Holden has revealed to TMR that a long-due replacement for the Epica and a ground-up redesign of the Colorado will be coming to Australia as part of its 10-model assault planned for the next 20 months.
A source within the Australian carmaker has confirmed that the Colorado will follow the path of the new Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 work utes, and be larger, more versatile, safer and powered by a line-up of all-new engines.
Production of Australia-bound Colorados will stay in Thailand, and a range of bodystyles – including single cab, dual cab and space cab, along with a possible wagon variant – will be offered.
The unloved Epica will be replaced by an all-new vehicle, which will be designed and engineered in the USA and built in South Korea. Previous rumours of a Buick or Opel-based replacement appear to be unfounded. According to Holden the Epica's successor has yet to make its public debut.
The mid-size sedan will be built atop GM's Epsilon II platform, which underpins the Opel Insignia as well as the Buick Lacrosse – one of which was recently spotted undergoing on-road trials in Melbourne.
Chevrolet's upcoming 2012 Malibu is expected to be officially unveiled at the 2011 Detroit auto show next January, and is the most likely candidate for an Epica replacement.
Powertrain details have yet to surface, but patent illustrations filed by GM earlier this year show that the 2012 Malibu will wear a design consistent with the upcoming Barina, Captiva and Cruze – making it the most logical fit for Holden's next-gen midsizer.
The Colorado and Epica replacement will join the Cruze hatch, the updated Captiva range, the new Barina hatch and sedan and the Volt electric vehicle, all of which have been confirmed by Holden and will be rolled out over the next 20 months.
Holden may have a few surprises up its sleeve though, with the aforementioned models only accounting for seven out of the ten upcoming vehicles.
- Tony O'Kane