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Chevrolet’s updated 2021 Colorado pickup will begin to reach showrooms in the coming weeks. The company has already started developing the truck’s successor, and a recent report suggests buyers who want a V6 or a turbodiesel under the hood need to buy relatively soon because the next-generation model won’t offer either.
Without citing sources, enthusiast website Muscle Car & Trucks reported the new Colorado tentatively due out in 2023 will lose the current model’s gasoline-burning 3.6-liter V6 and 2.8-liter turbodiesel four. The entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder won’t return, either. Instead, the only engine offered will be an evolution of the 2.7-liter turbo four currently available in the Silverado and its GMC-badged twin, the Sierra. It will shift through a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s reasonable to assume rear- and four-wheel drive variants will continue to be on the menu.
The 2.7-liter develops 310 horsepower and a stout 348 pound-feet of torque when it’s bolted in the Silverado’s engine bay. It’s too early to tell if those figures will carry over to the Colorado, or if Chevrolet will tune it differently. GMC’s Canyon, which is closely related to the Colorado, will follow the same route towards downsizing.
Chevrolet hasn’t commented on the report, and official details about the next-generation Colorado are few and far between. The unverified 2023 release date suggests the truck could land in showrooms for the 2024 model year.
To downsize or not to downsize
If the rumor is accurate, Chevrolet won’t be the only mid-size truck manufacturer arguing forced induction is a suitable replacement for displacement. The Ford Ranger, which competes in the same segment as the Colorado/Canyon duo, exclusively receives a 2.3-liter four turbocharged to 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It’s equipped with the same basic 10-speed automatic transmission its General Motors-built rivals will allegedly receive later this decade; Ford joined forces with its arch nemesis to develop the unit.
Nissan will take a different approach to the segment when it finally replaces the Frontier. The 2020 model inaugurates a naturally-aspirated, 3.8-liter V6 developed for its successor, which will make its debut as a 2021 model. It’s rated at 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and it’s bolted to a nine-speed automatic transmission. We don’t know if a four-cylinder will return as an entry-level option.
Segment leader Toyota makes four- and six-cylinder options available on the Tacoma. Both are naturally-aspirated. We expect the palette of engines will be reshuffled the next time a new model arrives in showrooms, and the downsizing wave sweeping across the company’s range is a sign the V6 may not live to see another generation.