In its second year on the market, the Chevrolet Colorado (Cars.com's and PickupTrucks.com's 2015 Truck of the Year) will bring the long-awaited "baby Duramax" diesel engine into play; the 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel will generate 369 pounds-feet of torque (at 2,000 rpm) and have a maximum trailering capacity of 7,700 pounds.
The new engine option — on sale this fall — will be offered in LT and Z71 trims on the crew-cab version only and will be offered in either in two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The max-towing engine option will cost a $3,730 premium over the comparably equipped 3.6-liter V-6 gas engine.
Interestingly, the new engine will include a smart exhaust brake (meaning it is multimode) to help with towing; in fact, the Z82 Trailering Package (includes a receiver hitch and seven-pin plug) will come standard with the engine, as will an integrated trailer-brake controller. Additionally, all Duramax-equipped Colorados will have 3.42:1 axle gears and a G80 locking rear differential. It's worth noting that inside the same six-speed transmission used with the gas engine is a new vibration absorber to help reduce any extra noise or shake the extra torque might produce.
Among some of the more interesting pieces of technology inside the new 16-valve iron-block engine with an aluminum cylinder head is a forged-steel crankshaft, piston-cooling oil jets, ceramic glow plugs, a strengthened aluminum upper oil pan and B20 bio-diesel fuel capability. Although fuel economy ratings and emissions levels have not been determined, Chevy expects the new truck and powertrain combination to lead the midsize pickup truck category in both.
We'll have more to report after we get behind the wheel later next month. To read the full press release, click here.