2012 Chevrolet Colorado
General Motors has entirely overhauled the Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup truck for the 2012 model year. The new Colorado features new exteriors, interior, and mechanical components.
- Chassis & Suspension
- Trim Levels & Configurations
After releasing some teaser images, Chevrolet officially unveiled the all-new 2012 Colorado midsize pickup truck in Bangkok, Thailand on October 5th, 2011.
It is believed that Thailand served as the location of the unveiling for several reasons, including the fact that the vehicle will be manufactured in Rayong (Thailand), as well as the country’s highly-competitive midsize pickup truck market.
Prior to its on-sale date in Thailand, the new Colorado has already generated significant worldwide attention by being showcased in concept form at global auto shows in Thailand, Argentina, Australia, and Germany.
The 2012 Colorado is the product of a five-year, $2 billion USD vehicle program developed across five continents for customers in more than 60 markets around the world. More than 2.5 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) were driven during the development of the program.
The all-new Colorado offers more technology and delivers more features and value than ever before, with all-new interiors, exteriors, and major mechanical features, representing the most clean-sheet midsize truck program in Chevrolet’s 100-year history.
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 all-new 2012 Chevy Colorado is based on GM’s global body-on-frame, rear-drive midsize truck architecture known as GMI700.
The frame is fully-boxed, compared to the weaker and less sturdy C-channel frame used by competitors.
From the very beginning of design and development, the truck and platform were designed, engineered and executed to deliver best-in-class appearance, performance, versatility and refinement.
The Colorado’s exterior design incorporates the design DNA of its predecessors, exuding the true American look that reflects strength and prestige. The truck features a bold road presence, a sturdy body structure and large cargo area that can satisfy virtually all demands, and detailed sheet metal work throughout the exterior created by the GM Advanced Design Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The vehicle takes many cues from the three stunning Colorado concept vehicles that starred at global auto shows in Thailand, Argentina, Australia and Germany throughout 2011.
Design highlights include a dramatic power dome in the hood. Combined with a raised cowl, this gives the Colorado a strong, purposeful appearance. Higher-mounted dual projector headlamps are positioned beneath the power dome, emphasizing the visual strength in the face of the vehicle.
Also prominent is the contemporary 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 trim levels communicate a premium appearance. That premium appearance is also reflected in the hood and door panels, which blend layers of natural light for a rich, uncluttered, natural surface appearance.
The Colorado offers LED-illuminated tail lamps on high-level trim levels — a first for a Chevrolet pickup truck.
The new colorado features a painstakingly-designed passenger cabin resembling that of a luxurious SUV. The tastefully-designed and comfortable driver & passenger area are complete with ergonomic features including a multi-function steering wheel with built-in audio and Bluetooth device controllers. A flowing instrument panel, integrated center stack, and trademark Chevrolet dual cockpit design, equip the interior of the all-new Colorado with car-like characteristics and the boldness expected of a pickup.
Boasting segment-leading front- and second-row shoulder room, headroom and seat height, the Colorado provides outstanding levels of interior comfort for drivers and passengers alike.
The premium finish that’s so boldly expressed in the Colorado’s exterior is carried into the interior. For instance, use of chrome is plentiful, with chrome appointments around the shifter and shifter head, steering wheel bezels, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) controls, door pull handles, 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 provides a high-definition appearance.
The Colorado also includes a vast amount of storage locations designed to be best in class. The regular cab has 16 storage locations; the extended cab has 19 and the crew cab has 30.
Seats feature flat-woven cloth fabric or optional leather on high-end trim levels 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.
According to GM, the new Colorado delivers ride and handling characteristics unexpected of a midsize pickup. The truck features independent double wishbone suspension in the front and half-oval steel leaf springs in the rear, complemented by gas shock absorbers.
In addition, two levels of chassis and suspension tuning are offered, with each being “equally adept at both at hauling and towing and at serving as a day-to-day city commuter.”
A truck’s capabilities are measured somewhat differently in Thailand. Following is official information provided by Chevrolet, and is applicable to the 2WD Colorado equipped with the 2.5-liter Duramax I4 XLD25 engine mated to an automatic transmission and Z71 package, in all cab configurations.
Curb Mass + Towing: 3,500 kg / 7,716 pounds
Payload + Towing: 6,000 kg (13,227 pounds)
The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado is offered with a choice of two four-cylinder turbo-diesel Duramax engines (aka “baby Duramax) built at GM’s Thailand’s new $200 million USD engine plant provide a leading combination of performance and fuel economy across two specification levels.
The 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balancer shaft for greater smoothness. Both engines feature components designed to last for 240,000 kilometers (150,000 miles).
The 2012 Colorado is offered with a choice of two transmissions:
- Five-speed manual transmission
- Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission
The six-speed automatic includes automatic gear selection via a toggle switch on the shift head. In addition, Colorados equipped with four-wheel drive offer a new two-speed, electronically actuated part-time transfer case.
Chevrolet’s highly anticipated new-generation Colorado has been put through final testing in Thailand as GM prepared to begin production of the all-new midsize pickup at its facility in Rayong, Thailand.
