JOURNALISTS EXPERIENCE REFINEMENT AND PERFORMANCE WITH THE ALL-NEW CHEVROLET COLORADO PICKUP TRUCK
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Chevrolet Sales Thailand recently hosted a few groups of journalists on a ride-and-drive from Bangkok to Ratchaburi with the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. The route was designed with all the necessary elements to test the pickup truck, and to demonstrate to the journalists why the all-new Colorado is the definitive pickup truck especially when it comes to performance and refinement.
In his first engagement with the Thai media, incoming Managing Director for GM Thailand and Chevrolet Sales Thailand, Wail Farghaly, said: “With the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, we are bringing a new level of refinement and performance to the pickup truck segment in Thailand. I am confident it will perform very well on the highways, winding roads and where there are no roads.”
“We have a winner in the all-new Colorado pickup truck. It will spearhead our efforts and underline our commitment to offer the best pickup trucks and SUVs in this market,” Farghaly concluded.
In addition to the top-of-the-range High Country variant, the all-new Colorado pickup truck will also be a platform for almost limitless personalization possibilities. When it is publicly launched, owners will have accessories to choose from with which to personalize their all-new pickup trucks. These accessories are inspired by the accessories on the Colorado Xtreme show truck at the recent Bangkok International Motor Show.
“The all-new Colorado pickup truck can go anywhere and do everything. And we have a total of 17 variants across four major trim levels including the LS, LT, LTZ and High Country to meet all customer expectations.”, Una Tan, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience, Chevrolet Sales Thailand, said.
“The high-trim variants will be aimed at what we call ‘confident achievers’ who are mainly urban and those who are confident in their choices. To this group of people, a vehicle needs to appeal to their senses and reflect their achievements and social status by being attractive and luxurious. The other segment we are aiming at is known as ‘durable and trusted’, and consists mainly of people who do not require high trim levels and who use the all-new truck for practical purposes, focusing on durability and quality,” Tan added.
Road-testing the all-new Colorado Pickup Truck
At the ride-and-drive event, Vanchana Unakul, General Director of Engineering for GM Thailand and Southeast Asia, said: “The all-new Colorado is different on the outside and inside but more importantly, it drives differently. The Colorado pickup truck has always been tough, so our focus for the all-new Colorado was making it more refined. Towards this end, the all-new Colorado pickup truck has been driven for more than 360,000 kilometers during the development and testing phases. It has also gone through simulated tests that is equivalent of about 12 million kilometers.”
“The test route today consists of all elements that will test the all-new Colorado. I was a part of the survey team and we have been on a few routes. We chose this one because with this route, you can experience all the performance, refinement, toughness and technology we have been talking about,” Unakul added.
The first leg of the test route from Bangkok to Ratchaburi allowed journalists to sample the all-new Colorado’s stability and refinement, over the smooth and open asphalts of Rama 2 and Phetkasem roads. These terrains allowed the truck to demonstrate the low cabin noise, wind noise, exterior and engine noise. Improvements to the all-new Colorado pickup truck has resulted in it being eight percent quieter on the road. In their efforts to reduce win noise, the engineers also improved the truck’s aerodynamic efficiency by 12 percent.
This level of refinement also allowed journalists to focus on how little vibration the all-new pickup truck had while on the move. The route also allowed journalists to test the Lane Departure Warning system, while the open roads also meant journalists could sample the 132kW (180 PS) of the 2.5L Duramax four-cylinder diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). Maximum power is developed at 3,600 rpm.
Once in Ratchaburi, the entourage came off the main road and tackled the winding secondary and rural roads leading to the Pong Haeng Reservoir situated in the Suan Pueng district. The narrow and winding roads, sometimes peppered with broken surfaces, tested a different facet of the all-new Colorado.
Journalists were able to feel how the electric power steering (EPS) was light at low speeds but provided the right weight and feel at higher speeds. The roads also allowed the all-new Colorado to demonstrate its superior driving dynamics, handling and response, thanks to its more rigid chassis, tuned suspension and new chassis-cabin mounts. The rutted roads also showed that the tuned suspension was more than capable of handling the humps and bumps. The latter also contributes to the quieter and more refined interior especially while on the move. The performance of the engine and the taut handling of the all-new Colorado pickup truck meant journalists could enjoy the corners and fast-sweeping curves with confidence.
