Photos by Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company
We've officially heard from Ford that it's uncertain if the company's upcoming global "T6" Ranger small truck will be available in North America after production of the U.S.-built Ranger ends in 2011. Now, the same pattern appears to be playing itself out for the Ranger's rival, the Chevrolet Colorado.
We've just received photos of a next-generation global Chevrolet Colorado mule out for a chilly test drive. Though it looks almost identical to the current Colorado that's built in Shreveport, La., there are a few notable differences we can see in the undisguised front end. The tester's upper headlight profile is shorter than the U.S.-built Colorado's, and it also has a new front bumper.
2010 Chevrolet Colorado built in Shreveport, La. in a GM stock photo
And although you can't see it in the pictures, the test truck was powered by a diesel engine, something that's neither available nor planned for the U.S. Colorado. This truck actually has more in common with the overseas-sold Isuzu D-Max diesel mule that was caught testing in the U.S. last winter, including identical wheels.
The current-generation Colorado and D-Max were engineered by GM and Isuzu on a common platform. It's likely the next-gen global Colorado will be a variation off of it.
Our sources say not to get our hopes up for a successor to the Colorado in the U.S. Last year, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said it was GM's plan to end production at the Shreveport plant (where the Hummer H3 and H3T are also produced) by 2012. GM, however, doesn’t plan to shutter its Chevy Colorado production facility in Thailand. The company recently received $445 million in loans to expand the plant for the next-gen Colorado and to produce its diesel engines there.