Monday, November 25, 2013

Chevrolet unveils the 2015 Colorado, says the midsize pickup will get a diesel option

Slated to make the official reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show at 12:30 p.m. ET,Chevolet decided to take the wraps off the 2015 Colorado a bit earlier while confirming a rumor about the midsize pickup that should make a lot of folks happy.

Chevrolet says the Colorado is built with the “DNA of a full-size pickup,” meaning it packs plenty of power in its smaller frame. In fact, Chevrolet says it “expects Colorado to be the most powerful truck in the segment” and that the truck was built with hauling and towing in mind.

Customers will have a choice between two engines when the truck goes on sale next fall: a 2.5-liter, 193-horsepower I-4 will come standard, producing 184 lb.-ft. of torque. A a 3.6-liter V-6 producing 270 lb.-ft. of torque will be an option. Chevrolet says when properly equipped the Colorado should offer class-leading payload capacity and a trailering capacity of more than 6,700 pounds.

Both of the trucks will initially be matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, but Chevrolet says it is open to offering a manual if customers say they want it.

Outside of the unveiling, the big news is that Chevrolet will offer a diesel option beginning in 2015 (2016 models). As rumored, the Colorado will offer a 2.8-liter Duramax I-4. GM already offers this engine it the global version of the Colorado.

There’s no details just yet on fuel economy for either the I-4, V-6 or diesel, but we’d have to imagine a truck this small and this light will fare much better than its full-size siblings—especially the diesel.

Speaking of the global version of the truck, the North American Colorado has different styling, but still resembles the global version more than it does the Silverado. It’s a bit of a mash-up between the two with Chevrolet making the design changes to the global version necessary to appeal to the American market.

Plus, the North American Colorado’s frame is 40-percent lighter than the global version despite the fact that it uses high-strength steel and is much longer. The new truck offers three wheelbases in the crew cab with a 5- or 6-foot bed and an extended cab with a 6-foot bed.

The WT, LT and Z71 trims will be available on the Colorado and all in 2WD or 4WD. The off-road Z71 will feature a gunmetal grille surround, projector headlamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

It’s exciting to see the midsize segment get a much needed breath of fresh air. In recent years more and more truck owners have voiced their desire for a smaller truck with decent power and that’s what Chevy is trying to deliver here. Whether it proves to be a successful bet is yet to be seen, but the diesel option coming in 2015 is definitely an interesting development and we have a feeling it will only fuel similar announcements from other automakers in the future.

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