The Holden Colorado may be dead, but its Chevrolet cousin is entering a new generation with turbo-petrol power and fresh technology.
The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado is powered exclusively by a turbocharged 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine, borrowed from the larger Silverado and available in three different tunes.
It’ll go up against the new Ford Ranger in North America, with the Blue Oval ute expected to continue to feature a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine as standard there.
The new Colorado isn’t expected to join the locally remanufactured Chevrolet Silverado in local GMSV showrooms.
The new model’s four-cylinder engines replace the old 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines and the Duramax 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder.
Standard in the Work Truck (WT) and LT is a 177kW and 351Nm tune, with a maximum towing capacity of 1588kg.
The Z71 and new Trail Boss use a Plus tune of this engine, with 231kW, 529Nm, and 3493kg of towing capacity. This is optional in the WT and LT.
Finally, there’s a 231kW and 583Nm High-Output version in the flagship ZR2. Both of these higher output tunes out-punch all of the outgoing model’s engines in both power and torque.
The only transmission is a new-generation eight-speed automatic, designed to offer smooth shifting, quicker downshifts, and greater low-speed performance for off-roading.
Chevrolet says the 2.7-litre has received numerous enhancements to improve performance and refinement, including a stiffer crankshaft and more rigid cylinder block casting.
It also says the engine features materials used in diesel engines “to deliver the durability customers expect”.
Chevrolet says the Colorado rides a new chassis, and features a 78mm longer wheelbase than the current Crew Cab/short box model.
The Colorado has been revealed only in dual-cab guise, though the outgoing model is offered in two-door Extended Cab guise.
The new Trail Boss variant features a two-inch suspension lift for greater ground clearance, plus a 76mm wider front track compared with the WT and LT; its interior and exterior styling closely resembles those of the WT.
The ZR2 sits even higher with a three-inch lift, with 272mm of ground clearance overall. It also features Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers.
The off-road flagship has approach, departure and breakover angles of 38.3 degrees, 25.1 degrees and 24.6 degrees, respectively, with electronic locking front and rear differentials, and modified front and rear bumpers.
The more affordable Trail Boss, in contrast, offers approach, departure and breakover angles of 30.5 degrees, 22.4 degrees and 21 degrees, respectively – modest improvements over the more road-oriented Z71.
Off-road drive modes include Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Terrain and Baja, the latter for high-speed desert running.
Only the Z71 and ZR2 get LED lighting, while the ZR2 also offers a Desert Boss package with 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, a roof-mounted light bar, underbody camera, and unique exterior trim.
Inside, all models feature an 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system running on Google Built-In and an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster display.
The dashboard design is seemingly inspired by that of the Camaro and Blazer, particularly the circular air vents.
LT models feature more soft-touch surfaces, while Z71 and ZR2 variants also feature unique contrast stitching.
Standard safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane-keep assist, with available equipment including blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic assist, adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera.
Production of the Colorado will begin in the first half of 2023 at GM’s Wentzville, Missouri facility, which also builds the 1996-vintage Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans.
The Colorado will be followed by a closely related GMC Canyon. While the GMC division for years offered only rebadged Chevrolets, in recent years GM has invested in greater differentiation for GMC models including unique sheetmetal.
The outgoing North American Colorado was a heavily overhauled version of the global Colorado, sold here as a Holden.
While Thai production of that model has ended with GM’s sale of its Rayong plant to Great Wall Motors in 2020, the global Colorado lives on in South America.
It’s produced in Brazil and sold on the continent as the S10.
Chevrolet is reportedly working on a Colorado EV, based on a dedicated electric vehicle architecture.
Like the upcoming Silverado EV, Equinox EV and Blazer EV, it’ll be sold alongside its combustion-powered counterpart.