After twelve long years resting on his laurels, General Motors introduced the third generation Chevrolet Colorado earlier this year, answering the urgent need for a new Colorado in the market. Consequently, after an eight-year wait, GMC released the second-generation Canyon just two weeks after introducing the 2023 Colorado.
Both Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon are essential nicknames for GM as both have held up well in the market since their introduction. Both pickup trucks have a redesigned look, a new engine, a slick interior and a range of superior amenities.
The most notable change this year, however, is the omission of the previous engine, and now all Colorado and Canyon models get the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The question remains: why did GM scrap the previous engines and approve the 2.7-liter turbocharged engines to be installed in all models of the Colorado and Canyon? The answer is below.
One motor in the entire range simplifies the building process
Tighter emission standards and increased mileage requirements have forced automakers to re-evaluate their powertrain ranges. There’s no denying that the previous generation Colorado offered three decent engine options, allowing buyers to select a powertrain based on their needs, and all engines performed well in real life and offered excellent reliability.
GM has plans for electrification and intends to offer at least 20 electric vehicles by 2023. With the gradual transition to electrification, GM needs space in its plants for the manufacturing and assembly processes. Therefore, GM intends to limit production in Colorado and Canyon to Wentzville Assembly in Missouri.
This decision will enable GM to make the engine manufacturing process more efficient and simple, helping GM build more engines and meet more customer needs. In addition, the decision to install the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in Canyon, Colorado, Silverado and Sierra will save significant time and money, as well as increase the reliability of these vehicles.
Nick Katcherian, chief engineer at Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, stated in a recent interview conducted by Muscle Cars & Trucks, “If you look at the underhood packaging and all the stuff we put around it. We can make many of the same configurations, so if you look at our engine line at the factory, this part is built from the wiring harness and stuff before it gets on the truck. This allows us to have a very similar build process for both engines.
In addition, according to GM, the 2.7-liter inline 4 turbocharged engine is a worthy successor to the previous gasoline and diesel engines. He added, “It really needs to address the fact that this powertrain has all the torque you need.” You get it quicker, so if you look at the advantages that diesel has offered in the past and you compare it to this engine, this engine does all that much better.
The easier build process has given GM more space in the factory to set up manufacturing units to build interior components, resulting in better manufacturing efficiencies. That being said, GM had to develop the 31XX-2 platform to outfit the newer 2.7-liter engine to give the new Colorado and Canyon a boost.
GM’s 2.7-liter engine has numerous advantages
Although the standardization of the common engine has helped GM with easier manufacturing, the 2.7-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine has numerous advantages, ranging from better versatility and more power to better fuel efficiency and reliability.
In comparison, the previous naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four offered 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. The higher models had a hungry 3.6-liter V6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, and an optional 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel inline-four was capable of 181 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque to offer.
The newer 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-4, on the other hand, is offered in three tunings, with each tuning serving different purposes. The base 2.7-liter turbocharged engine offers a higher output of 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque and offers a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds to keep customers happy. The higher models get a more powerful 2.7-liter Turbo Plus engine that offers 310 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque to meet any need and allows a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds.
Even more impressive is that the flagship Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and all models of the GMC Canyon feature the 2.7-liter high-performance engine that offers up to 430 lb-ft of torque. That being said, the new engine in the Colorado and Canyon will offer better power and performance, be more fuel efficient, and be more reliable due to easier parts availability.
New Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon against rivals
Both GM brothers, Colorado and Canyon, are doing well in the competition. The current Ford Ranger offers only one engine choice; A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque powers all models. However, Ford has confirmed that the next-generation Ranger will get three new engines: a new 3.0-liter V6 with 288 hp and 362 lb-ft of torque; the 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-four engine with 205 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque; and the range-topping Ranger Raptor with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 392 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.
The Toyota Tacoma offers two powertrain options. The lower models have a 2.7-liter inline-four with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque and a 3.5-liter V6 with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. However, the Nissan Frontier only has one engine choice, a 3.8-liter V6 with 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. However, we expect the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon to do very well in the truck market.
Sources: General Motors, Chevrolet, Muscle Cars & Trucks