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GM cranks out new Colorado diesel

The source: GM's state-of-the-art Thai engine plant in Rayong will produce the all-new diesel engine for the upcoming Holden Colorado.

New Thai factory starts production of latest 2.8-litre diesel for Holden Colorado

Holden logo19 Sep 2011

By RON HAMMERTON

THE all-new diesel engine destined for Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute has started rolling down the production line at a state-of-the-art factory in Thailand.

Holden has confirmed the Colorado will get the four-cylinder diesel in its 2.8-litre form, but its parent company General Motors has now revealed the engine will be made in 2.5-litre guise as well.

Although no power and torque figures have been given for the engines – the newest in GM’s Duramax family of truck diesels – GM says the engines get overhead cams, aluminium cylinder heads and turbocharging, delivering “high levels of refinement and durability” plus Euro IV emissions.

The new $US200 million ($A195m) plant – GM’s first diesel engine factory in Thailand – has been built next door to the existing Rayong vehicle assembly plant that is due to start churning out the new-generation Colorado later this year.

The diesel engine plant is GM’s first in Thailand and will make about 120,000 engines a year for GM markets around the world, with the Thai-built Colorado first cab off the rank.

The new Holden Colorado is expected to land in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2012, retaining three body styles – Single Cab, Crew Cab and Extra Cab – in 4x4 and 4x2, with pick-up and cab-chassis body styles.

The Isuzu-supplied 120kW 3.0-litre diesel engine will be dropped from the Colorado, replaced by the GM-designed 2.8-litre Duramax engine.

13 center imageLeft: GM staff with the new engine. Below: Holden Colorado show car from AIMS 2011.

However, GoAuto understands Isuzu’s new D-Max ute – again sharing the ladder chassis of the Colorado – will retain the Isuzu diesel, while gaining its own distinctive styling to help to give the two models more differentiation this time around.

When it unveiled a Colorado concept at the Australian International Motor Show in July, Holden said the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel would be “one of a number of engines that will be offered when it goes on sale next year”.

It is not known if the 2.5-litre version of the Duramax engine is one of those, but expect a four-cylinder petrol price leader and a V6 engine 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.

Ford’s rival Ranger that goes on sale this month will carry two ‘Duratorq’ diesel engines in its three-engine line-up. The diesels are a 110kW 2.2-litre four-cylinder and a 147kW 3.2-litre five-cylinder, both of which will also power Mazda’s version of the same Australian-developed vehicle, the BT-50.

Toyota’s newly facelifted HiLux offers a single diesel, the 3.0-litre 120kW four-cylinder, alongside 2.7-litre four-cylinder and 4.0-litre V6 petrol engines.

None of the Thai-built utes from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Holden or Mazda are expected to match the premium V6 diesel offered in the $60,990 Nissan Navara ST-X 550.

This V9X engine – courtesy of Nissan partner Renault – produces 170kW of power at 3750rpm and 550Nm of torque from just 1750rpm.

Most Navaras are sold with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine in 106kW or 126kW guises.

GM said its new diesel engine plant was highly flexible, being able to switch between 2.5 and 2.8-litre engines according to market need.

Opening the new factory, GM Southeast Asia president Martin Apfel said GM was committed to growing its footprint and business throughout Thailand and South-East Asia.

“Our engine plant will enable us to deliver on our promise of bringing cleaner, more efficient and higher-performance diesel engine technology to our customers,” he said

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