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2021 Chevrolet Colorado gets a tougher exterior, but what’s underneath?

General Motors kick-started a midsize pickup truck renaissance when it launched the current generation Chevrolet Colorado (and its GMC Canyon twin) for the 2015 model year. But now GM faces tougher competition in the form of the new Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, as well as an updated Toyota Tacoma. The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado will get some updates to stay competitive, but so far all GM is willing to talk about is exterior styling.

The 2021 Colorado lineup will feature greater design differentiation between trim levels, Chevy said in a press release. That’s similar to the approach Chevy has taken with the larger Silverado and Silverado HD trucks, which feature different grilles and color palettes depending on the trim level. All 2021 Colorado models will also get revised front Chevy bow tie emblems, and “Chevrolet” embossed across the tailgates.

The ZR2 off-road model also gets a new grille that eschews the bow tie emblem for the “Chevrolet” script. The grille looks similar to the one offered on the ZR2 Bison model. The ZR2 remains one of the most capable off-road vehicles you can buy, sporting high-tech Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear electronic locking differentials, a 2.0-inch suspension lift, and skid plates to protect the truck’s underside from rocks and other debris.

Chevy didn’t mention any mechanical changes, but the automaker may be waiting until closer to the 2021 Colorado’s launch. The Colorado is currently offered with a 3.6-liter gasoline V6 making 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four, producing 186 hp and 369 lb-ft. Chevy also offers a 2.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine (with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft), but it’s primarily aimed at fleet buyers. The diesel’s 7,700-pound maximum tow rating is currently the highest of any midsize truck.

An updated Colorado off-road racer will preview the truck’s new styling at the 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic October 10. Following that, the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will make its public debut at the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Sales start in 2020, with pricing to be announced closer to the launch date. The Colorado’s GMC Canyon twin will likely get some updates as well, possibly including a new AT4 off-road variant.

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