The midsize pickup segment continues to get better.

There are already plenty of good reasons to consider buying the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup, but the company is making two big upgrades for the 2017 model year that could attract even more customers. The truck will be available with a more powerful V6, and the engine will hook up to a new eight-speed automatic.

The V6 still displaces 3.6-liters but now outputs 308 horsepower (230 kilowatts) and 275 pound-feet (373 Newton-meters), versus 305 hp (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft (365 Nm) in the current form. The improvements come thanks to improved variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, a retuned direct-injection setup, and cylinder deactivation, which lets the mill run as a four cylinder at times.

The eight-speed automatic should make the Colorado even better to drive, too. It has a numerically higher first gear that should help acceleration from a stop. A numerically lower rear axle ratio also improves fuel economy on the highway. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium means the gearbox doesn’t weigh any more than the current six-speed transmission.

“Drivers will immediately notice that it pulls harder when accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway; it is more confident pulling a trailer up a steep grade and it is more refined cruising at a constant highway speed,” Stan Ludlow, Colorado chief engineer, said in the announcement.

The 2017 Colorado will arrive at dealers in the fourth quarter. Chevy doesn’t have any photos of the new model yet, so at the moment we don’t know if any styling tweaks accompany the powertrain upgrade.

Source: Chevrolet

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