The long-anticipated S-10/Sonoma replacement pickups from Chevrolet and GMC are almost here. While manufacturers like Ford and Dodge are slow to redesign their compact/midsize pickups, GM has jumped into the pool with both feet. Completely redesigned with some early input from Isuzu, the smaller pickups carry many styling cues, as predicted, from the full-size Silverado.
Power options for the new midsize (Chevrolet doesn't classify these as compact pickups anymore, mainly because buyers want bigger small trucks) include two powerful engines (a Vortec 2800 I-4 and 3500 I-5), both based off the Vortec 4200 I-6. The two engines share about 75 percent of their components with the bigger 4200 and about 90 percent of their parts between each other.
Output is 174 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque for the 2.8-liter I-4, while the 3.5-liter I-5 offers 220 horses and 225 lb-ft of torque--considerably more than any other V-6s offered in the class. An engine first includes a cast-aluminum block, coil-on-plug ignition, variable valve timing, and electronic throttle control. In addition, Chevy expects its pickups to offer the best fuel-economy numbers in the category --- by a wide margin (to date, EPA numbers haven't been released, but we'd expect somewhere around 27 mpg for the I-4, 21 for the I-5).
Other highlights include standard rack-and-pinion steering, optional head and side airbags, oil-life and tire-pressure monitors, and a strengthened Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission. Both engines will have a new five-speed manual transmission option, as well. Colorados and Canyons will be offered in Regular Cab, four-door (access doors) Extended Cab, and four-door Crew Cab body styles, with three (standard, sport, and off-road) suspension packages. In addition, each will be offered with a locking differential in either two- or four-wheel drive.
The midsize GM pickups will go on sale at the end of this year and will be produced out of GM Shreveport Truck Plant in Louisiana. Look for more details in an upcoming issue.