Production of the 2023 Chevy Colorado and 2023 GMC Canyon pickup trucks began on January 24th, 2023 at the GM Wentzville plant in Missouri, marking the start of regular production (SORP) for the third generation of the mid-size pickup trucks.
GM held a ceremony at the plant that was attented by a small crowd of factory workers. A 2023 Chevy Colorado in range-topping Z71 trim, wearing Glacier Blue Metallic paint, was the first unit to roll off the line. It was followed by a GMC Canyon Denali in Summit White, with the third vehicle off the line being another Colorado Z71 in Sterling Gray Metallic.
GM Authority provided exclusive intelligence in mid-July 2022 that production of the 2023 GMC Canyon would begin on January 25th, 2023. We also predicted a January 25th date for start of 2023 Chevy Colorado production, with the exception of the ZR2 trim. In both cases, GM Authority‘s intel was within one day of the actual SORP despite being made six months before the first truck was produced.
Four trims of the 2023 Chevy Colorado are available at launch, including the base level Work Truck (WT), LT, Trail Boss, and Z71. GM Authority previously reported on the breakdown of the initial sales mix at launch as follows:
- 20 percent will consist of the Work Truck (WT)
- 32 percent will consist of the LT
- 25 percent will consist of the Trail Boss
- 23 percent will consist of the Z71
The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 starts production in April of this year, several months after the start of regular production for the other trims. As a reminder, the ZR2 is the Chevy Colorado’s extreme off-road variant, first launched for the second generation of the nameplate in the 2017 model year. The 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is completely redesigned and re-engineered for the third generation.
A fanfare of horns and statements by several leading personnel from the Wentzville assembly plant accompanied the rollout of the first trio of third-generation Colorado and Canyon trucks on January 24th. The plant’s executive director, Lamar Rucker, noted production started on schedule despite the pandemic, the microchip shortage, and ongoing supply chain issues.
As a refresher, the third-generation overhaul of 2023 Chevy Colorado leaves the truck with the turbocharged 2.7L I4 L3B gasoline engine as the only powertrain offered. The boosted four, which replaces three different engines offered for the 2022 model year, is offered in three distinct levels of tune. The base-level tune is the 2.7L Turbo, which gets its own unique RPO code (L2R). Output is rated at 237 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 1,200 rpm. Then there’s the mid-range 2.7L Turbo Plus, which is tagged with RPO code L3B and is rated at 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 391 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. Finally, the range-topping tune is the 2.7L Turbo High-Output, which is also tagged with RPO code L3B and produces 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 430 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm.
The same is true for the GMC Canyon, but its L3B tune is rated exclusively at the higher-output level of 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. For both models, a second-gen GM 8-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission offered. The new Colorado and Canyon both ride on the 31XX-2 platform, an upgraded version of the GM 31XX platform used by the second generation of the trucks.