The all new Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck has made its global debut in Thailand, and sales will start on October 17. Thai customers get to choose from 26 combinations of Colorado models, powertrains, cabins, and ride heights. They include LS, LT and range-topping LTZ trim levels, single, extended and crew-cab bodies in high and low-stance, wide and narrow-body options, as well as two and four-wheel-drive configurations.

The new Colorado is the product of a five-year, $2 billion program developed across five continents for customers in more than 60 markets worldwide. The development of the new Colorado was led by a team of GM engineers from Brazil who lived in Thailand during the development period, learning the highly competitive truck market and observing how Thais use their trucks and the driving conditions.

The engines are from an all-new global family. Called Duramax, they are built at GM Thailand’s newly opened $200 million engine plant, are available in 2.8 and 2.5-litre forms. The 2.8 features a variable-geometry turbocharger and balance shaft, and is rated at 180 hp and 470 Nm of torque. The auto ‘box is a six-speeder. If you opt for the five-speed manual, max torque is 440 Nm.

The 2.5L engine is rated at 150 hp and 350 Nm. Both engines feature components designed to last for 240,000 km, says GM.

Design wise, the production car retains much of the looks previewed by the Colorado Show Truck from the 2011 Bangkok Motor Show. Highlights include a power dome in the hood, a raised cowl, higher-mounted dual projector headlamps and the Chevy dual-port grille with a “three-dimensional” grille mesh. Also, GM offers LED tail lamps on high-level models.

Inside, there’s of course the brand’s dual cockpit design and “Ice Blue” illumination. Chevrolet says that front and second-row shoulder room, headroom and seat height are segment-leading. It’s also claimed to be best in class in storage areas – the regular cab has 16 storage locations, while the extended cab has 19 and the crew cab has 30, plenty of lubang to stash away stuff. Auxiliary power, AUX plugs and USB connectivity are standard across the range.

The 2.5L model will be priced from 537,000 to 808,000 baht. Pricing of the 2.8L model will be announced later. GM is targeting a 10% share of the total pickup market in Thailand by 2013, when TIV is expected reach the one million mark, with pickups accounting for 40-45%.

The battleground is tough. Besides the ever popular Toyota Hilux Vigo Champ, challengers include recently launched relative Isuzu D-Max as well as the upcoming new Ford Ranger, which has started production already. Oh, and this time around, the Colorado WILL come to Malaysia!