar to become available late this year.

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