The latest industry news
Chevrolet is reentering the midsize truck market with an all-new Colorado pickup truck, available for sale this fall as a ’15 model. When we saw it unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it looked like a scaled-down Silverado, although Chevy uses words like sporty, aggressive, and confident to describe the truck’s looks. The Colorado will be available in extended and crew cab body styles. Extended cab trucks will be fitted with a 6-foot bed, crews with either a 5- or 6-foot bed. Trim levels include WT, LT, and Z71, the latter “the brawniest of the bunch,” says Chevy, with a gunmetal grille surround, projector headlamps, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
The Colorado is nearly identical in size to the competition (see chart). But Chevy expects to offer class-leading work capability thanks in part to an optional 3.6L V-6 that will make an estimated 302 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The standard engine will be a 193hp 2.5L four-banger. Both engines will be hooked to six-speed automatic transmissions, though a six-speed manual will be available behind the four-cylinder in WT models.
"Colorado Z71 is the brawniest of the bunch"
Things get even more interesting when Chevy brings out a turbodiesel Colorado next year. No power figures were cited for the U.S. version, but elsewhere in the world the 2.8L Duramax four-cylinder going into the truck produces 180 hp and nearly 350 lb-ft of torque.
Underpinning the Colorado is a fully boxed ladder frame. Front suspension is independent with coilover shocks; rear is a standard Hotchkiss type with leaf springs. The G80 limited slip will be standard in the rear diff of Z71 models, optional on WT and LT. Four-wheel disc brakes will be standard too, as will electric power steering.
We will bring you more on the Colorado -- and whether there will be a companion GMC Canyon model -- in future issues.
|Tale of the Tape: How the Midsize 4x4 Trucks Measure Up|
|Vehicle||Colorado Ext. Cab||Tacoma Access Cab||Frontier King Cab|
|Overall length (in)||208.2||208.1||205.5|
|Largest engine(type/hp)||3.6L V-6/302*||4.0L V-6/236||4.0L V-6/261|
|Tow capacity (lbs)||6,700*||6,500**||6,300|
|Payload capacity (lbs)||N/A||1,395||1,379|
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Baldwin Wins Baja -- Again
B.J. Baldwin won his second consecutive Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 last November, and in doing so notched his second consecutive overall points championship in SCORE’s desert race series. He completed the 883.1-mile loop course in 18 hours 36 minutes 10 seconds, averaging 47.47 mph in his Monster/Toyo-sponsored Silverado Trophy Truck.
“This race course is tight and technical and not something I’m particularly good at,” Baldwin said after his victory. “I’m better at fast roads and backing it into corners between 85 and 110 miles per hour. The tight, technical stuff isn’t nearly as much fun as rotating the truck at very high speed. I just ground it out, and I’m surprised that we are here. We had a good day.”
This year’s 1000 was marred by a rare fatality: KTM motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle while leading the race just short of mile 800. We haven’t heard a definitive reason for the accident, but reports say he may have collided with a coyote at high speed.
This Just In
• Looking for a new off-roading challenge? Dakar veterans Darren Skilton and Scott Whitney are plotting the Rally Diabolico, a four-day (April 2-5) test of 4-wheeling and navigation skills to be held in the Sonoran desert of Mexico. The rally, open to bikes, cars, quads, UTVs, and trucks, will make its way over untracked, open terrain to a series of waypoints. Each competitor will have a GPS unit, but it will show no roads or course, just distance and compass headings. “There will be a central bivouac or pit area for support so multiple chase vehicles will not be needed,” said Skilton. “The location is isolated, yet only a half hour or so south of the U.S.–Mexico border. Competitors will get the ultimate challenge without the risk or huge expense of competing on a different continent.” Learn more at rallydiabolico.com.
• Production has begun of Ford’s CNG-capable F-150. The gaseous-fuel prep option enables 3.7L V-6–equipped pickups to run on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.
Rover Goes Long
While certain members of the Range Rover team are out setting speed records in the Arabian Desert and on Pikes Peak, the British company hasn’t forgotten the luxury side of its business. Debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show was a long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover and the range-topping Autobiography Black Edition. The LWB Rover adds 51⁄2 inches of rear seat room by lengthening the floor in front of the rear wheels. Order the individual rear seats (with center console) and those seats will recline 17 degrees, 8 degrees more than the rear seats in the standard wheelbase versions.
The Autobiography Black is a limited edition (just 100 will be made for the U.S.) based on the LWB chassis. It will receive styling refinements on the outside and interior amenities that include massaging rear seats, electrically deploying tables in the rear console (with USB ports and cup holders), and LED “mood lighting.”
What’ll all this luxury set you back? The “basic” LWB Autobiography Black model will carry a MSRP of $185,000 when it goes on sale early this year. The first 25 built will be finished in Valloire White pearlescent paint, which raises the price to $199,500.