Holden's next-generation Colorado will target more family and lifestyle buyers when it arrives Down Under in early 2012. In a departure from its rough and ready Rodeo origins, the new GM developed vehicle will move upmarket – at least in its upscale variants.
One of the stars of the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) reveal in Melbourne today, a show car version of the Colorado shows clearly the passenger-car levels of comfort and finish Holden is aiming for with the new generation.
Holden insiders including boss, Mike Devereux admit the show car is very close to the production version... At least once the flashy details and fancy wheels and mirrors are discarded. But there's a message in the theme – new Colorado will aim to attract more private buyers than ever.
"One of trends we see for utes in general is a move away from just utilitarian to more of a lifestyle vehicle," Devereux told motoring.com.au
"There's going to be much more of a cool lifestyle edge to these types of vehicle [going forward] than just it's a ute that goes offroad and that tradies use."
To this end we can expect Holden to equip Colorado with all the active safety equipment present in sedans. Antilock brakes and stability control will be on the list as will passive features such as a high airbag count. There'll also be a range of accessories – to help the standard car look like it's a show car!
Colorado Concept designer Ben Last says the show car draws on some of the flavor that makes Holden's own Commodore-based utes popular.
"You see a lot of the SS ute cues [appearing in the one-tonne market] – with the hard tonneaus and so on... It's all about the look on the road. Generally with the light truck market a lot of people are up-spec'ing their vehicles, pulling their jet skis. It's not just the workhorse."
The Holden boss agrees.
"If you look at the VE ute versus, for example, how Falcon ute mix looks… A lot of people use that VE ute more as a lifestyle vehicle. I think this sort of [one-tonne] ute will begin to evolve into more dual use. In the US pick-up trucks are used as a family vehicle."
Devereux says accessories will play an important part in the localisation of Colorado. He revealled the Holden team is working on a dedicated range of parts with which to give the production vehicle a showcar look on the road.
"We're going to be designing some very cool accessories for this vehicle," he promised.
"Certainly the trend towards customising the vehicles and making them more lifestyle [friendly] in this segment is going to explode in the lifecycle of this [new] vehicle and we got to be ready with accessories to take advantage of that."
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