Chevy impresses, VIA wows at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show

2013 LA Auto ShowThe 2013 Los Angeles auto show gave us an up-close look at a number of new vehicles that are slated for release in the next 18 months. First among them is the brand new 2015 Cheverolet Colorado, which appears to substantially improve on the prior iterations from recent years past.

The 2015 Colorado features a greatly improved cabin space with a much higher level of wheel comfort, a dashboard with a large speedometer and tachometer that take inspiration from Chevy’s Camaro line, and a broad and easy to access center console borrowed and adjusted from the half-ton Silverado. Additionally, there are some great details to be found on the Colorado, including a bed with additional tie-down locations and a step ladder with an embedded handle to help your balance when loading and unloading the bed. Aesthetically, the Colorado adds a little dash of sport to its face with an inspired, sharp headlight assembly that carries shades of Chevy’s aggressive design instincts.

The Colorado is simply strong. The lines aren’t overly sporty, the interior isn’t cluttered with useless technology, and the truck promises to be a reliable workhorse for years to come. Because of the simplicity of design, Chevy has allowed a healthy level of customization. Under the hood the Colorado offers the option of a Duramax 2.8L turbo-diesel engine that is sure to improve fuel economy and keep up a steady torque curve, and the customer has the option of ordering his vehicle with the rear seats removed for more storage and workspace.

Perhaps the most unique revelation at the show was VIA Motors’ unveiling of a solar powered truck bed to complement their line of extended range electric pickups. VIA is of course known for repurposing GM vehicles for electric usage, but the addition of a source of solar energy is a bold new step for the company. The solar panel fits over the bed of their electric models and plugs into the electric motor’s drivetrain system. The company claims that the solar energy can add from 5 to 10 miles of additional travel to any full electric charge, but whether or not that is accurate is yet to be seen.

It’s a treat to see truck manufacturers in America addressing the fuel economy bugbear with innovative new technologies, while trucks like the Colorado continue the pickup’s big, solid, American monster hauling machine legacy.

Photo credit: Rance Costa / Foter.com / CC BY

 

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