We were able to snag some interview time with GM Executive Chief Engineer for Full and Midsize Trucks, Jeff Luke, during the 2013 LA Auto Show, and we were able to get some exclusive details on the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado truck program, and what we could expect from GM’s midsize offerings going forward.
Probably the most peculiar thing at the surface in regards to the 2015 Colorado is that it doesn’t share any styling cues with the global model. This is primarily due to the fact that customer feedback from Americans and Canadians were negative towards the international model’s design, which closely resembles a Chevrolet Equinox crossover or perhaps a 2013 Malibu sedan. We can see how the international truck wouldn’t be as big of a hit as the brawnier looking 2015 Colorado, though Luke did hint to us that there will be “more synergy” with the international and North American models going forward. This could mean a consolidation of design, platforms, technology, or otherwise.
Luke and his team also looked at the potential for a truck that could slot below the Colorado in terms of size and capabilities. Referencing the South America and Mexico-only Chevrolet Montana truck, developers have concluded that the truck would be “too small” for what Americans are looking for these days in trucks, and are thus apprehensive and reluctant to offer one here in the ‘States.
As for the 2.8L Duramax diesel engine that will be offered by the 2016 model year. It wasn’t in the cards at first. But not long after did the team decide it was a great opportunity to introduce a diesel engine into the mid-sized truck segment, where engineers are currently busy readying the engine for North America. This means that it will see the inevitable DEF filtration system, and it still needs to pass federal inspection to be sold here, hence why the powertrain wasn’t ready out of the gate.
Lastly, the idea of a manual transmission in the new Chevrolet Colorado shouldn’t be counted out just yet. So if we all shout about it loud enough, it might just happen.