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Bangkok show: Holden Colorado to get split personality

Subtle change: Holden designers gave the Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier an upmarket makeover

Show cars point to greater differentiation between Holden Colorado siblings

22 Mar 2016

GENERAL Motors appears to be intent on more differentiation between its Chevrolet-Holden Colorado ute and related Colorado 7 SUV – called Trailblazer in some markets – in future generations.

Revealed at the Bangkok motor show today, a pair of Holden-crafted Chevrolet show vehicles, the Colorado Xtreme and Trailblazer Premier, take the truck siblings in individual directions, away from their current clone characters.

Designed and built at GM Australia Design’s studios in Melbourne, the concept ute gets a more rugged look, while the Colorado-based SUV becomes a premium 4x4 family wagon – a situation that could become permanent in future models.

GM International design vice-president Michael Simcoe said the show vehicles “pushed the boundaries within reality”.

“We’re calling on Chevrolet’s rich history and knowhow to demonstrate our leadership in these segments and announcing where we hope to take these exciting vehicles in the near future,” he said.

“Our focus here was about pushing these vehicles in two completely different directions, ensuring they are standalone vehicles in their own right.

“It is great to have the opportunity to showcase design possibilities today that could be developed and seen in the cars and trucks of tomorrow.”

Mr Simcoe said North America and its rugged pick-up tradition was a major design inspiration for the Colorado Xtreme ute.

“This truck is in direct response to consumers’ desire to personalise their vehicles,” he said. “Not only does this integrated accessory range look fantastic but our priority was to ensure they were, first and foremost, practical and useful additions that were perfect additions to the vehicle.

“Inspiration for the truck came from many sources. In particular, we looked at the US market where Chevrolet leads the way as far as truck design.

“By looking at the Xtreme it’s clear that the North American market influenced many of the styling cues. The end result is a serious pick-up with no compromise.”

Sitting on a high-rider suspension, chunky 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tyres, the Xtreme is loaded with almost every conceivable off-road accessory, many of them designed in-house at Holden to take them to the next level.

The front bumper incorporates a winch and LED light bar, while the roof rack basket includes another LED light bar. A large black air scoop on the bonnet adds gravitas.

The black plastic snorkel air inlet was designed at Holden to give it a little more style than the standard item.

The extra spare wheel that takes up most of the load space in the back is held in place by a custom-made T-handle.

The naming of the Trailblazer SUV show car – Premier – has echoes of Holden’s past, drawing on the prestige of top-of-the-range Holden large cars in the pre-Commodore era.

According to the Chevrolet blurb, the Trailblazer Premier is an SUV designed “for families who love to escape off the beaten track but in the comfort of luxurious sophistication”.

Mr Simcoe said GM research revealed that customers, particularly in the Thai market, appreciated luxury, upmarket finishes and sophisticated detail.

“The brief was simple: we wanted to dial up the refinement to make sure the vehicle was as luxurious as it was capable,” Mr Simcoe said, adding that unlike the “loud and tough” Colorado Xtreme, the Trailblazer Premier is subtle and softer.

He said materials included bright chrome and Australian timber that had been “handpicked and crafted”.

The timber in the door trims is inlaid with stainless-steel strips.

The handcrafted theme was even carried through to the netting pockets on the back of the front seats. This was handmade in the design studio to get the desired effect.

The leather-cloaked seats have custom piping, while the instrument panel is a two-tone design with special stitching.

Unlike the matte exterior look of the Xtreme, the Trailblazer Premier gets a gloss finish in a silver-blue colour called Velocity.

Whopping 22-inch alloy wheels with matching tyres give the vehicle a substantial look.

Both show cars get GM’s latest MyLink connectivity with an eight-inch screen.

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