GM at work on sub-Colorado pickup

General Motors is reportedly hard at work creating a new, small pickup that gets back to the S-10's more utilitarian roots.

It's not secret that the small pickup market has been in decline for about a decade; most automakers have emphasized and improved their full-size offerings to the point where only reduced dimensions are an advantage (to some) on small and mid-size pickups.

According to our friends at PickupTrucks.com, General Motors is working on a small pickup "reminiscent of the original S-10," a back-to-basics workhorse that could be practical for in-town delivery and light loads.

Sources indicate that the truck will be based on a smaller platform than the next-generation Thailand-market Colorado, a strong seller that's related to the slow-selling current North American model.

It's expected that GM will drop the five-cylinder it currently uses in the Colorado and its GMC Canyon sister and instead likely focus on only four-cylinder powertrains. Fuel economy, light load capacity and tight spaces maneuverability would be the big draws for a small pickup, not cargo hauling and towing. Those virtues would be left to GM's larger Silverado and Sierra trucks.

A potential blueprint
Our speculations, not based on any formal reports or sources, lean toward two cab offerings (standard and extended), standard manual transmissions, small-displacement, naturally-aspirated four-cylinders producing around 180 horsepower and a lightweight frame. Towing capacity might not exceed 5,000 lbs., but would be sufficient for light utility trailers, while payload levels would be high enough for furniture and some tools, but not cement, rocks or soil. We imagine this small GM pickup would be sized a little smaller than today's Ford Ranger and would be offer limited upscale features.

A base price around $15,000 strikes Leftlane as an ideal target, with a fully loaded part-time four-wheel drive model possibly packing a turbocharged four-cylinder stickering at around $25,000.

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