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2017 Holden Colorado gets local tune and refinement tweaks

The 2017 Holden Colorado which goes on-sale in September has copped a raft of local tweaks to improve its ride and handling for Australian buyers.

THE 2017 HOLDEN COLORADO received its public debut at the recent State of Origin final in Sydney and will go on-sale in September. And Holden has announced that Australian engineers had a hand in tuning the ride and handling after testing on the vehicle in Australia “with Holden engineers confident the new vehicle will more than handle Australia’s distinctive driving conditions and customer requirements”.

While Ford let Australian engineers take the lead on the development of both the Ranger and Everest, with international collaboration, the refreshed Colorado has been largely a project led by GM Brazil with some Australian involvement.

“The variety of roads in Australia and the variety of ways in which Australians use trucks means the 2017 Colorado has to be versatile enough to handle everything thrown at it,” said Holden’s Lead Development Engineer, Amelinda Watt.

“We know customers like to drive their Colorado off-road or on unsealed roads, but we also know they spend a lot of time on the bitumen.

“We’ve focused on improving refinement and driveability with a range of chassis changes, including electric power steering as well as engine and transmission noise and vibration refinements.”

According to Holden, its Australian engineering team “participated in numerous development activities and drive events in Brazil in addition to completing critical local testing at Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground and on public roads around Victoria”.

2017 Holden Colorado testing in Australia

Indeed, Holden said, the final sign-off on the vehicle’s ride and handling occurred in Australia and was managed by Holden. “Combined with an extensive Captured Test Fleet program, local testing accumulated more than 100,000 km on inner-city and suburban roads, rural country roads and 4×4 tracks in state forests,” Holden said.

Key changes to the new Colorado as a result of Holden’s input during the development phase. Colorado’s Electric Power Steering (EPS) delivers a “more responsive feel, giving the driver increased confidence”.  A revised, steering calibration in combination with a faster steering rack (going from 41mm/rev to 48mm/rev), and the number of turns lock-to-lock lowered (3.9 to 3.29) “delivers a car-like feel and a more precise response”.

Changes to Colorado’s suspension, co-developed by Holden with GM Brazil, include the introduction of “digressive front and rear shocks, an increase in size of the front stabiliser bar (29/31mm to 34mm) and revised spring rates”. Other key developments in Colorado’s chassis include a revised set of engine, transmission and body mounts, in addition to a new final drive ratio (only in Australia) on manual transmission Colorado to assist when towing.

2017 Holden Colorado testing in Australia

The Colorado will also run a new Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter. Ms Watt said: “CPA torque converters are more commonly found in premium diesel passenger cars, its introduction is a first for the truck segment in Australia which is exciting.

“The CPA torque converter helps reduce engine noise and vibration by cancelling out torsional vibrations in the driveline normally felt in the cabin.

Additionally, Colorado’s relocated balance shaft, along with a new engine acoustic pack and wind noise package, should make for a quieter and more comfortable driving environment.

Active and passive safety features have been improved and for slow speed reversing manoeuvres, a rear-view camera is available as standard across the range. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning accompany Front and Rear Park Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and an upgrade in passive safety features includes key structural improvements in addition to a new driver’s knee airbag, which takes Colorado’s total airbag count to seven.

Key engineering tweaks on the 2017 Colorado include:

  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • All new chassis tune
  • Revised Traction and Stability Control, including Hill Descent Control
  • All-new engine and transmission mounts
  • Introduction of shear body mounts
  • New tyres
  • New final drive ratio on Manual Transmission
  • Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter
  • Balance shaft relocation
  • Engine acoustic pack
  • Injector Insulator
  • Metal timing cover
  • Oil pan insulator
  • Wind noise package

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober