Spied! Next-Generation Chevrolet Colorado

Spied! Next-Generation Chevrolet Colorado
Photo: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company

A few weeks ago, our spies caught a next-generation Chevrolet Colorado engineering mule out for some cold weather testing wearing the sheetmetal of the last-gen Thai-built Colorado. Now, they've caught a camouflaged prototype of the future Colorado that's expected to go on sale in markets outside of the U.S. by late 2011.

Last week, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon faced an uncertain future -- at least in the United States. While GM hasn't officially said U.S. Colorado and Canyon production will end, last year, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said it was GM's plan to end production at the Shreveport plant where they're built by 2012.

Ford has said production of its Ranger compact pickup will end by 2011, and Chrysler has said the Dodge Dakota will end production next year, though the Dakota may be replaced by a small unibody pickup.

Overseas, it's a different story. GM 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 four-cylinder diesel engines.

The right-hand drive truck shown here is an extended cab model. It appears to be a bit larger than the current Thai Colorado, which shared its GMT355 platform with the Isuzu D-Max. The nose appears to have some front-end styling cues shared with the Chevy Equinox crossover.

Next-gen Colorado front end
Photo: Chris Doane for Brenda Priddy & Company

GM and Isuzu are not expected to share pickups after the new truck arrives. The two companies cut most ties -- except the jointly operated DMAX engine plant where the Duramax diesel V-8 engine is built -- after GM sold its ownership stake in Isuzu in 2006.

The toughest clean diesel regulations in the world and a 25 percent import tariff on most foreign-built pickups are two expensive strikes against this Colorado showing up here.

The new Colorado will compete against the upcoming "T6" Ford Ranger, new Volkswagen Amarok pickup and existing models from Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan.


I like the outline of this better than the Ranger mules I've seen. R U listening Ford?

Wow, GM does not trust the U.S. worker, the government sends $445 million to Thailand while it shuts more plants!

Thank you Toyota for continuing to trust U.S. workers!

My 2005 Tacoma was made in Fremont, Cali. and I just picked up my 2010 Tacoma that was also made in Fremont, Cali.

Only 7 miles on her at dealer pickup...

I do not trust the federal government nor would I trust the vehicles they produce!

And we can't get a small(er) diesel pick-up here why?

mitusbishi will build the first invisible truck call the Fader.
like the fade away.

At the same time the big 3 are tripping over each other to bring as many small cars to market as they can, they are all handing over any small truck business to someone else. Will Toyota and Nissan walk away with all future business...we'll see.

Why did we bail these GM jerks out ? so we can get stuck driving massive porker mobiles ? god I hope Mahindra actually sells there trucks here screw you GM and Ford and Dodge if you dont want to sell small trucks here .

Trucktrend has an article on foreign versions of the Nissan Frontier (Navara) getting a 3.0L V6 diesel with 235HP/405 lb-ft. Now that would be sweet.

To Gofaster

GM spend 445 millions in Thailand to make billions in Asia you miss the point my friend.

And you bought a Tacoma that's why GM spend millions in Thailand you don't trust American workers. Have you ever wonder why Toyopet make money in the U.S. today? They propably spent millions years ago in your country.

By the way watch you truck frame here in Canada they rot as fast as a tomato can. (same for tundra owners)

Hope you can stop your truck before the snowbelt or the rust will do the job.

I don't really need a 1/2 ton even though that's my preference. My wife prefers a smaller truck. It looks like Toyota,Honda, and Nissan will be the only choices. Too bad. Poor compact truck sales have been a self inflicted disease because of the lack of investment.
Why do the full size trucks get 6 speed auto's, MDS, VVI, and soon they'll have turbo's, adaptive aerodynamics etc ?
You put those technologies in compacts and you'd have 40+ MPG p/u's.

do you people not see they are trying to tease us. first its every1 is shutting production of their compact pickups and then its but wait we have spy shots. they are teasing us and it really tics me off man. ranger going to end in 2011 but wait here is spy shots, off course they are not going to end ranger and colorado production. especially the ranger, it will continue, shut the crappy drama and give us the info that is true and that we want to hear. Although since Ford is going with sharper edges on their newer trucks i probaly will get like a 2007 centeral american crew cab ranger, but non the less Ford for freedom and strength.

-Christ Bless

Toyota and Mahindra are going to clean up in the US once Ford, GM and Chrysler opt out of the small pick up market. Like they (the big 3)could afford to lose any additonal market share?

Oxi- Toyota trusts our worker? What, in all two of their assembly plants here??

Get real.

A full-size F-150 is better for families than a compact truck because of the increased safety. That should be one of the biggest selling points for women with families: the need for safety.

ummm, any of you jerks consider it may be $445million in THAI Government loans? It's not just US jobs that need some protection.

They're most likely moving production to Mexico like they did with the fullsize trucks.

@oxi: Um, what? Toyota is bailing from US production as fast as it possibly can. The crappy union labor has cost them too much money.

