AUSTRALIA, your new hi-tech Holden Colorado is almost ready. Chevrolet unveiled the updated model in Brazil this week, ahead of the ute’s arrival in local showrooms in August wearing Holden badges.
The sharp new nose is a pointer to new tech, including a rear camera and Apple Car Play for the entire range, and a forward collision warning camera and lane wander alert on top-end models.
Holden also promises substantial changes to the way the Colorado drives.
The Colorado was designed and engineered by General Motors in Brazil and Australian examples will be built in Thailand. However, Australian engineers have been tinkering with steering, suspension and engine refinement on local roads over the past two years to prepare for this update.
Holden is remaining tightlipped about the full suite of changes under the Colorado’s skin but it’s fair to say there was ample room for improvement.
The current generation Colorado was released four years ago to mixed reviews. Development was delayed during the global financial crisis when GM was in bankruptcy and budgets were cut — and the vehicle fell short of the rivals.
Holden, despite going into discount mode within months of the arrival of the all-new Colorado, struggled to stimulate sales.
The Colorado currently ranks fourth in sales tallies behind the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton.
But with ute sales at record levels, the Colorado is likely to become Holden’s biggest selling model — in much the same way as the Ranger is the hero of the Ford range — once local production of the Commodore ends in 2017.
The Colorado led the Holden line-up for the first time in January and has been the brand’s second-best seller for 13 of the past 15 months. The upgraded Colorado will join the rest of the ute market in trying to “bridge the gap between weekday workhorse and weekend explorer”.
Holden executive director of sales Peter Keley says: “With significant local engineering, this vehicle will be the most refined Colorado ever while maintaining all of the capability of the current model.”
Holden vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone says the Colorado has had “key Australian engineering input” to meet the expectations of local buyers.
Tassone says Australian customers demand a lot from a utility “regardless of whether it’s being used as the weekday workhorse or for weekend surf trips”.