General Motors and Ford have two very different strategies for their pickup truck market solutions. Ford shaved unneeded pounds from the full-size F-150 through the use of lightweight aluminum body panels, whereas GM decided it would be better to offer a separate smaller, lighter pickup truck below the full-size Silverado 1500, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. With it comes the promise of a smaller, more fuel efficient truck than the full-size lot, but brings to the segment many of the amenities that the bigger ones enjoy.
Full weight figures for the mid-size Colorado have now been released, and the Colorado weighs, on average, about 880 to 1,400 lbs. less than a full-size pickup on the market today. The weight savings are thanks to the truck’s slightly smaller overall dimensions and some use of lightweight aluminium. The outcome, Chevrolet says, is a truck that they hope will be the most fuel efficient in its segment.
“When it comes to building lighter pickups, there is more than one answer,” said executive chief engineer, Jeff Luke, referring to the two brand’s differing strategies. “Building on our experience with the new Silverado, we engineered the Colorado to be highly mass-efficient, while still providing the performance, capability, dependability and features that midsize truck customers are asking for.”
The Colorado fits neatly underneath the Silverado in Chevrolet’s truck lineup. The short-bed crew cab model is 17 inches shorter than the comparable Silverado, while the overall width is five inches narrower. Chevrolet says the smaller size provides easier maneuverability around towns and in parking lots, where many pickup trucks spend the majority of their time.
“For many customers, a midsize pickup is simply a better solution,” said Luke. “You get the versatility and capability of a truck in a package that is fun to drive and easier to maneuver and park.
The official weight of a 4×4 Colorado crew cab with a short bed, expected to be the most popular version of the mid-size trucks, is 4,329 lbs. This is 1,257 lbs. less than a 2014 Ford F-150 4×4 with a crew cab and short bed and lighter still than the 2015 F-150, which is expected to weigh 700 lbs. less than the outgoing model.
So while Chevrolet’s and Ford’s solutions are very different, they are both in pursuit of the same goal: to increase estimated EPA fuel economy figures. The two different strategies have resulted in both the brands having lighter trucks on offer, but only time will tell which company has the winning formula.