Chevrolet is refreshing the midsize Colorado pickup truck for 2017 with a new version of its 3.6-liter V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Chevy says the V-6 is updated with variable valve timing for intake and exhaust, an improved direct-injection setup, and for the first time, cylinder deactivation. Power and torque grow to 308 hp and 275 pounds-feet from 305 hp and 269 pounds-feet; no word from Chevy on how fuel economy has been affected.
Variants of GM's eight-speed transmission have been cascading down its lineup from the Corvette, through its full-size pickups and now on to the Colorado.
The 8L45, as GM calls it this version, is about the same size and weight as the outgoing six-speed automatic, but offers a wider overall gear ratio spread. The result is a lower first gear for hard takeoffs and taller ratios on the highway for better mpg.
Chevy says the upgrades come without a weight penalty and that the truck will arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year.
Chevrolet has sold about 60,000 Colorados in the U.S. this year through July and 160,000 since it hit the market two years ago -- solid numbers, but still a drop in the bucket compared to full-size trucks (327,000-plus Silverados were sold as of the end of July 2016).