Racing Legend Helps Develop Colorado Performance Concept

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When Chevrolet decided to pick a celebrity to help develop their new Colorado Performance Concept, they hit the jackpot with motor cross and automotive racing legend Ricky Carmichael. Ricky needed a mid-sized pickup truck to reflect his active daily lifestyle, in addition to being able to go anywhere and carry his motorcycle and mountain bike along for the ride. “Where I take my bikes, a full-size truck isn’t always the best solution, so a maneuverable midsize truck like the Colorado is just the ticket,” said Carmichael. “Besides a cargo bed that’s not only large enough to haul a motocross bike and a mountain bike, the Colorado has the power to confidently take them where the pavement ends.”

The new Colorado Performance Concept made its debut last week during the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas (Yeah, the big one).


Ricky and the engineers at Chevrolet began in the bed of the truck with a unique concept for mounting both the motorcycle and the bicycle securely. Despite the bed length of on 6-feet 2-inches, the Colorado is capable of accommodating items up to 8-feet long by leaving the tailgate in the down position and utilizing the patented tailgate extenders. A corner-step rear bumper is standard equipment on the Colorado making it easy to reach into the bed and tighten/loosen special hold-down straps designed to secure the bikes. Additionally, the Colorado’s patent-pending “Gear-On” system is designed to secure larger items (such as surf boards, kayaks, and canoes) above the bed to make room for other gear in the bed.  Customers can have the accessories installed when they purchase their new truck, so they are ready at the time of vehicle delivery. In fact, they can even roll their cost, including any installation charges, into the monthly payments for the Colorado, and carry a warranty backed by General Motors.

With his motorcycle and mountain bike safely mounted, Carmichael and Chevrolet designers turned their attention to the Colorado’s exterior and interior to give it a one-of-a-kind appearance reflecting the hall-of-fame racer’s competitive spirit.

First, the truck was given a unique matte gray base paint scheme with silver and yellow accents, along with a graphic of Ricky Carmichael’s signature. A specially designed sport bar was added to the bed and set of 17-inch Z71 aluminum wheels were accented with yellow highlights and wrapped in Goodyear Duratec Off-Road tires.

Exclusive yellow accents adorn the interior, including Ricky Carmichael’s racing number 4 embroidered into both front seat headrests. Like many 2015 Chevrolet vehicles, the Colorado comes with its own integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and rearview camera. The camera sure makes it easier to backup when you have tall objects (such as bikes) in the bed.

The Colorado is no slouch when it comes to power, either. The segment’s most powerful and fuel efficient engine are standard equipment. The 3.6-liter V6 manufactures 305-horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque, while posting an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 26 mpg highway (two-wheel drive models). The Colorado Performance Concept also comes with a less-restrictive performance exhaust system.

“The Colorado does everything I want in a pickup truck,” said Carmichael. “It simply does it in a smaller package that fits the lifestyle of a lot of people like me.”

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.

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