The larger, 2.8-liter turbo diesel yields 180 hp and a very impressive 346 lb-ft of torque. For reference, that's just 20 horsepower shy of the base 4.8-liter V8 in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but it's also 41 more lb-ft of torque. GM hasn't released any fuel economy estimates on either diesel engine, but both can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive versions of the Colorado make use of a two-speed, electronically actuated transfer case.
Will it come our way? GM isn't saying, but recent United Auto Workers deal-related news suggests that a mid-size truck like this one is being considered for the company's Wentzville plant near St. Louis. We've got our fingers crossed. Check out our high-res gallery and then hit the jump for the press release.
BANGKOK - 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.
2012 Chevrolet Colorado – HIGHLIGHTS
* GM Thailand's largest-ever engineering and manufacturing program
* Total global program costs were $2 billion, including a $500 million investment to prepare GM Thailand's Rayong manufacturing facility for Colorado production
* More than 2.5 million kilometers were driven during program development
* Developed across five continents for sale in more than 60 markets around the world
* More markets and production sites for the vehicle will be announced in the coming months
* 2.5-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
* 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
* Five-speed manual transmissions
* Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission with automatic gear selection via a toggle switch on the shift head
* A new two-speed, electronically actuated part-time transfer case is applied on four-wheel-drive-equipped vehicles
Further product details will be announced later.