2012 Chevrolet Colorado makes its debut in Thailand

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 6, 2011

Chevrolet’s next-generation midsize pickup truck -- the Colorado – had its global debut in Thailand earlier this week. So far, it hasn’t been confirmed yet if the truck will be available to U.S. customers. However, the General Motors-UAW pact inked last September stated that a midsize truck will be built in Wentzville, Mo., as part of a $380 million investment.

This Colorado model is set to be the replacement of the truck in the U.S. that has been around for quite some time now. Colorado will be offered as a global truck and will be available in 60 markets. The company noted a 30% increase in the January to September 2011 sales to 23,985 units.

Producing the next-gen Colorado here would result to the addition of 1,850 jobs at the Missouri plant. GM hasn’t given an official statement about this but it’s expected to confirm it soon. A spokesman said that Chevrolet considers the midsize truck market to be an “important” one. He said that the new Colorado has attracted plenty of interest but there’s currently nothing to confirm just yet.

The global Colorado will be available with 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter turbodiesel engines as well as five-speed manual and six-speed Hydra-Matic auto gearboxes. GM’s South American design center in Brazil styled the truck, drawing cues from the latest range of Colorado concepts shown on the global auto-show circuit.

Only minor revisions were done on the present Colorado since it was launched in the U.S. for 2004. Its rivals in the midsize segment include Ram Dakota and the Toyota Tacoma. The Colorado is slotted as an entry-level truck that offers features and capabilities (for the four-wheel drive) that are below the Silverado.

Designed by the GM South America Design Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the new Chevrolet Colorado features several styling cues from three Colorado concepts unveiled in Argentina, Australia, Germany and Thailand this year. These styling cues include power dome in the hood and a raised cowl, as well as higher-mounted dual projector headlamps – all provide the new with Colorado a strong yet purposeful front appearance.

Located in between the headlights is a prominent dual-port grille, which features a 3D grille mesh and, on high-level models, a grille surround with chrome appointments. Also, high-level models of the Chevrolet Colorado feature door handles, mirror caps, tailgate handle, headlamps and fog lamps with chrome appointments, as well as available LED-illuminated tail lamps. In effect, all of these design elements allow the new Chevrolet Colorado to sport premium appearance.

This premium look is further reinforced by detailed sheet metal work that can be found throughout the Colorado exterior, including on the hood and door panels. This metal work blends several layers of natural light to result to an uncluttered neat surface look.

Inside, the new Chevrolet Colorado comes with an integrated center stack and a flowing instrument panel, as well as Chevrolet’s dual cockpit design – resulting to an interior that harmoniously blends car-like attributes and the boldness of a pickup. Since the new Chevrolet Colorado features best-in-segment headroom, front- and second-row shoulder room, and seat height, it offers a comfortable interior for both drivers and passengers.

Press Release

All-New Chevrolet Colorado Revealed to the World

The all-new Chevrolet Colorado, designed and engineered to be General Motors’ toughest, highest-performing and most-refined midsize pickup truck ever, made its global debut today in Thailand.

The Colorado range is the product of a five-year, $2 billion vehicle program developed across five continents for customers in more than 60 markets around the world.

The new-generation Colorado offers more technology and delivers more features and value than ever.. Interiors, exteriors and major mechanical features are all new, representing the most-extensive clean-sheet midsize truck program in Chevrolet’s 100-year history.
Chevrolet will offer Thai customers 26 combinations of Colorado models, powertrains, cabins, and ride heights when the range goes on sale this month. They include single-, extended- and crew-cab bodies in high- and low-stance configurations, wide- and narrow-body options, as well as two- and four-wheel-drive configurations.

The range features a choice of two all-new Duramax turbo-diesel engines that provide a leading combination of performance and fuel economy across three specification levels.
GM Thailand President Martin Apfel said the entry of the new Colorado into Thailand’s booming pickup truck market builds on Chevrolet’s heritage of building vehicles that exceed the needs and desires of its customers.

“Thailand is excited to be the first market in the world to introduce the all-new Colorado, which represents GM’s most significant play in the midsize pickup truck market ever,” Apfel said. “This is a vehicle built tough for the people of Thailand, by the people of Thailand. It is a truck of which Thailand can be proud.”

Apfel added, “The new Colorado represents our largest-ever engineering and manufacturing program and demonstrates the outstanding skills and capability that exist in this country. Our manufacturing operations have the ability to meet the needs of the local and global marketplace now and well into the future.”

