2017 Chevrolet Colorado Gets V6 Engine Upgrade, Eight-Speed Transmission
Sales of midsize trucks are heating up, and General Motors doesn’t want its slice of the pie to grow stale.
Changes are coming to the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado by way a host of powertrain updates aimed at squeezing better performance and fuel economy out of its volume model.
A revised version of the 3.6-liter V6 gains 3 horsepower and 6 pounds-feet of torque, for an output of 308 hp and 275 lbs-ft. GM achieved this through improved variable valve timing for intake and exhaust and improved direct injection and for the first time. The engine also gains cylinder deactivation (Active Fuel Management, in GM-speak), turning the V6 into a four-cylinder under light loads.
Six-cylinder Colorados will receive an eight-speed automatic transmission for 2017, a class-exclusive feature. GM claims the transmission has a 7.0 overall gear ratio (compared to the previous transmission’s 6.0 ratio), and a higher first gear ratio for improved launches while towing.
“Drivers will immediately notice that it pulls harder when accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway,” said Stan Ludlow, chief engineer for the 2017 Colorado, in a statement. Drivers can expect the new model to feel “more confident pulling a trailer up a steep grade,” he added.
Thanks to generous use of aluminum and magnesium, GM says there’s no weight penalty to adding the eight-speed unit. The new transmission, coupled with cylinder deactivation, should see the 2017 model boost its highway mileage figures, though the automaker hasn’t released numbers.
2016 V6 models (equipped with a six-speed automatic) are rated at 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
It’s safe to assume that 2017 GMC Canyon V6 models will see the same upgrades as its corporate brother when they go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year, but GM hasn’t explicitly stated it yet.
[Image: General Motors]
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