Stopping for a breather at the Pong Haeng Reservoir, the journalists were then introduced to two off-road tracks, both testing the all-new Colorado’s off-road capabilities. The first track was an uphill climb to the peak of Beelocktong which is 2,231 meters above sea level and highest peak of the Tanowsri Hills.
The all-new Colorado’s 440Nm (325 lb-ft) of torque, produced at a low 2,000 rpm, hauled the pickup truck truck up the steep and winding slopes effortlessly. Some portions of the track were very broken and that allowed journalists to sample all-new Colorado’s 4x4 system. The steep slopes also allowed drivers to test the vehicle’s Hill Start Assist (HSA) and the Hill Descent Control (HDC). The track basically proved how solidly the all-new Colorado was built.
The other track was a milder version that went through a stream. With the all-new Colorado’s water fording capability of 800mm, the shallow stream was an easy path for the pickup truck. The track also allowed for slightly higher speeds and the loose gravel, stony and rutted track once again allowed the all-new Colorado to demonstrate how well insulated its cabin is from exterior noise. It also showed the superiority of the tuned suspension as it soaked up all the irregularities.
The all-new Colorado has been designed with a tough, yet refined appearance, with an all new front end including new fascia, grille, hood and lamps with LED daytime running lights.
Inside the Colorado, toughness and refinement continues with an all-new interior that focuses on comfort, spaciousness, refinement and technology. The all-new center console features an easy-to-use, intuitive layout featuring an eight inch color touchscreen (depending on variants) and the latest MyLink infotainment system. The all-new Colorado is the first pickup truck in its segment to feature Apple CarPlay. Leather material and finishes are used throughout the pickup truck ensuring it is as comfortable as it is capable.
Performance and Comfort
The all-new Colorado comes with an upgraded, Euro 4-compliant 2.5L Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that has been tuned to offer better performance, fuel economy and lower emissions. The engine’s performance is managed by an in-house developed engine control unit (ECU), specially developed to take advantage of and enhance the engine’s characteristics. The ECU has more than 150 patented control functions that optimize integration between software functions and engine hardware.
Depending on variants, the engine is mated to a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The latter has revised ratios to take advantage of the 2.5L Duramax’s characteristics, further aiding performance and fuel economy.
The 2.5L Duramax is fitted with a sound deadener around the injectors for quieter operation. The all-new Colorado also features new engine mounts, contributing to lower NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) inside the cabin. In-house tests have shown that the interior is now two-to-four decibels quieter, in addition to reduced vibration.
The all-new Colorado features a chassis with increased rigidity so it is tougher and more stable, which adds to the driver’s comfort. Additionally, the new suspension is tuned with digressive shocks that give the Colorado superior ride comfort and stability.
Technology and Safety
Depending on variants, the all-new Colorado features Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, front and rear parking assist, rear camera with dynamic guidelines, electro chromatic inside rear-view mirror, rear seatbelt alert and tire pressure monitor that individually monitors pressure in each of the four tires. Additionally, it features an auto rain sensor, auto headlamp on/off and a remote-start function – the first in its segment. It is useful especially during hot weather when the engine can be started using the key fob, allowing the cabin to be cooled sufficiently before occupants get into the vehicle. Other features include front windows that automatically drop a fraction to facilitate door closing.
The all-new Colorado also comes with a host of active and passive safety features (depending on variants) including Traction Control System (TCS), Panic Brake Assist (PBA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Descent Control (HDC) Hill Start Assist (HSA) Anti Rolling Protection and Trailer Sway Control.
All this in addition to front airbags for driver and passenger along with a knee airbag for the driver.
Connectivity is critical to today’s drivers, which is why the all-new Colorado is fitted with new technology befitting a premium pick-up truck. It is the first pickup truck in its segment to come with Apple CarPlay applications, allowing customers to project a simplified version of their smartphone screen onto the car's color touchscreen.
It is complemented by Siri Eyes Free and voice recognition software, allowing drivers to give verbal commands ensuring their hands never have to leave the wheel. This system ensures the all-new Colorado supports the driver's lifestyle.
Public launch of the all-new Colorado is expected to take place soon.