"New Vortec 3500 I-5 and 2800 I-4 Engines to Provide the Power of a V6 and the Efficiency of an I-4
Leveraging the technology of its highly successful Vortec 4200 inline six-cylinder engine, GM has created two additional inline engines with excellent driveability features for mid-size pickup customers: the Vortec 3500 inline five-cylinder and Vortec 2800 inline four-cylinder engines. Both engines will be available in the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon and will provide the power of a V6 and the efficiency of an I-4."
and here is another website with more tech info.
(This ia a Thai site. Down on the bottom there is link to the English version)
As a GM supplier posted on the Colarado board, the Canyon/Colorado were developed by Isuzu. Isuzu is making their trucks in Thailand, the Chevy/GMC will be made in Shreveport at a new assembly facility adjacent to the old S-10/Sonoma plant. As I said on th Colorado board, a few things stand out to me:
- D-MAX's listed dimensions are similiar if not smaller than the Sonoma/S-10. All the scuttlebutt out of Detroit had these vehicles being larger, comparable to today's Dakota (which, paradoxically is reported to be getting smaller next generation). The pictures show a vehicle with a shallow, Tacoma-sized bed. Yes, I believe it is possible to fit a deeper bed, but a larger cab I don't think is in the cards.
- I say the cab is not going to change because the interior shots show an interior (dash, door hardware and steering wheel) spot on with all the spy photo interior shot of the new Chevy/GMC. Yes, owing to righthand drive in Thailand, the interior is reversed, but it looks almost identical.
Based on this and other info, some conjecture:
- These trucks will not be as big as expected. Heck, GM is now calling the present Sonoma a mid-size (http://www.gmc.com/sonoma). Why make a mid-size when you can market your old compact as one (Revenge of Ron Zarella?!?). Maybe GM got some good intel on the Dakota being shrunk and decided not to be behind the power curve. Probably GM also read the writing on the political wall (read: CAFE) and knew they needed to compensate for Yukons/Denalis, Escalades, Silverado 1500's and the like. Might be the reason GMC, quite a while after the Colarado was announced finally announced the Canyon. Corporate might have forced them to have a small truck so all the CAFE averaging pressure isn't on Chevy.
- The engine debate is also interesting. Again GM is going for fuel economy IMO. An exec practically said so when he was quoted as wanting to sell a lot of 2.8/5-speed combos. Owning both a vehicle with a 4.2L I-6 VORTEC and one with the old 4.3 V-6 Vortec, I can attest for the new engine's smoothness and higher end power. But GM is putting in an I-5 version for mileage. Even with balance shaft's it won't be as smooth. Plus, it has less torque than the 4.3. In the end it might come down to buyer's perceptions. Ford dealer's will be quick to learn "Yes, theirs is nice, but OUR's has a V-6! You will be amazed at the people who will automatically think "ah, more power" than take the time to read a spec sheet!