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2017 Chevrolet Colorado updated with all-new V-6 and class-exclusive 8-speed automatic; cylinder deactivation

27 August 2016

For 2017, the Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup offers an all-new V-6 engine and class-exclusive eight-speed automatic. It is the latest major update for Colorado, which entered the market in model year 2015. Chevrolet is on track to sell more than 160,000 Colorados in the first 24 months on the market, reigniting the midsize segment.

The most significant update for the 2017 Colorado is the 3.6L V-6 engine—also used in Cadillac models—and eight-speed transmission. According to Stan Ludlow, chief engineer for the 2017 Colorado, the engine and transmission were calibrated to emphasize performance and refinement while optimizing fuel economy.

The Colorado is currently the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America, with an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway when equipped with the diesel engine. As such, for the new V-6 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.

—Stan Ludlow

Chevrolet has not released fuel economy figure for MY 2017 yet.

This second generation of Chevrolet’s double-overhead-cam engine architecture retains the same 3.6L displacement as before, with an updated suite of advanced engine technologies.

This includes improved variable valve timing for intake and exhaust, improved direct injection and for the first time, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), which disables two cylinders under light throttle applications. Horsepower and torque increase to an SAE-certified 308 hp (230 kW) at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft (373 N·m) at 4,000 rpm.

The engine is mated to the class-exclusive eight-speed automatic. The GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L45 is roughly the same size and weight as the 6L80 six-speed automatic it replaces. However, the eight-speed automatic offers a wider 7.0 overall gear ratio spread than the 6L80 transmission’s 6.0 ratio. This results in a numerically higher first gear ratio, helping drivers start off more confidently with a heavy load or when trailering, and numerically lower rear axle ratios that reduce engine rpm on the highway for improved efficiency.

Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium, combined with similar packaging to the outgoing 6L80 transmission, equates to no increase in overall weight for Colorado models equipped with the new 8L45 transmission.

The 2017 model year updates, including the new V-6 and eight-speed combination, will arrive at dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year.

After two years on the market, the Colorado has shown strong results:

  • Chevrolet is on track to sell more than 160,000 Colorados in the first 24 months on the market (September 2014 through August 2016).

  • Today, Colorado accounts for 23% of the midsize segment. Since the Colorado was introduced, the total midsize segment has nearly doubled, from 1.5% of total vehicle sales in 2014 to 2.4% of total sales in the 2016 calendar year.

  • Averaging 36 days to turn, Colorado remains one of the fastest-selling vehicles in the segment.

  • Colorado has been the most awarded midsize pickup over the past two years, including earning back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year awards.

August 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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