Chevrolet unveils a refreshed Equinox as well as a basic and uplevel Silverado along with a custom Colorado at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show
2015 Chicago Auto Show
Public days are well underway at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show and it looks as if this year will see well over a million visitors to the show as last year topped that mark and, early on, attendance is up 20 percent over the same time last year.
Among the new models on display never seen by the public are a midsize crossover and two pickups from Chevrolet.
2016 Chevrolet Equinox
An all-new version won't be forthcoming until late in 2017, but with competition heating up in the compact CUV segment, a refresh was almost a necessity for Chevrolet's Equinox, which hasn't changed since it was introduced in 2010.
Exterior changes begin with a new front fascia. A larger lower grill and narrower upper grille are now trapezoidal in shape. The headlamp enclosures are smaller and more angular (upper trim models will feature LED main lighting), while the lower air intake is surrounded by a flat- finished valance panel. The round, floating fog lights have been replaced by triangular-shaped flush-mounted units while the lower valance no longer features a fake skid plate.
The body sides remain unchanged, but in back there's a new chrome upper trim piece above the license plate. The lower rear valance also loses its fake skid plate and is replaced by a flat-finished panel trimmed in chrome, while rectangular exhaust ports replace former round units.
Inside, the center console has been reworked to include a new, standard, 7-inch screen (hooded to reduce outside glare) along with a small upper display screen. A rear-view camera is now standard on all trim levels, while blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are new to the options list.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado Custom
In creating the new Custom trim, Chevrolet started with a basic Silverado LS then added 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome bumpers, mirror caps and door handles and a body-colored top cap above the front bumper.
Standard is 40/20/40 front bench seating along with a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power windows, door locks, and Chevy MyLink with 4G LTE WiFi (including a 3 month/3 GB trial data plan).
While a 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 is standard, Chevy expect most buyers will step up to the 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8, a setup that generates 355 horsepower and features direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (enabling four-cylinder operation during light-load driving for better fuel efficiency).
Although full pricing has yet to be released, Chevrolet notes that a 2WD Silverado Custom equipped with the 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 and color-keyed carpeting will start at $33,820 while a similarly equipped 4x4 will have a starting MSRP of $37,800 (both prices include option package discounts).
2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition
Also on display is a pickup at the other end of the price range. First unveiled to dealers at the 2015 NADA Convention, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition is what Chevy terms "The New Black" in pickup trucks.
Midnight editions begin life as your typical, black Silverado Z71 then get a black, body-colored grille, bumper, headlamp bezels, tow hooks and fog lamps, black side and beltline moldings, 18-inch black painted alloy wheels, unique Z71 badges on the doors, a spray-in bedliner and black Chevrolet bowties front and rear.
In addition to the Z71's standard off-road suspension, locking rear diff, Hill Descent Control and trailering package, Midnight special editions also receive rear park assist as well as heated, power-adjusted outside rear-view mirrors.
The Silverado Midnight special edition can be specified as either a 1500 double-cab or crew-cab model, and no more than 5,000 copies will be produced for the 2015 model year. The Midnight package price runs from $1,595 to $1,995, depending on the model with dealer orders starting this month.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept
Unveiled at the 2014 LA Auto Show, the Colorado ZR2 concept is, according to the manufacturer, "a vision of how Chevrolet could take the all-new midsize truck's off-road capability to the next level."
Four inches wider than a production Z71, the ZR2 Concept features new front and rear fascias with reduced overhangs for increased approach and departure angles (30.7 and 22.7 degrees, respectively), a two-inch lift to the suspension and integral skid plates. The new front fascia includes an all-new grille and incorporates integrated, flip-out aluminum tow hooks and a built-in winch.
Although the inside at first glance appears to be fairly stock, a closer inspection reveals orange accent stitching and an abundance of ZR2 logos on the front seat headrests as well as on an instrument cluster display. There's also a custom inclinometer, an AUX toggle and four additional toggles: two for winch in and winch out operation; and two for the electronic front- and rear-locking differentials.
King mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers feature remote-mounted fluid reservoirs that, for the front shocks, are accessibly mounted in the front fascia and matched with all-new front control arms.
Under the hood is a 2.8L Duramax turbo diesel generating an estimated 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.