Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Chevrolet reveals first new Colorado since 2014, Ferrari 296 goes GT3 racing starting next year, new Mustang will debut at Detroit this year, and Cadillac celebrates famous tracks on IMSA schedule with special edition CT4-V Blackwing – plus your news for the week.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet is the latest manufacturer to realize that interest in midsize trucks is high enough to finally replace an aging model. The Chevy Colorado on sale now first debuted in 2014. With a new Nissan Frontier on sale and the new Ford Ranger incoming, Chevrolet has given their competitor some much-needed attention and upgrades.
Five trim levels are being offered, three of which have a focus on off-road performance to a varying degree. The Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71, and ZR2 trims return while a Trail Boss variant joining the party. It needs to be said – Trail Boss is probably the dumbest name ever applied to a trim level. In any event, each model carries the same 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine but with different outputs depending on the trim. The WT and LT trims make do with 237 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque, the Z71 and Trail Boss get 310 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft., and the ZR2 gets the full 310 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. WT and LT models can upgrade to the 2nd most powerful engine output as an option. Towing is rated at 3,500 lbs for the lowest engine output, 7,700 lbs for the middle option, and 6,000 lbs in the more powerful ZR2 (because off road suspension). An eight-speed automatic is standard across all models.
Interior materials and features will vary by each model of course, but a generally sporty-looking design seemingly inspired by the Camaro, 11.3″ touchscreen, and a new friction hinge on the center console lid to ensure it stays open at any angle (!!!!!!!) are applied across the range. Probably the best new feature on the whole truck is the built-in storage compartment in the tailgate. When the tailgate is down a lockable and watertight lid opens up to a 45″ wide and 4″ deep compartment. Just in case water does get in, there’s a drain too. Of all the tailgate gimmicks GM has tried to sell us lately, this one is easily the best.
They also took notice of the Ford Maverick’s numerous bed configuration options and added numerous bed pockets for custom storage solutions, the ability to close the tailgate halfway for extended loads, and an available 110-volt power outlet. It even has two motorcycle/bicycle tire grooves in the front bed wall.
The chassis is brand new and has a 3.1″ longer wheelbase than the outgoing model and a shorter front overhang. WT, LT, and Z71 trims have a “standard” suspension setup that is more balanced between on and off-road performance and comfort. The Trail Boss features a 2″ lift and a wider stance while the ZR2 benefits from a 3″ lift, wide stance, and its party trick – Multimatic DSSV dampers. The differences between Z71, Trail Balls, and ZR2 trims is visual and mechanical.
Z71 appears to be a very mild “I occasionally go off road” sort of truck with 18″ wheels and generic truck tires. Trail Boss is a middle ground with 18″ wheels and 32″ all-terrain tires for buyers that may go off roading more frequently, but not enough to justify a ZR2. And of course the ZR2 with its 17″ wheels and 33″ mud/terrain tires is for serious enthusiasts who are willing to make more sacrifices to refinement for the thrill of adventure. Chevy doesn’t really go into specifics about the rest of the differences in each model, but you get the idea.
For the first time, there will be a version above the ZR2. But not for long. A special-edition ZR2 Desert Boss package (still a dumb name) takes inspiration from the Colorado’s success in desert racing to go even further with the already very capable ZR2. 17″ beadlock-capable wheels, off-road bumper, sports bar, roof-mounted light bar, underbody camera, and the essential graphics will set this one apart in parking lots at Bass Pro Shops and southeastern high schools.
Pricing and launch date info is not available yet.
Ferrari 296 GT3
On the eve of the 24 Hours of Spa, the biggest GT3-only event of the year, Ferrari has pulled off the wraps on their new contender. As the 296 GTB edges closer to production, the 296 GT3 is ready to take the place of the venerable 488 GT3 starting at the Rolex 24 at Daytona next year. The 488 GT3 has had a long and successful career (in fact it’s the most successful Ferrari race car ever), so this 296 GT3 has big shoes to fill.
The car was developed in-house at Ferrari almost like a prototype with a completely modular design. This will simplify assembly as well as trackside operations and repairs. The GT3-spec bodywork and aero elements aim to improve performance and drivability in all scenarios and at all skill levels and make it less sensitive to ride height. They claim a 20% improvement in downforce compared to the 488 GT3 thanks to new CFD simulations and a swan-neck-style rear wing that is becoming more popular.
As with the road car, the race car runs with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 which can produce a maximum of 600 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque, but this will ultimately be determined by series regulations and balance of performance. And since these are sold to customer teams, it won’t have to rely on Ferrari strategists when it sees global competition beginning next year. Sportscar365 learned that customers will begin receiving their cars around the end of this year, and that up to six cars are expected to compete in its first outing at Daytona.
[Source: Ferrari via Sportscar365]
Ford will debut new Mustang at Detroit next month
Ford CEO Jim Farley took to Twitter to confirm some exciting news for lovers of pony cars, V8s, and manual transmissions. The North American International Auto Show in Detroit will set the stage for next-generation Ford Mustang.
“Excited to confirm that we’ll unveil the all-new, seventh-generation @FordMustang September 14 at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s a stunning car and I’m excited to share it with the world! #SaveTheManuals“
So far all that’s known for certain is the existence of a V8 and a six-speed manual transmission. There’s also a GT3-spec competition version in the works too. Farley is one of Ford’s biggest fans and he’s the one in charge. I don’t doubt he flexed a bit with his title to get a few things developed as he wants it. If he’s excited about it then I am too.
Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Track Edition
Cadillac is a major force in IMSA sports car racing with a highly successful DPi race car and an upcoming LMDh prototype. So they’re celebrating this involvement with a Track Edition for the CT4-V Blackwing which pays tribute to three historic tracks on the IMSA schedule.
Three different versions, one each for Watkins Glen, Sebring, and Road Atlanta, offer unique color combinations along with interior and exterior accents. Graphics that are clearly inspired by the factory liveries on the Cadillac DPi race cars adorn the hood, both sides of the car, and part of the front seats. The Watkins Glen model is only available in Electric Blue, which is inspired by the signature blue guardrails that surround the track. The Sebring car is painted in Maverick Noir Frost which I guess could be reminiscent of the nighttime finishes at the Sebring 12 Hour. As for the Road Atlanta car, it’s painted in Rift Metallic. I’ve been attending races at Road Atlanta for 12 years now. I have no idea how they looked at that track and thought “white”.
All track edition cars come standard with carbon fiber seat backs and both of the Blackwing’s two available carbon fiber packages. Only 99 of each model will be produced. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.