Chevrolet’s latest major update for the 2017 Colorado is class-exclusive powertrain combination that’s meant to “reignite” the midsize truck segment, according to the automaker.
After previously introducing new features such as a diesel engine and advanced technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the Colorado, now comes an all-new V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
“The Colorado is currently the most fuel-efficient pickup in America, with an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway when equipped with the diesel engine,” said chief engineer Stan Ludlow.
“As such, for the new V6 and eight-speed combination we focused on improving everyday driving performance. Drivers will immediately notice that it pulls harder when accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway; it is more confident pulling a trailer up a steep grade and it is more refined cruising at a constant highway speed.”
Having reached its second generation, Chevrolet’s double-overhead-cam engine architecture retains the same 3.6-liter displacement as before, but adds improved valve timing for intake and exhaust, improved direct injection and for the first time, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), disabling two cylinders under light throttle applications. Horsepower and torque have also increased to 308 HP (230 kW) at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft (373 Nm) at 4,000 rpm.
Working together with the engine is a class-exclusive GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L45 eight-speed automatic, which remains roughly the same size and weight as the 6L80 six-speed automatic it replaces. However, the new gearbox has a wider 7.0 overall gear ratio spread over the out-going’s 6.0 ratio, helping drivers move forward more confidently with a heavy load, while the lower rear axle ratios reduce engine rpm on the highway for improved efficiency.
The 2017 Colorado with its new model year upgrades is set to hit dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year.