We just got these spy shots lat last week from our friends who make a pretty good living tracking down and getting pictures of prototype, pre-production test units, and these are the notes they sent along. From what we're hearing, the new Chevy Colorado is likely to be a 2015 model, but we can always hope it will get here sooner. For now, we know GM will have its hands full with the coming 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra half-tons.
Here's what Chris Doane Automotive wrote us:
When the export-only, 2012 Chevy Colorado made its debut in the fall of 2011 in Thailand, a not-so-small portion of American truck buyers were miffed. With dwindling and dated midsize truck offerings in the current U.S. market, pickup customers wanted a chance to buy the new Colorado.
Fortunately, GM has heard their pleas, and we've just spied a pair of U.S.-spec Chevy Colorado crew cab pickup mules out on their first drive in Southeast Michigan, testing against a Toyota Tacoma.
Caught at the very end of last week, our run-in with the American Colorado was much too brief. In those few seconds, we still got a pretty good look before the two trucks disappeared through a gate and into a GM facility. Even though time did not allow for much of a view inside the new Colorado, one important thing we did see about the interior is that this Colorado test vehicle is lefthand-drive.
On the outside, it appears the greenhouse and the doors on the Colorado won't change much from the export model. We've heard the U.S. Colorado will get updated front and rear ends, with the front of this prototype appearing a little more upright and squared off than the current, export model.
That said, at least one source informed us that it was still quite early in the development process for the U.S. Colorado, and that these mules might not be wearing all the final, U.S.-specific sheet metal.
In Asia, the Colorado is sold only with diesel motors. That won't be the case in the U.S. Here, we're hearing it will get a 3.6-liter V-6, and a smaller, four-cylinder for the entry-level model. That four-banger could be the 2.0-liter turbo from Cadillac ATS, or the 2.5-liter from the Malibu. And it would be nice if a four-cylinder turbo-diesel could also be offered.
We've also been told by one of our sources that GMC fans will be happy to hear that a Canyon pickup is also said to be in the works, and quite differentiated from the Chevy.
While most were hoping for the new Colorado to go on sale in 2013, that's probably too much to hope for. Since this new Colorado was never originally intended for the U.S. market, quite a bit of engineering work needs to be done to update it for U.S. federal standards and regulations.
As reported earlier, the factory chosen to build the U.S. Colorado is GM's Wentzville, Missouri, plant. Since this plant currently builds the Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, it will require extensive retooling and expansion to build the Colorado. GM plans to spend $380 million to do just that.
The end result of the needed vehicle engineering, and plant prep, is that the U.S. Colorado likely won't be able to start down the line until very late in 2013 or early 2014. This could push the Colorado to a 2015 model year vehicle.