@Mark - not everyone wants or needs a full size pickup. I've read many complaints from people who say a full size truck is too awkward to drive/park in large urban centers. My place of work is building a multi-level "parkaid" that isn't going to be very user friendly to full size trucks.
If the Detroit 3 will not give the consumer what they want then the "imports" will. The whole "bigger is better" theory will rapidly go down the toilet once fuel prices rise again.

There just isn't a profitable market in the U.S. for compact pickups or 1/2 ton diesels. Manhindra might be able to offer a small diesel pickup, but only because of their very low labor costs.

"There just isn't a profitable market in the U.S. for compact pickups or 1/2 ton diesels. Manhindra might be able to offer a small diesel pickup, but only because of their very low labor costs". - Big Bob

This is the same reason why Ford is doing away with the Manual Transmission. There isn't much of a market for it let alone turning a profit.

I see Toyota gaining big market share, but to Ford and GM/Chryco they think it's minimal.

Give me a rabbit diesel pickup for back and forth to work and running to the grocery store. Got my Ford F250 for the big loads. Would love a lovable little guy with a diesel in it. Doesn't make sense to have to add a second storage tank at the farm just for a gas-guzzling car when everything else around here is diesel. Love the fact that in EVERY other country you can get wicked small trucks that are useful with a diesel engine that cost mere pennies more than the gas version. Thank you CARB and CAFE. Keep us using more foreign oil for our gas starving cars!

The Toyota rust buckets are sometimes called Tundra and Tacoma.

I understand, Lou. Not everyone thinks they want or need a F-150 when they buy a truck but when you think about your family and the increased safety you have to think about it over the convenience of parking in small spaces and fuel prices. I saw someone driving one of those mini smart cars at the mall today and on the highway. They put their life in their own hands by driving those compact vehicles.

Ah, the Toyota employees are on a M spy photo thread posting their propaganda of desperation...Guess all those Toyota quality and safety problems are really starting to hurt. Shame on you even more, Toyota.

10 million Toyotas rcalled and counting...

@LOU, If you can't park a full size Truck in a parkin garage, you shouldn't have a Driver License...LOL What it is the people who drive cars in the parkin garages don't park right either and take up two lanes. I have no problem parking my Silverado Crew Cab. Now I think a full size regular Cab is what Mark was talkin about. Me, I feel move comfortable and Safe in Full Size Truck than those Little Trucks.. Just my Opinion....

I know for a fact i cant park my 2002 F-250 ex cab long bed in the garage. I've tried ever way about 1/4th of the beast hangs out and i love it.

Some stalls are way to narrow, or too short for a full size p/u. Some parking garages are very low, and from a height perspective also won't clear. I have no problems parking unless other people don't park correctly and eat up all the available space. I used to have an F250 regular cab with an 8 foot box. My wife hated driving it around town. I have to take her needs into consideration as well.
Maybe I should buy a crew cab dually with 8 foot box. That way I'd have the truck all to myself;)

nobody listens GM small truck is going to be more efficient and built on a different chassis ,similiar to the honda truck...WHY ???????? ask MR CAFE...ratings that is...

I was recently in Aruba, which, like everywhere but the US, allows for their citizens to purchase nice little diesel pickups. Anyway, while I was out there I rented a Toyota Hilux, just because I always hear so much about the Hilux.

Anyway, the thing was great. With the little 4cyl turbo-diesel and manual transmission it was plenty peppy (though I didn't try hauling any big loads), it drove nice onroad and off, I could park it anywhere, and the best feature of all......after a week of driving around the needle barely moved off the full mark. It wasn't even visibly that dirty or noisy either; no black smoke that I could see and plenty quiet inside and out.

It's a real shame we have such trouble getting trucks and suvs like that here. I would gladly buy something like that for a little runabout when I don't want to use my 3/4 ton.

"I was recently in Aruba, which, like everywhere but the US, allows for their citizens to purchase nice little diesel pickups. Anyway, while I was out there I rented a Toyota Hilux, just because I always hear so much about the Hilux."

The Hilux is possibly the noisiest of the Asian sourced vehicles available in Australia. Also less capable than a lot of the others .

What did GM just recall today? Like 1.3 million compacts after the NHTSA investigated over 1,000 complaints for over 900,000 of these built!


Hey Oxi, yeah so what if gm recalled those cars, at least the DA** throttles weren't stuck and brakes dont fail.

To Dave regarding "moving the production to mexico". Gm closed one plant in mexico that manufactured medium duty trucks. They only have 1 plant in mexico that puts together crew cab half tons, and 3 plants here in the U.S. that manufactures half tons through 1 tons of all configurations, and 1 plant in Michigan increasing production (adding another shift). They closed 1 truck plant in Canada, so majority of their trucks are still built here.

