Spy Photos: 2015 Chevy Colorado Caught

1 Chevy CO II

Photos by KGP Photography

Our spy shooters caught another prototype for Chevrolet's U.S.-spec Colorado midsize pickup truck being tested in Michigan. It's been pretty quiet lately from the spy photographers, which leads us to believe Chevy has been doing quite a bit of testing indoors lately — possibly not wanting to call attention away from the new 2014 Chevy Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra as they both hit the auto-show circuit. Here's what KGP sent us: 

Our latest look gives us our best feel yet for the healthy dimensions that make up this sub-Silverado pickup, with a sizable crew cab and what looks like a 6-foot bed. This latest prototype looks more-appropriately sized and spec'd to satisfy the American market, with less of the feel that was originally developed with South America and Thailand in mind.  

The new Colorado pickup and its GMC Canyon counterpart will be built in Wentzville, Mo., thanks to a $380 million investment into the plant that's currently tasked with building GM's full-size van lineup.

3 Chevy CO II

5 Chevy CO II

5a Chevy CO II

 

Comments

They certainly can't sell it in its current form, in regards to the rear wheel wells; looks like the tires are exposed.

On the plus side, that truck appears to have a nice sized bed for a 4 door cab!

To the keyboard warriors to follow this morning, please keep it clean.

Looks like a nice sized pickup for the average consumer. Hopefully some drivetrain options provide excellent fuel economy. A diesel hybrid might be the ticket.

The roof line and the rear windows look odd to me. I like to put a cap on my trucks and I think this one would look quite ugly with a cap. Also, the bed looks strange in regards to the wheel wells, almost looks like the wheels/tires are too small or the rear was lifted.

Oh god they are keeping that ugly front end

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From the side view, it looks pretty big for a "small" truck.

GM gonna stomp ford and ram here, oh yeah never mind ram and ford hung up their girl panties and ran scared from this market hahaha.

Mark, a lot of big fleet buyers of the Ranger are getting 3.7 XL F150s now: Do you know if their operating costs are comparable to the old Ranger? If they are..maybe Ford was right, a stripper base engine truck can fill the void financially AND provide more capability.

If so, that leaves only garagability and parking ease as a reason to go mid-size.

@HemiV8 - thanks for the great stories. We appreciate the positive contribution to the story.
I had found a similar story explaining the demise of small trucks, and small "stationwagon" like cars.

The Colorado does look very big. It looks even bigger than the Tacoma. I wonder if it is big enough to fall into the "low end" of the 1/2 ton truck CAFE rules? That would give it a huge edge over a smaller truck having to meet "small" truck standards.

I bet that we will see the global Ranger since the diesel going into the Transit already is in the Ranger.
Ford would really rattle the Colorado's cage if the engines from the Transit we put into an imported global Ranger.
"After recently announcing the introduction of a brand-new 3.2-liter I-5 baby Power Stroke turbo-diesel — to go along with the already-announced 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7L V-6 gas choices — Ford is now rolling out the details about exactly what the bodies and wheelbases will be."
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2012/12/ford-commercial-touts-van-lineup-and-mpg.html#more

Imagine a "baby" Raptor Ranger with the EB 3.5 or a Rock Ranger (baby PowerWagon) with the 3.2 Diesel?

The current 1/2 tons will get 3/4 ton big to exploit the rules, all of the other pickups will upsize to become MDT's with boxes. Why else would GMC go with 2 larger rear ends for the 1/2 ton?

If EPA/CAFE rules were homogenized with the rest of the world, we would see a collapse of the USA based auto industry. The larger vehicle market would implode as they would be penalized for their true size. That is why the USA governmnet will never go away from its current "footprint" formula.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/how-cafe-killed-compact-trucks-and-station-wagons/

@Mac "Also, the bed looks strange in regards to the wheel wells, almost looks like the wheels/tires are too small or the rear was lifted."

The prev-gen Silverado looked strange in this regard, too. GM probably designed it this way to prevent the rear suspension from hitting the bumpstops at full payload, without using stiff rear springs.

@Mike G - the big company my brother works for has been trialing some F150 3.7 litre V6 trucks. They were disapointed with the GMT900 4.8 V8 fuel economy. They got rock bottom prices for the GMC trucks but they haven't proven to be more economical in any metric other than purchase price. The only hold back for not going to V6 is the traditional truck guy orthodoxy that believes V8's are the only good work truck engine.
funny considering most of those "types" are old enough to remember inline 6's like the Ford 300ci or Chevy 250ci in 3/4 ton trucks.

This is soooo much better than the 2014 Silverado. This looks like it could be something.

@Hemi V8
Great stuff mate. I have been trying to discuss these influences in the US's vehicle design regulations.

Your EPA has stringent and protectionist regulations for diesel as well, which biased towards gasoline engines.

