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GM Brings New V6 and Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission To 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

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On: Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 8:57AM | By: Carl Malek


GM Brings New V6 and Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission To 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

The current generation Chevrolet Colorado has proven to be not only a hot seller for Chevrolet dealerships, it's also the key offering that has single-handedly revived the mid-size pickup truck segment. However, the V6 model's thirstiness at the pump has always been a major weakness for the Colorado, especially when compared to its four-cylinder siblings. GM aims to have rectifed that in a brief statement detailing the mechanical changes that are in store for the 2017 model.

A key change is the addition of an all-new V6 that is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. GM expects to get better mileage with this combination versus the outgoing 3.6-liter V6 and the six-speed automatic transmission which achieved only a mediocre 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the freeway, slightly worse than the the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and its 20/27 mpg figures. While the new engine will retain the prior engine's overall displacement, this new iteration will feature several of GM's recently announced efficiency technologies as well as revised variable valve timing and direct injection. In addition, two of the six cylinders are automatically deactivated during light throttle applications which helps enhance fuel economy.

These changes were made without blunting the model's performance; horsepower actually increased to 308, and torque also got a bump to 275 lb-ft. GM says that with this new transmission in place, the Colorado is the only vehicle in its segment with an eight-speed automatic. It manages that feat with a unit that does not add any extra weight or take up more space than the outgoing six-speed automatic. The eight-speed's higher 7.0 gear ratio, as well as a revised first gear ratio, helps improve the Colorado's ability to accelerate from a stop when hauling heavy cargo or towing a trailer, while the lower rear axle ratios help reduce engine rpm at highway speeds for improved fuel efficiency.

GM, for its part, did not release official EPA estimates for the updated pickup, but the changes should help bring the V6 much closer to the four-cylinder model while narrowing the wide gap that the model has with the frugal diesel edition which boasts an impressive 31 mpg highway rating. GM is also confident in the mid-size pickup segment as a whole, claiming that it still continues to show growth with the segment, climbing to 2.4 percent of overall auto sales from 2015 to 2016. Colorado sales have seen their figures climb by 24 percent during the first seven months of the year while its GMC-badged cousin, the Canyon, has seen an 18 percent jump in sales during the same time period. These figures have effectively allowed the duo to outshine rivals such as the Toyota Tacoma as well as the aging Nissan Frontier.




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