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Colorado-based TrailBlazer could get Holden badges

Teaser: General Motors has released a single, carefully lit image of the new TrailBlazer SUV ahead of its official unveiling at the Dubai motor show next month.

Rugged Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV, Isuzu counterpart under consideration for Oz

13 Oct 2011

HOLDEN has expressed interest in selling a new Chevrolet medium-size SUV based on the forthcoming Colorado one-tonne ute in Australia.

General Motors announced this week that from 2012 it will introduce the SUV – badged TrailBlazer – which will be built on the Brazilian-developed ladder chassis platform of the all-new Colorado that was unveiled last week in Chevrolet guise but will be sold in Australia wearing Holden badges.

As was the case with the Colorado that is due to go on sale in Australia next March, Thailand – the world’s one-tonne ute production powerhouse and the category’s biggest market – will be the first country to receive the TrailBlazer.

It will go on sale early next year ahead of a rollout in global markets including the Middle East, South America, South East Asia and possibly Australia.

Holden senior product communications manager Kate Lonsdale told GoAuto the company is “absolutely” interested in bringing the TrailBlazer to our shores.

13 center imageFrom top: Chevrolet Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Isuzu MU-7.

“We review all of the products available to us in the GM portfolio and this is one that is pretty exciting,” she said.

Chevrolet claims the TrailBlazer – a nameplate previously used by Chevrolet in North America between 2001 and 2008 for a boxy truck-based SUV – will “combine the hauling and towing capability of an SUV with the ride comfort and efficiency of a crossover”.

Scant details of the TrailBlazer were issued along with the teaser image, but the vehicle will be unveiled on November 10 at the Dubai International Motor Show.

Being mechanically similar to the Colorado, the body-on-frame TrailBlazer is likely to go on sale – in Thailand at least – with a choice of 2.5-litre or 2.8-litre diesel engines with respective power and torque outputs of 110kW/350Nm and 132kW/470Nm across 4x4 and 4x2 drivelines.

The TrailBlazer will be the first SUV interpretation of the new breed of one-tonners, with a similar vehicle being developed in Australia by Ford, riding on the T6 platform of the recently launched Ranger and mechanically related Mazda BT-50.

As GoAuto reported in July from the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, there is also the possibility of Volkswagen doing the same with its Amarok.

The Nissan Pathfinder and Mitsubishi Challenger sold here are based on the Navara and Triton utes, while in other markets Toyota sells a HiLux-based Fortuner SUV while Isuzu sells the MU-7, which is based on the outgoing D-Max that will be replaced next year by a Colorado-based ute.

Isuzu Ute spokesman Cornelius Ionescu told GoAuto there was no information on a replacement for the MU-7 SUV at this stage, conceding that “there has to be some upgrade or model coming shortly”, although he was unable to specify timing.

He said Isuzu Ute is “currently continuing discussions” with head office to “assess the viability” of importing an SUV to Australia.

The company feels it would be advantageous to expand its product line-up and that “adding an SUV to the mix would increase our product offering significantly, especially to our fleet buyers”.

GM claims the Colorado was designed and engineered from the ground up to be the toughest, highest-performing and most-refined mid-size pick-up in the company’s 100-year history, while also meeting the highest possible safety standards wherever it is sold.

Features will include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, cornering brake control and dual front airbags.

GM’s global vehicle line executive for midsize trucks, Brad Merkel said of the Colorado: “Our objective from the beginning of the program was ‘haul anything, go anywhere’ – and that’s exactly what the new Colorado delivers.”

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