Chevrolet Colorado replacement hits the road

  • Chris Doane Automotive

     (Chris Doane Automotive)

  • 2013 Chevrolet Colorado (Thailand)

    2013 Chevrolet Colorado (Thailand)  (Chevrolet)

Chevy’s got a little secret.

But it’s almost out.

A prototype of the upcoming replacement for the Colorado small pickup was recently spotted on a test drive sporting an updated look from the existing foreign-markets truck that it’s based on.

Set to go on sale in the United States late next year, the new truck appears to have adopted a squarer, upright grille that’s closer to the new Silverado’s than the soft, crossover-style face of the Colorado currently sold overseas.

Read: New F-150 and GM midsize pickups set to face off in 2014

The headlights are arranged horizontally, however, not vertically as on the Silverado, and are exposed on the prototype, perhaps suggesting a final design similar to what’s found on the Chevy Sonic.

A GMC Canyon replacement will be built off of the same platform, although use of the Canyon and Colorado names has not been confirmed. GM ended production of the last generation trucks in 2012, and the updated models will be built at its factory in Wentzville, Mo.

General Motors North America President Mark Reuss recently said that the Colorado replacement would be aimed at lifestyle buyers, while the GMC version will be more of a work truck.

No word yet on what kind of engines will find their way behind that bold grill, but fuel economy will be a key selling point of the compact trucks and four and six-cylinder engines are likely.

The Colorado is offered only with diesel engines abroad, and with Chevy’s recent introduction of a diesel model of its Cruze subcompact in the U.S., the possibility of an oil-burning Colorado or Canyon is not out of the question.