After a great deal of anticipation and a boatload of speculation, the all-new 2012 Chevrolet Colorado, built in Thailand (with no official announcements yet about the U.S.) debuted today in Asia. Now the production model will go on sale later this month in more than 60 countries.
For the past five years, global GM engineers have tested and refined the new midsize pickup truck that will offer 26 different combinations of models, powertrains, cabins and ride heights. The new Colorados will include regular, extended- and crew-cab bodies in high- and low-stance configurations, wide- and narrow-body options, as well as two- and four-wheel-drive.
“The new Colorado represents our largest-ever engineering and manufacturing program (over $2 billion) and demonstrates the outstanding skills and capability that exist in this country,” GM Thailand President Martin Apfel said. “Our manufacturing operations have the ability to meet the needs of the local and global marketplace now and well into the future.”
Based on GM’s global body-on-frame, rear-drive midsize truck architecture, the new Colorado is designed, engineered and executed to deliver best-in-class appearance, performance, versatility and refinement. It competes with the global Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Toyota Hilux and others.
The new Colorado features an all-new global family of GM-developed turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed for performance and fuel efficiency. The two Duramax diesels, built at GM Thailand’s newly opened $200 million engine plant, are available in 2.8-liter (pictured below, left) and 2.5-liter (below, right) displacements.
The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel features a variable-geometry turbocharger and a balance shaft for greater smoothness, while both engines feature components designed to last up to 150,000 miles.
The 2.8-liter engine is rated at 180 horsepower and 346 pounds-feet of torque with an available six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5-liter engine is rated at 150 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque.
The transmissions to be offered aer a five-speed manual or a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission with automatic gear selection via a toggle switch on the shift head. The 4×4 configuration will include a new two-speed, electronically actuated part-time transfer case.
Other features include electronic stability control, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, cornering brake control and driver and occupant front airbags.
The development of the all-new Colorado was led by a team of GM engineers in Brazil that used their expertise to tailor the vehicle for a number of global markets, including those in Southeast Asia.
Team members lived in Thailand during the Colorado’s development, immersing themselves in the highly competitive truck market and observing how Thais use their vehicles and the driving conditions they experience. That expertise led to the development of new Colorado models covering three specification levels: the entry-level LS, midrange LT and range-topping LTZ.