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Holden steps up Colorado tease

Coming soon: The next-generation Holden Colorado will hit Australian showrooms around mid-year.

New Colorado range details confirmed as Holden faces run-out one-tonner drought

Holden logo17 Feb 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

GM HOLDEN has rolled out details of its upcoming new-generation, all-diesel Colorado ute range, as stocks of its run-out model dwindle ahead of the later-than-hoped arrival of the 2012 range from General Motors’ Thai factory around mid-year.

The new Colorado – in three body styles and the choice of two diesel engines – is running several months late for Australia, mainly due to delays caused by last year’s devastating floods in Thailand, but also because of high customer demand in Asian markets where the Brazilian-designed vehicle went on sale last year.

This means the well-planned run-out of the old model in Australia has been thrown a curve ball, with Holden dealers down to between one and two months’ supply with about four months to wait before the new model arrives about June.

Last month, Colorado sales slipped 24 per cent on the corresponding month last year, with Holden shifting just 687 of the vehicles in January.

Rather than let rivals such as Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Mitsubishi get a free kick, Holden today released range details on a new web mini-site, and will arrange for prospective customers to get a look at the new range in a traveling road show at Holden dealerships over the next few months.

13 center imagePricing has been withheld until closer to launch, but Holden has revealed that the new model will come in the usual three body styles – single-cab, space-cab and crew-cab – powered by a choice of new 2.5-litre and 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engines.

Although Holden does not say so in its latest announcement, the Colorado will be available in 4x2 and 4x4 variants, and the single-cab model will be only in cab-chassis style.

Holden has axed the previous entry-level 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and Holden-made 3.6-litre Alloytec V6, while the Isuzu-sourced 3.0-litre 120kW diesel has been replaced by a pair of new GM diesels led by the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel that develops 132kW at 3800rpm.

Buyers who tick the box for the new six-speed automatic transmission will get the full 470Nm of torque – achieved at 2000rpm – but five-speed manual drivers will have to make do with 440Nm, presumably because the self-shifter can’t handle the full grunt.

The new entry-level engine is the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel that turns out 110kW of power at the same 3800rpm, and 350Nm of torque - also at 2000rpm. This engine will be available only in selected models and only with the five-speed manual gearbox.

The engine line-up puts the new Colorado behind the segment performance leaders, with Nissan’s European-built flagship Navara, the ST-X 550, belting out 170kW of power and 550Nm of torque from its premium Renault-sourced 3.0-litre turbo-diesel.

Ford’s range-topping 3.2-litre diesel in the new Ranger also has a power edge, producing 147kW and 470Nm.

However, Holden’s new premium diesel out-points the market-leading Toyota HiLux’s 126kW/343Nm 3.0-litre diesel, as well as Nissan’s volume-selling 2.5-litre diesel, in its 106kW/356Nm and 126kW/403Nm states of tune.

Holden is claiming bragging rights in braked towing capacity, with a whopping 3.5-tonne limit in Colorados fitted with the larger 2.8-litre engine (3.0 tonnes with the 2.5-litre) – more than half a tonne better than its nearest rival.

All Colorado body styles will sit on the same 3096mm wheelbase – 104mm shorter than the Navara but 10mm longer than the HiLux – while overall length (at 5347mm for the Colorado space-cab and crew-cab) is about 80mm longer than HiLux and about 50mm longer than Navara.

Ground clearance is a high-riding 289mm, compared with the jacked-up 4x4 Navara’s 230mm, but short of the HiLux’s 297mm.

Side curtain airbags are included on the list of standard safety features, along with electronic stability, opening the path to a potential five-star safety rating to match newcomers such as the VW Amarok, Ranger and the related Mazda BT-50.

Bluetooth, air-conditioning, power windows, auxiliary plug and USB port, two auxiliary power outlets and an iPod-compatible audio system also will be standard.

Holden executive director for sales, marketing and aftersales, John Elsworth, said Holden had been working hard to finalise the local range ahead of the Colorado’s official launch since the show car was revealed at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne last July.

“The new Colorado is a new era for Holden LCVs and will play a vital role in our product renaissance,” he said.

“We’re so excited about its performance as a tough, daily workhorse and active recreational vehicle that we wanted to preview the range as soon as possible.

“This is the most impressive light truck ever designed by General Motors, and we expect it to be a serious challenger in the competitive Australian light commercial market.

“Our diesel-only powertrain strategy means we’ll offer two very competitive, responsive engines that boast impressive towing capacity of up to 3.5-tonne, which we know our customers will love.” Mr Elsworth said customers would have the chance to inspect the new range at Holden dealerships from April, with a number of Colorados touring the country in a pre-launch roadshow.

Holden’s current Thai-built one-tonner was originally known as the Rodeo and based on Isuzu mechanicals.

When Isuzu and GM parted ways and Isuzu wanted to enter the Australian market in its own right with the near-identical D-Max, Holden switched the name to Colorado – a well-known light truck nameplate in North America.

The new generation again shares its underpinnings with Isuzu D-Max that is also due in Australia this year, but this time with more variation, including different powertrains.

The Colorado’s delayed arrival will make it one of the last in a host of new one-tonne ute models to arrive Down Under this year, including the all-new SsangYong Actyon and Foton Tunland.

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