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Playing to HSV’s niche design and engineering capabilities, the Colorado SportsCat features a raft of styling and chassis enhancements that will position it as the most advanced sports 4×4 on the market.

To be available in two variants – SportsCat and SportsCat+ – the styling enhancements begin with radically modified exteriors featuring all-new fascias and grilles that, with the addition of LED fog lamps and functional tow hooks, combine to deliver two distinctive and sporty front-end appearances.

The SportsCat+ features a rugged “bonnet bulge” while at the side of the vehicle, prominent wheel arch fender flares, smooth-form on SportsCat and casselated on SportsCat+, frame bold 18” x 10” forged alloys wrapped in sports all-terrain Cooper tyres.

A stylish hard tonneau, with load-rail provision and quick-release mechanism, combined with a unique sports-bar on SportsCat and sail plane on SportsCat+, enhance the vehicles’ sporty profile, while at the rear, a prominent “Colorado” tailgate applique’ makes a bold statement.

The styling enhancements don’t end with the exteriors of the vehicles. The interior also comes in for a substantial make-over to deliver premium levels of comfort and style.

SV Sports seats, the front heated, featuring uniquely designed seat foams for optimum support, are wrapped in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede, with this trim combination also adorning the instrument panel. Twin-needle red stitching provides an added highlight, also featuring on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trims and centre console cover. Branded floor mats complete the interior style and comfort make-over.

From a chassis perspective, the modifications are marked and deliver the SportsCat’s unique driving dynamics.

Both SportsCat models feature HSV Sports Suspension with the front spring rate stiffened to 110 Newtons/mm. Its MTV dampers have been tuned around the revised spring rate, with both modifications contributing to a more performance-based handling characteristic.

In addition to the increased spring rate, front ride height has been lifted by 25mm. This modification further improves the approach angle of the vehicle, increases ground clearance to the body and reduces the vehicle’s overall rake, delivering a more natural on-road stance.

The chassis enhancements continue with the adoption of a Rear De-Coupling Anti-Roll Bar on the SportsCat+. Developed specifically for the vehicle by HSV’s chassis engineers, the de-coupling rear sway bar improves the higher speed road driving performance of the vehicle by controlling rear roll, and thereby improving overall vehicle balance and turn-in transient response. The de-coupling feature ensures the vehicle’s suspension settings can be optimised for off-road performance.

SupaShock suspension, as introduced to the Australian market on HSV’s iconic GTSR W1, will also be available as a factory-fitted option on the SportsCat+, taking the vehicle’s suspension capabilities to another level yet again.

SportsCat+ also adopts a unique braking package, further enhancing its sporting credentials. Front 4-piston forged AP Racing brake callipers are complemented by 362mm x 32mm diameter rotors and a large (25.4mm) diameter brake master cylinder, to deliver improved pedal feel through a reduction in pedal travel and softness.

The functionality of the vehicle’s Traction Control System has also been adjusted to allow for less aggressive interventions, particularly on corner exit. These adjustments also help deliver a more performance-based vehicle response.

SportsCat’s stylish 18” forged alloys are wrapped in Cooper (Zeon LTZ Pro) Sports All-Terrain tyres. These Cooper tyres are a hybrid between a sports-truck tyre and an all-terrain tyre and, in addition to their rugged off-road properties, were specially selected by HSV’s chassis engineers for their outstanding on-road performance characteristics, most notably on tarmac and dirt roads. The overall size of the tyres (285/60 R18), and their rolling radius, also delivers a further 20mm increase in vehicle ride height for a total (front) ride height increase of 45mm.

In commenting on the engineering enhancements, HSV’s Engineering Director, Joel Stoddart, said “We set ourselves some pretty aggressive targets heading into the SportsCat program. We wanted to set the bench-mark for on-road performance without compromising the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. In fact, we’ve managed to improve the vehicle’s off-road performance, so I’m confident the team has delivered on both counts”.

In addition to the styling and engineering enhancements developed by HSV on the new SportsCat range, the vehicle also carries over a raft of core vehicle features that help complete the premium offering.

From a performance perspective, both SportsCat models are powered by a 2.8 litre double overhead cam Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that offers 147kW of power and up to 500Nm of torque when specified with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard fare.

Braked towing capacity of 3,500kg and a maximum payload of approximately 1 tonne deliver impressive workhorse capabilities.

The stylish HSV modifications to the interior also complement a breadth of already impressive driver and cabin comforts and technologies including an 8” colour touch screen, embedded Satellite Navigation, a premium 7-speaker audio, a rear-view camera and seven airbags.

Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “Most 4×4’s Pick-Ups are inherently capable off-road – essentially, it’s a category expectation, and we’ll certainly be amongst the best-in-class in this regard, especially with our added ride height and Cooper tyre package. But what we also wanted to do with the SportsCat program was dial up the vehicle’s on-road characteristics, given that’s where most people tend to spend the bulk of their time driving their vehicle. With our unique suspension packages and AP Racing brakes combined with the interior and exterior comfort and styling enhancements we’ve made, we’re confident we’ve developed Australia’s most stylish and advanced sports 4×4”.

The SportsCat range is due to start production at HSV’s new facility in Clayton, Victoria, late January, with Recommended Retail Pricing to be confirmed closer to model availability.

NC

Ka-Chow!