Chevrolet is on a roll with their new mid-size Colorado now America’s fastest selling pickup with days-on-the-lot down to just 16 days, says Chevrolet. Building on that success, Chevrolet is adding two new models to the lineup – the Midnight Edition and the Z71 Trail Boss – that will be available later this year as 2016 models. This, on top of their announcement last week that a diesel engine option – the 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel – will be available this fall, says that Chevrolet intends to lead this the renewed growth in the segment.
Looking at the mid-size segment overall, the Chevrolet Colorado success (plus the customer interest in the companion GMC Canyon) has resulted in GM gaining a 31.4 percent share of the segment. Year-to-date, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado has sold 48,711 units with the 2015 GMC Canyon selling another 17,671 vehicles. Overall, there is renewed interest in the segment with sales up 81,077 units (62.3 percent). The primary driver looks like it is Colorado (plus Canyon) doing the heavy lifting garnering nearly 82 percent of the increased sales in the segment.
Colorado Midnight Edition
According to Chevrolet, the new Midnight Edition will echo the blacked-out design theme introduced on the popular Silverado Midnight Edition. It will come exclusively in black with additional exterior details such as the grille, the bowtie emblem and the 18-inch aluminum wheels are also finished in black. Additional content includes a spray-on bedliner and soft, folding tonneau cover – both in black – and Chevrolet-logo sill plates.
The Colorado Midnight Edition will be available on LT models with the extended and crew cab bodies, in 2WD or 4WD, and with the 2.5L and 3.6L engines. It will also be available with the all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine.
Colorado Z71 Trail Boss
The 2016 Colorado Z71 Trail Boss will build on the capability of Chevrolet’s Z71 off-road truck suspension package with more aggressive tires and off-road-inspired appearance enhancements according to Chevrolet.
An all-new sport bar with LED trail lighting on the new edition of the Trail Boss will make it instantly identifiable. It will be complemented by black-finished 17-inch aluminum wheels matched with aggressive Goodyear Wrangler DuraTec 265/65R17 all-terrain tires, bold fender flares and tubular assist steps. It also will have the black bowtie grille emblem and a spray-on bedliner, and a set of all-weather floor mats inside the truck.
The Colorado Z71 Trail Boss will be available on Z71 models with the extended and crew cab bodies, and in 2WD or 4WD. Like the Midnight Edition, it will also be available with the 2.5L and 3.6L engines, as well as the 2.8L Duramax diesel.
Pricing for both the Midnight Edition and the Z71 Trail Boss will be announced later.
Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel
The 2.8L Duramax engine in the Colorado is not new, but is a completely re-engineered version of an engine in production since 2011 and used in small pickup trucks sold in Asia and South America. A Duramax diesel equipped Colorado will use a six-speed automatic transmission and have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case matched for 4WD equipped models.
The Turbo-Diesel will deliver just 181 horsepower but will kick out 369 lb.-ft. of torque which will add 10 percent to tow capacity (up to 7,700 pounds) compared to a similar equipped gasoline powered Colorado. Equipped with an all-new integrated trailer brake controller, it will also feature a smart diesel exhaust brake system that enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear on steep grades. Fuel economy numbers were not available, but Chevrolet officials expect it will also be an improvement over the available gasoline engines.
The new Duramax turbo-diesel will be available on LT and Z71 Crew Cab models with 2WD or 4WD drive trains. Pricing for the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado line will not be announced until late August, but Chevrolet did share that the new diesel will carry a premium of $3,730 more than a comparably equipped Colorado V-6 model.