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New Colorado ute released

Lion fighter: The next-generation Holden Colorado will join the growing light commercial vehicle market in Australia in around March 2012.

Holden’s vital new ute officially unveiled in Asia, six months ahead of Oz launch

Holden logo5 Oct 2011


GENERAL MOTORS today unveiled the final production version of its all-new Colorado, which will join the growing and increasingly important light commercial vehicle market in Australia in around March 2012.

GM chose to introduce the vehicle in Thailand, where the Australian models will soon go into production.

Following the all-new Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and Volkswagen Amarok models to market – not to mention a facelifted version of the segment-leading Toyota HiLux – the Colorado will arrive as Holden’s first all-new one-tonner for eight years.

It will be a vital cog in Holden’s bid to restore its LCV presence and is expected to arrive here in the full gamut of variants, with Single Cab, Crew Cab and Extra Cab body styles, 4x4 and 4x2 drivelines, and with pick-up and cab-chassis rear ends.

The Colorado goes on sale this month in Thailand with a pair of new Duramax turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines being produced at a new $200 million facility in Thailand recently built alongside the Colorado assembly plant.

Holden will certainly employ the larger of the two – a 2.8-litre unit developing 132kW of power and 470Nm of torque – but the company has yet to reveal if the smaller 110kW/350Nm 2.5-litre unit will come here.

The GM-designed 2.8-litre Duramax engine, which replaces the current Isuzu-supplied 120kW 3.0-litre diesel, features a balance shaft for smoothness and a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across a wider rev range and.

It will be linked to a new six-speed automatic transmission, but is also available with a five-speed manual (with maximum torque reduced to 440Nm).

13 center imageAustralia is also expected to get two petrol variants – a four-cylinder price leader, possibly with the new 2.5-litre unit from the Malibu, and a V6 shipped from Holden’s Port Melbourne engine plant, probably again in 3.0-litre guise but potentially with SIDI (spark ignition, direct injection) upgrades for more power and improved fuel efficiency.

The new Colorado was launched in Thailand in three specification levels: the entry-level LS, mid-range LT and range-topping LTZ.

Designed in Brazil, where GM’s Colorado “home room” was based, the all-new vehicle is the product of a five-year, $2 billion program developed across five continents for customers in more than 60 markets around the world, with Australia being one of the most important.

Its styling was previewed by a number of show vehicles that appeared around the world, including the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in July.

GM claims the clean-sheet Colorado was designed and engineered to be the company’s toughest, highest-performing and most-refined mid-size pick-up ever and represents “the most-extensive mid-size truck program in Chevrolet’s 100-year history”.

Design features include a ‘power dome’ in the bonnet, higher-mounted dual projector headlamps, a dual-port grille – an unmistakable Chevrolet cue – a three-dimensional grille mesh and LED tail-lamps on high-level models, which is a first for a Chevrolet pick-up.

Premium models also gain fog lamps and chrome appointments in the grille surround, door handles, tailgate handle, mirror caps and headlamps.

The modern interior is, of course, car-like and the instrument binnacle is dominated by two odd-shaped tubes containing the speedo and tacho, each with smaller dials for water temperature and fuel.

Chrome appointments are again featured, along with blue LED backlighting in the instrument cluster and HVAC controls, and there are numerous storage locations – 16 in the regular cab, 19 in the extended cab and 30 in the crew cab.

GM claims segment-leading front- and second-row shoulder room, headroom and seat height, providing “outstanding levels of interior comfort for drivers and passengers alike”.

Seats come in fabric or optional leather and a front vinyl bench seat is available on base models. Auxiliary power, auxiliary audio plugs and USB connectivity are standard across the range.

GM’s global vehicle line executive for midsize trucks, Brad Merkel, said the Colorado with its utilitarian ladder-frame chassis architecture was developed to meet the highest-possible safety standards wherever it is sold.

He said it features electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, cornering brake control and driver and occupant front air bags.

“Our objective from the beginning of the program was ‘haul anything, go anywhere’ – and that’s exactly what the new Colorado delivers,” said Mr Merkel.

“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. “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.” Isuzu has developed its new D-Max ute – also due in Australia later next year – using the same the ladder chassis but will retain its own 3.0-litre diesel and have its distinctive styling to help give the two models more differentiation this time around, having previously also shared bodywork.

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