@ Lou

I remember those 300ci in-line six's from Fords past. I still have one. Lots of torque and gears (manual) did the job just fine. I purchased it from a auction at a Shell oil refinery for $1200. It has 42,000 miles on it. Great for the farm.

GM gonna stomp ford and ram here, oh yeah never mind ram and ford hung up their...

Two things made this possible. 1) a massive bailout and 2) compromised half tons from GM.

GM is the king of compromised vehicles. Silverado gets compromised due to GMC. Half tons get compromised due the Colorado. Colorado was always compromised because of poor quality.

Obama should have been impeached for this and the bank bailouts. - oxi.

Looking at the cladding on the front end, I believe there's a lot of foam padding to disguise a more aerodynamic shape. I will admit the proportions look a little better than some, but the bed is still shorter than the overall nose and cab, which makes it look less functional as a truck and more like an SUV with an open cargo area--limiting gated-in cargo to maybe 5-1/2 feet at most. Of course, personally I'm not a fan of a full crew cab truck and honestly don't have a need for one--extended cab with 'hidden' rear doors is much more my taste.

However, the overall size is closer to what I prefer.

GM = MAJOR government bailout...

Why should we care about this LOSER company that cannot keep themselves profitable and required a political bailout from the democraps to cover their POOR decisions and management!

Why should we have to pay for their mistakes?

Posted by: oxi | Nov 30, 2012 8:43:32 AM

@Lou and HEMI V8
If your half ton pickups increase in size to HD sizes in order to work around CAFE regulations and mid sizer increase their wheel bases as well, mid sizers could be the future.

There are alot of people who feel enough is enough in the size of 1/2 ton pickups and sales will fall. There will be 1/2 ton pickups still but not as many. This will probably take sales from current "SUV" HD owners.

If mid sizers can meet the publics expectations I don't see why this couldn't occur. Mid sizer now are very capable, more so than 1/2 pickups from a decade ago.

The tides are "a turnin'".

Looks like it will look pretty similiar to the one overseas. You can tell it has the sloped from hood, just padding in these photos, also its clearly missing the fender flares since the back wheels are sticking out.

Since the mid-1990s, midsize trucks have been declining in popularity for a variety of reasons. As automakers continue to make their larger pickups more and more fuel efficient, a major selling point for smaller trucks has become obsolete. And as consumers have demanded more features in midsize trucks, they are no longer a cheap alternative.

@Lou: A point-by-point response to your most recent comment--

You mention the Colorado may stretch into the low end of the 1/2-ton trucks while the 1/2-ton pushes into the 3/4-ton size. I hate to say it, but honestly the half-tons are already there. Checking out Ford, RAM and Chevy websites last night showed that nearly every 1/2-ton truck out there--especially the lower-end 'working' models--carried a 3/4-ton load capacity.

Rumors and analysts have been pretty much declaring that small diesels are scheduled to hit the US market sooner rather than later. We've seen diesels in cars for more than a decade now (not counting some of those bastardized gas-block-diesel-head monsters that came out in the 80s) and their performance and reliability is proving itself. It's just a matter of convincing American drivers that they really can work in an everyday driver and the number of modified trucks I see where I live pretty well proves that diesel has made its point. People are buying 6-cyl trucks and replacing the engine with a big diesel. A little more time and the small diesels should be common.

As for the current CAFE rules--I believe they've already been changed as manufacturers have to attain a 55 mpg across-the-fleet average before '25 which means they'll need to produce a LOT of electrics or bring the size of trucks back down simply to lighten them enough to get better mileage.

The midsize-truck segment declined to six percent of the U.S. light-vehicle market in 2000, 4.4 percent in 2003, then three percent by 2007. Last year, midsize pickups accounted for only about two percent of total U.S. light-vehicle sales, versus more than 11 percent for fullsize pickups -- even after one might have assumed that the end of the Great Recession and a new epoch of higher gasoline prices would have drawn more buyers into midsizers and out of fullsize pickups.

But one of the abiding characteristics of the truck market is that there just isn’t much flow between midsize buyers and the fullsize crowd. Americans who exited the fullsize segment didn’t simply migrate to midsize trucks “because they still need fullsize capabilities,” he explained. “The people who left fullsize had more options than just dropping to a compact truck,” including large utility vehicles.

If I had a need for a NEW pickup (hauling large items, working a construction jobsite or towing anything larger than a utility cart), then I would opt for the biggest, baddest truck I could afford. Mini-pickups need not apply.

@HEMI V8
You're correct in the profit margins of 1/2 trucks. But I wouldn't say the features on a 1/2 ton are better.

From a vehicle dynamics perspective the most recent mid sizers are exceptionally well done, even to the point as a working/recreational vehicle they will outperform a 1/2 ton truck. And performance and vehicle dynamics is not only 0-60 acceleration times or even the width of a vehicle when some mid sizers are already 6' 5" wide.