My personal opinion about why we don’t have small diesels here is mainly due to the oil and gas companies here. They are afraid that they would be too popular and not make as much money on us. Also I believe that having small diesels would hurt the automotive parts industry because those little diesels engines are some much more reliable. I lived in Great Britain for 7 years and for 6 of those years we had a car about the size of a sedan escort and it had a 1.6L diesel 4cyl and we got 60mpg regularly and it had plenty of power to get around and nothing ever went wrong either. What I don’t understand is why the government is putting all these regulations on the emissions of diesels because an older Cummins 2500 will get about 20-25 mpg but the new ones with the new emissions stuff on them, people are only getting around 15-17. Just my 2 cents. Any thoughts?

Then that's RT-50. Beforewe can talk Chevy, we must talk about Isuzu first.

I, for one, will happily give my hard-earned money to Ford, GM, Toyota, or even Volkswagen. Whoever is first to bring a "real" pickup (not a unibody mini-Honda-Ridgeline) to market that will fit in a garage and has a manual transmission with a diesel. I CAN safely drive a fullsize (I used to drive tri-axle dump trucks) but why would I want to burn twice the fuel? I don't need or want the payload, and I'm not trying to impress anyone with the size of my truck. Plus, smaller is better offroad.

Thank you UAW for making it prohibitively expensive to build a good vehicle here, and Congress for making it prohibitively expensive to import it from elsewhere.

The reason we don’t have these reasonable truck products (and autos) available here in the U.S. starts and ends with the federal government (politicians), the EPA, and of course – the lawyers. The makers would be glad to sell us more products. Why we keep putting up with the loss of our freedoms and let unqualified egomaniacs tell us what is good for us is forever beyond me. I got involved a long time ago. I invite all of you, if you have not, to join me and others that are working to change the imbecilic political culture in our states and D.C.

Until some company can make a small truck for significantly less money than a big truck, these little trucks will be made and sold somewhere else. The main reason why big trucks aren't that much more (and with incentives, sometimes less) is because of volume. The more parts they make or have made, the lower to piece price. This keeps the overall prices comptitive. There is no reason, at least to most Americans, for spending that much for a Colorado, Dakota or Ranger when they can get a real truck for the same price.
And to gofast, too bad about having to replace your Toyota after only 5 years. I'm still driving my 92 Chevy.

I just had a swell idea - what do you guys think?
Take the Mitsubishi Raider - what's left of it anyway - and rebadge it as a Dakota. I like the Raider's styling better than the Dakota's IMHO. In other words, the Raider in its exact design should be resurrected and rebadged as a RAM Dakota. But I digress...
I'm starting to like this outline of the future Colorado. The US is stupid not to reconsider this as an inhouse opportunity down the road. AND DONT SAY YOU DONT HAVE THE BUCKS GM BECAUSE WE BAILED YOUR BUTTS OUT!!!

I’m growing increasingly frustrated by this situation – the compact/midsize pickup market in the US is being increasingly neglected. And there is ample of evidence to back this up:

-The Ford Ranger will be discontinued in 2011 and its successor, dubbed ‘T6’ Ford Ranger, will be sold outside of North America
-The promising VW Amarok will also not be sold in North America
-The rumored phase outs of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon will be replaced by vehicles not sold in the US

There are no currently no existing US-based manufacturers with a vision for this segment of the pickup market.

Kudos to Mahindra for making a push in this neglected segment. Their trucks really stand out amongst the current compact/midsize offering. It sure seems that their size, payload capacity and fuel economy will make for solid, utilitarian trucks that will get the job done. And let’s not forget their diesel engine. Clean diesel technology has been ignored for far too long in the US. Can’t wait for a test drive.

@ToyotaRecallShame: You like Ford's recall a few years ago better? hundreds of deaths BEFORE any recalls. Toyota makes Thousands of recalls when there were only 32 Deaths. The Ford Explorer was still being Sold, with no recalls on the vehicle, only the Tires, for 6 years. A test done in 2006, 6 years after hundreds of deaths had been reported, showed that the vehicle rolled in emergency maneuvers regardless of tire choice... Toyota started their recall within a month of the first confirmed cases. Who do you trust?

Well said JohnDre. :)

haha, all the little Toyota lovers are upset, they are getting nervous now, because their cover has been blown to show that they build crappy cars, that kill people. Toyota is the main reason that GM recalled the Cobalt, and its siblings, Toyota owns the company that made the power steering pump. Toyota was really good at one thing, lying, and now they aren't even good at that anymore. Looks like they are going down the toilet with their crappy products.

They say, oh there's no market in the US for small trucks? Well give us a truck that gets over 30mpg and they will sell like hotcakes. I'll be damn if i'm buying a colorado that gets 14 around town my full size does that. back in the 80's mazda had trucks that got 32 in town and 40 on the highway. All this technology and we are going backwards. Yet overseas they have all these 4 cyl diesels getting decent mileage.

The comments to this entry are closed.