LAT­EST NEWS FROM THE 4X4 WORLD

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

Gen­eral Mo­tors un­veiled a pair of Colorado ute and Colorado 7 wagon-based con­cept ve­hi­cles, with a heavy Holden in­volve­ment, at the Bangkok In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show.

Wear­ing a num­ber of Australian-de­signed ac­ces­sories, the Chevro­let Colorado Xtreme and Chevro­let Trail­blazer Premier con­cepts are ba­si­cally thinly-veiled point­ers to the facelifted pro­duc­tion ver­sions of the 2017 Holden Colorado and Colorado 7. Both are due to ar­rive in Aus­tralia from about Au­gust.

Holden’s GM Aus­tralia de­sign team at Fish­er­mans Bend in Mel­bourne helped style and pre­pare the facelifted bits of the show ve­hi­cles for Chevro­let, us­ing the as-yet un­re­leased RG Colorado Se­ries II. Ex­pect to see the ac­tual pro­duc­tion ver­sions in May.

Boast­ing a re­designed bon­net, grille and head­lights for a sleeker and more con­tem­po­rary nose cone, GM is count­ing on both the Xtreme and Trail­blazer to at­tract “more pre­mium” truck and SUV buy­ers.

To that end, their cab­ins are said to ex­ude a higher qual­ity and more re­fined am­bi­ence to bet­ter take-on the hot­selling Ford Ranger Wild­trak and Ever­est. Th­ese in­clude an up­graded eight-inch colour touch­screen, im­proved up­hol­stery ma­te­rial, and – in the Trail­blazer/colorado 7 – wood door ap­pliques with steel in­serts and chrome de­tail­ing.

The larger (18-inch) wheels and all-ter­rain tyres, es­pe­cially, are also an at­tempt to give the Colorado ute a wider and more planted stance. Don’t ex­pect to see the Trail­blazer con­cept’s 22-inch wheels on a Colorado 7 any time soon, though.

Mean­while, some of the Australian Holden-de­signed ac­ces­sories in­clude the bull­bar, which is a new and far more in­te­grated unit than what is cur­rently on of­fer, a ‘Sa­fari’ bar, snorkel, sports bar with a styled in-fill panel, roof bas­ket with LED light bar, side­steps, rear-step tow bar, and wheel arch flares.

“Holden has long been in­volved in con­cept de­sign and con­struc­tion across all of GM’S brands – GMC, Chevro­let, Opel, Vaux­hall, Buick and Cadil­lac,” GM Aus­tralia De­sign Di­rec­tor Richard Fer­lazzo told 4X4 Aus­tralia.

“We want to ex­pand the gen­uine ac­ces­sories mar­ket that’s mar­keted and sold by Holden. We’ve been miss­ing out in the past.”

The show ve­hi­cles them­selves started life as pro­duc­tion ex­am­ples of the ex­ist­ing model (launched in 2012), pulled from the Thai­land as­sem­bly line, be­fore be­ing flown to Mel­bourne for their glamorous makeover. The facelift is the work of GM’S

Brazil­ian Chevro­let divi­sion.

Brazil re­mains the de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing “home room” for the one-tonne truck and its cross­over wagon sis­ter.

Holden builds “at least” one or two one-off con­cept ve­hi­cles an­nu­ally for its over­seas GM di­vi­sions, most fa­mously of re­cent times the Opel GT (2016 Geneva Show) and Buick Avenir (2015 Detroit Show).

How­ever, with the clo­sure of man­u­fac­tur­ing an­nounced in De­cem­ber 2013, Holden no longer has the ca­pa­bil­ity to fully en­gi­neer and val­i­date a ve­hi­cle to pro­duc­tion.

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