Our curret mid sizers biggest attributes are their off road, tow ability and comfort/ergonomics. They have become that good that Landcruiser wagons and Patrols are feeling the brunt of their capability. These higher end 4x4 wagons have had to move even higher into the prestige bracket.

The jump that Ram has made with the 8 speed, Pentastar etc we have made in our mid sizers already, plus some a couple of years ago.

Because of fuel costs etc we are using diesel technology and diesel technology is outstripping gasoline in efficiency by a large margin. Gasoline technology is near its end game.

Another reason for the decline in popularity of mid sizers in the USA and Canada is the lack of investment by the auto makers because regulations are making it more prohibitive to do so (lack of return).

This lack of investment in the NA market has annoyed me because the world could have many more choices of pickups, even mid sizers with V8s. The US could be one of the worlds largest vehicle exporters if it made competitive global pickups. But they are now heavily designed and developed outside of the US.

Your best mid sizer is the Tacoma, which is essentially a 90's Hilux. The Taco is 3 generations behind our newest mid sizers.

Even the Colorado isn't the best mid sizer we have. Hopefully the US spec'd version will iron out the bugs in it and improve the interior, which isn't the best. And the front end is horrible, I don't know why it is so hard for all of the pickup manufacturers to make a good looking front end.

I know you like Rams, but I haven't heard anything about Ram and mid sizers. Maybe Ram will stay as it is and put the VM diesel in it from the Cherokee and give you a 30mpg 1/2 ton pickup.

You have to remember Hemi V8 that outside of the US there isn't affordable HD style pickups. So the mid sizers have evolved into a much more flexible vehicle than your 1/2 ton trucks.

Your HD market has created niche and sub markets that are reliant on that type of vehicle ie trailer and fifth wheelers.

Just look at the VM diesel Grand Cherokee and that will give you and idea on what we have. But this is only over the past couple of years we have had this. Prior to two years ago I wouldn't have considered a mid sizer and I would have considered a US style 1/2 ton pickup or SUV.

@DW Fields
I do believe that the NA market is at its zenith with the current half ton pickup.

I do still believe the new mid sizers will become much more common. Remember affordability of maintaining the vehicle.

Not everyone can afford pickups getting 15-20mpg on average. Diesel mid sizers will almost double those figures and still provide an adequate platform for what you guys use your half ton pickups for.

A lot on this site only quote highway mpg's and that's the manufacturers figures supplied to the EPA. When in fact most live in urban areas and would rarely achieve those figures. This is where diesel will show the biggest improvements.

The diesel take up in the US will be much easier than alot of people think. Australia, UK and even Europe took up diesels with no problems and we were no different than you guys about gasoline being superior to diesel. We've been there over 20 years ago.

I remember all of the comments when we went from leaded to unleaded gasoline. Even newpaper articles about engines only lasting 50 000km because the valves would burn out when the lead was removed.

A lot of the comments on this site about diesel are ill informed scare mongering. And alot of the comments are made by middle aged people which really amazes me.

Since the mid-1990s, midsize trucks have been declining in popularity for a variety of reasons. As automakers continue to make their larger pickups more and more fuel efficient, a major selling point for smaller trucks has become obsolete. And as consumers have demanded more features in midsize trucks, they are no longer a cheap alternative.

Toyota should not worry, the Tacoma is still the benchmark!

@HEMI
What are you comparing your efficiency gains to?

A global market in which we are living in? If that is the case, no, your pickups are still no different.

For the US to survive it has to work more closely with the rest of us.

Remember the US is part of the global market. It was the country along with the rest of the OECD that has been pushing of an expansion of trade

Since the mid-1990s, midsize trucks have been declining in popularity for a variety of reasons. As automakers continue to make their larger pickups more and more fuel efficient, a major selling point for smaller trucks has become obsolete. And as consumers have demanded more features in midsize trucks, they are no longer a cheap alternative.

@oxi
Toyota used to be the benchmark. And that was the Hilux outside of NA, which is a generation ahead of the Taco.

We are talking about the Colorado, this vehicle is immensely more capable than your Tacoma, especially if you can get the Colorado with a 2.8 diesel.

If it is anything like our Colorado your Taco will be left behind off road by quite a large margin.

The only handicap I can see with this Colorado is the lengthened wheel base for off road work.

@HEMI V8
I really thought you have changed.

Since the mid-1990s, midsize trucks have been declining in popularity for a variety of reasons. As automakers continue to make their larger pickups more and more fuel efficient, a major selling point for smaller trucks has become obsolete. And as consumers have demanded more features in midsize trucks, they are no longer a cheap alternative.

@HEMI V8 (and oxi)
Stop using interanal comparisons, look outside of the US and see what is going on. This is where the competition lies. This is also influencing your future.