Based on GM’s global body-on-frame, rear-drive midsize truck architecture, the new Colorado is designed, engineered and executed to deliver best-in-class appearance, performance, versatility and refinement.

It also has been developed to meet the highest-possible safety standards wherever it is sold. Included in the Colorado range are features such as electronic stability control, anti-lock braking system featuring electronic brake force distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, cornering brake control and driver and occupant front air bags.

According to Brad Merkel, GM’s Global Vehicle Line executive for Midsize Trucks, the Colorado offers the strength, design and performance needed to compete with the world’s best truck nameplates.

“Our objective from the beginning of the program was ‘haul anything, go anywhere’ – and that’s exactly what the new Colorado delivers,” Merkel said. “We have engineered it to meet the needs and desires of commercial and personal buyers alike. It can be a workhorse, a family hauler, a lifestyle vehicle, or a truck that plays to the higher-end premium buyer.

“That versatility is a big win for our customers. Regardless of configuration, they’re getting the features of a common frame and body structure, high-performing powertrains and outstanding refinement. There are no sacrifices in fundamental hardware or aesthetics, from a very basic two-door work truck all the way up to a premium crew cab.

The development of the all-new Colorado was led by a highly skilled team of GM engineers in Brazil who used their expertise to tailor the vehicle for a number of global markets, including those in Southeast Asia.

Team members lived in Thailand during the Colorado’s development, immersing themselves in the highly competitive truck market and observing how Thais use their vehicles and the driving conditions they experience. That expertise led to the development of new Colorado models covering three specification levels: the entry-level LS, mid-range LT and range-topping LTZ.

The new lineup was designed to deliver ride and handling characteristics unexpected of a midsize pickup thanks to two levels of chassis and suspension tuning. As a result, it is equally adept both at hauling and towing and at serving as a day-to-day city commuter.
The range also features an all-new global family of GM-developed turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed to deliver a leading combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The two Duramax diesels, built at GM Thailand’s newly opened $200 million engine plant, are available in 2.8-liter and 2.5-liter displacements.

The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness, while both engines feature components designed to last for 240,000 kilometers.

The 2.8-liter engine is rated at 180 horsepower (132 kW) and 346 lb.-ft. of torque (470 Nm) with an available six-speed automatic transmission (324 lb.-ft. / 440 Nm with a five-speed manual). The 2.5-liter engine is rated at 150 horsepower (110 kW) and 258 lb.-ft. of torque (350 Nm).

The Colorado’s presence was created by the GM South America Design Center

in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and takes many cues from the three Colorado concept vehicles revealed at global auto shows in Thailand, Argentina, Australia and Germany throughout the year.
Design highlights include a power dome in the hood which, combined with a raised cowl, is intended to give the Colorado a strong, purposeful appearance. Higher-mounted dual projector headlamps are positioned beneath the power dome, intended to emphasize visual strength in the face of the vehicle.
Also prominent is the dual-port grille – an unmistakable Chevrolet cue – that carries a three-dimensional grille mesh. Chrome appointments in the grille surround, door handles, tailgate handle, mirror caps, and headlamps and fog lamps on high-level models are intended to provide a premium appearance.

Meanwhile, in a first for a Chevrolet pickup truck, the Colorado offers LED-illuminated tail lamps on high-level models.
That goal of premium appearance is also reflected by detailed sheet metal work throughout the exterior, including the hood and door panels, which blend layers of natural light for an uncluttered, natural surface appearance.
With a flowing instrument panel, integrated center stack and trademark Chevrolet dual cockpit design, the interior of the all-new Colorado combines car-like characteristics with the boldness expected of a pickup.

With segment-leading front- and second-row shoulder room, headroom and seat height, the Colorado is designed to provide outstanding levels of interior comfort for drivers and passengers alike.
Designers have also carried the premium finish expressed in the Colorado’s exterior into the interior with the use of chrome appointments around the shifter and shifter head; steering wheel bezels; heating and air conditioning controls; door pulls; door appliqués; and surrounding the radio head.
The use of LED backlighting in the instrument cluster and HVAC controls in Chevrolet’s trademark “Ice Blue” illumination is designed to provide a high-definition appearance.

The Colorado also includes several storage locations designed to be best in class. The regular cab has 16 storage locations, while the extended cab has 19 and the crew cab has 30.
Seats feature flat-woven cloth fabric or optional leather on high-end models with matching instrument panel inserts. They carry sculpted edges and have dual-density foam construction. A front vinyl bench seat is available on base models.
Convenience features like auxiliary power, auxiliary plugs and USB connectivity are standard across the range.


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