Engineers have been running final shakedown work on pre-production vehicles in a range of conditions. The new Colorado will be sold in markets across Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and South America.
Chevrolet Colorado Chief Engineer Roberto Rempel said his team finessed GM’s successful truck formula to ensure the new Colorado meets local market needs in Southeast Asia and abroad. Rempel and his team 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.
“The hard work for this program has been done, and we are incredibly pleased with the results,” Rempel said. “This is a world-class truck that will appeal to buyers not just in the heavily concentrated truck markets of Southeast Asia, but around the world.
“We know customers of this type of vehicle want a workhorse and a daily-use vehicle all in one, so our product has to deliver. We have benchmarked the toughest, most flexible vehicles around the world. When you combine that approach with our detailed consideration of global expectations, we are confident the new Colorado will be a winner.”
The Colorado is also among the safest vehicles in its class, having been developed to meet the highest possible safety standards wherever it is sold.
Placed on the fully-boxed frame, the cab is a monocoque-style structure made up of high-strength and ultra high-strength materials.
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 as well as driver and occupant airbag protection.
Some of the safety features include:
- TCS (Traction Control System)
- ESP (Electronic Stability Control)
- PBA (Panic Brake Assist)
- HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist)
- CBC (Cornering Brake Control)
- HBFA (Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist)
- Front airbags for the driver and passenger (on LTZ trim level only)
The Chevrolet Colorado X-Cab (Extended Cab) has a starting price of ฿621,000 Thai Baht, or $19,000 USD, using a 2013 conversion.
The Colorado C-Cab (Crew Cab) has a starting price of ฿707,000 Thai Baht, or $22,000 USD.
Chevrolet offers Thai customers 26 variants of the Colorado model, with different choices of powertrains, cabins, and ride heights. They include single-, extended- and crew-cab bodies in high- and low-stance configurations, as well as two- and four-wheel-drive configurations and LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels.
The Extended Cab (X-Cab) features suicide-style “Flex Cab doors” that can open wide, making it easy to load/unload luggage into and from the vehicle. The doors have spacious pockets for storage.
The Crew Cab (C-Cab) provides greater versatility with the convenience of four doors and greater passenger space. It is perfect for families, or as a city runabout, especially when carrying passengers in comfort is a priority.
“That versatility is a big win for our customers. Regardless of configuration, they’re getting the inbuilt 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 very premium crew cab.
“Whatever model Colorado customers choose, it will be a compelling package – a vehicle with outstanding design and great fuel economy that is quiet, refined and fun to drive. We’re very proud of the result.”
According to Mr. 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 all-new Colorado delivers,” Mr. 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.
The 2012 Chevy Colorado squares off against mid-size pickups from Toyota, Nissan, and Ford, including:
- Toyota Hilux (related to the Tacoma sold in North America)
- Nissan Navara (related to the Frontier sold in North America)
- Ford Ranger (the new global Ranger T6).
The Colorado is available in the following exterior colors:
- Auburn Brown
- Black Sapphire
- Oceanic Blue
- Royal Grey
- Sizzle Red
- Switchblade Silver
On the inside, the Colorado offers two seat cover choices:
- On 1LS models only, Struct Fabric in Black Mesh or Solid Grey
- On LT models, Geofabric in Grey Mesh or Solid Grey
Total global program costs were USD 2 billion, including a USD 500 million investment to prepare GM Thailand’s Rayong manufacturing facility for Colorado production
In advance of the start of production, GM Thailand’s Rayong manufacturing facility has undergone a US$300 million upgrade, including retooling the entire vehicle assembly line to introduce the new model.
GM’s powertrain plant next door will build the new Colorado’s newly developed 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter diesel engines, which feature overhead cams, turbocharging and durable aluminum cylinder heads for high levels of refinement and durability.
The Colorado offers numerous official Chevrolet accessories that allow owners to customize their truck inside and outside. The accessories include:
- CD/DVD Player
- Daytime Running light
- Hood Protector
- B-Pillar Blackout Sticker
- Chromed Mirror Cover
- Side window deflectors
- Chromed Door Handle
- Chromed Fog Lamp Bezel
- Storage Box
- Side Steps
- Front Bumper Protector
- Sports Bar
- Sports Bar With Tonneau Cover
- Soft Tonneau Cover
- Hard Tonneau Cover
- Cargo Bed Liner
- Spare Tire Lock
- Vehicle Body Cover
- Alloy Wheel
- Chromed Tailgate
- Floor Mat
- Floor Carpets
- Lighter & Ashtray
- Instrument Pad Cover
- Chromed Door Interior Handle
- Rear Parking Sensor
- Fog lamp
- Projector Headlamps
- USB Cable
- DVD Multimedia Player with Satellite Navigation
- Ambient Footwell Lighting
- Windshield Sunshade
- Tire Repair Kit
- Warning Triangle Sign
- 2-DIN Audio System
Note that some of these are only applicable for specific cab configurations.