@DWFields
Side shots of the Holden Colorado compare them to the mule running around in the US.

http://www.myrv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-Colorado-DX-Single-Cab-side.jpg

http://www.myrv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-Colorado-LTZ-Space-Cab-side-profile.jpg

@Big Al--I the Colorado would put the same grill that is on the 2013 Chevy Traverse it would look much better. The new grill on the 2013 Traverse has smaller chrome horizontal bars with a smaller grill emblem. That would help the front a lot. As for the size of this truck it looks like it has grown from the previous Colorado. I would have to see it in person to tell by how much. I think this has a chance of selling well. Not everyone needs the current sized full size half tons.

They are using an old Colorado bed with this test vehicle, notice 1. the wheel well shape, 2. Old bed is narrower, 3. Has old tailgate handle. So the actual bed will be wider with an inch or 2 longer and with round wheel wells.

Current frontal shot of the Colorado. It looks like they have added a Dualcab to the XLT version for use in the US. I would guess the payload would be reduced compared to the Australian version.
http://www.myrv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-Colorado-LTZ-Crew-Cab-front.jpg

@Big Al from Oz - maybe the first few posts from HemiV8 were a troll attempt that backfired?

@DWFields - 1/2 tons are already crossing into the 3/4 ton realm but only in regular cab and some extended cab configurations. A 1480lb capacity in a 1/2 ton crewcab by simple definitions is a 3/4 ton but if you load 5 people into the truck, that leaves 500 lb for cargo. My truck has a 135 litre (36 USA gallon) which weighs 103 kg or 227lb . That puts you down to 180 lb of cargo.
That isn't threatening a 3/4 ton crewcab of similar dimensions at 3140 lbs. of total capacity.
As I said, pickup nomenclature is woefully outdated.
A 5-6 passenger pickup should be rated for 1,000 - 1,500 lb with those passengers on board.

@Jeff S
I do think, there are alot of average looking front ends on pickups lately. Even some of our global pickups are quite unattractive from the front.

One of the nicest looking front ends is on the VW Amarok.

The Ram is looking outdated and doesn't have a retro feel about it, if that is what they are targeting.

The front end on my BT50 was quite fugly, but the bull bar and driving lights have made a huge improvement.

I don't know why there is a need to have an acre of grill which seems to be the current trend. Is that to compensate for smaller engines. Even some mid sizer have alot of square feet of grill. Could be cheaper and lighter.

Lou, The weight and payload already factors in oil, lubricants and a full tank of fuel. No need to subtract for that.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/2012/12_TruckPayload_SB.pdf

@Jeff S
Here is a picture of the VW Amarok pickup. They are actually 1944mm wide or about 6'5". Looks can be decieving.

http://www.ausmotive.com/2010/10/16/aims-2010-volkswagen-amarok.html

Ugly.

@Dave D
If you have to worry about loading the pickup with passengers and not having the capacity to haul more, don't you think the manufactuers' should re-evaluate the vehicle design.

All they have to do is increase the load capacity of a half ton pickup by 500lbs to make it more versitile. This technology exists.

As I have been saying 1/2 pickups are evolving into muscle cars replacements and daily hauler/family wagon replacement and are losing the original concept of a work vehicle.

You can still add all of the "luxury" items, but retain the workability of the vehicle.

I just hope our pickups retain the work truck under pinnings.

Or do you want an SUV with a box?

@Big Al from Oz
In the attractive design stakes..well let us start with the unattractive ones, the BT-50(side view is not bad though), and the Mitsubishi Triton stand out. The new Ranger appears to be a cousin of the Hilux. Amarok does look neat.
US Pickups F series and Silverado do not stand out.Maybe a deliberate approach by the companies. who do not want alienating designs in a vital segment for the US Automobile industry. The RAM looks like it came out of a Korean design studio

Get a clue. They make a Max Tow which can add another 500 lbs of payload and a HD Payload that can add another 1200 lbs.

I really look forward to this truck. It's Chevrolet's ace in the hole if they did it right. Let's just hope it shares absolutely nothing in common with the Thailand truck. The front end, interior and bed were all really bad. I see what looks like round wheel openings and that should make many Chevy guys happy who aren't fond of the square stuff. Hopefully this will have step bars standard on the sides and cover that frame a little. Most Colorado's I've seen seem to have some nice factory installed chromes ones. They look very sharp on an otherwise not so handsome truck. Currently that is. I loved the old S-10's! Just not the 2004 and up Colorado.

@Robert Ryan
I bought some 6" KC Daylighters when in the States and have fitted them already.

The driving lights and bull bar has improved the front end of the ute significantly.

Maybe Mazda designed to front like that on purpose so they can sell more bull bars.

The mounting system seems very robust and they are very shinny and pretty which matches the chrome bits on the front end of my ute.

I'll try and post some pictures of my ute, but I still haven't worked out how (or put much effort into finding out is closer to the truth).



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