It’s 200mm higher and 150mm wider than a regular Holden Colorado ute, rides on 35-inch all-terrain wheels, has bespoke steel bumpers front and rear, a scooped carbon-fibre bonnet that weighs 7kg, patent-pending sports seats designed in New Zealand … and it’s on show at Fieldays next week.
But that’s all it is – a concept ute designed to show how the best-dressed, double-cab Colorado 4×4 can look. It’s the Colorado ROX, blessed by Holden NZ and put together by Auckland company Retro Vehicle Enhancement (RVE).
Its appearance is part of Holden’s 65th birthday celebrations in New Zealand. “We needed something that was memorable,” said Holden NZ managing director Marc Ebolo (below).
“Our driving desire was to beef up Colorado to become the greatest, eye-catching piece of machinery ever devised by Holden New Zealand.
“We know many of our customers have grand visions of what they’d like to do to personalise their own vehicles, so we wanted to show just how far you could take a Colorado.”
Holden will take it on a road trip around New Zealand over the next 12 to 18 months. Hitched to its tow bar will be an ‘event trailer’, in other words a mobile BBQ.
RVE managing director David Stanners (above) said Colorado ROX was the type of project his team were waiting for. “All we needed was a willing partner prepared to share our vision and push boundaries along the way.
“We engaged suppliers from Poland, America, and Taiwan, so it’s truly been an international effort, made all the more challenging as we created a majority of components from scratch, which meant extensive, one-off CAD engineering.”
The scooped carbon-fibre bonnet, for instance, was crafted in Auckland and weighs 20kg less than the standard Colorado lid (both models pictured below).
ROX gets flared guards to house the 35-inch Blackbear wheels, a six-inch suspension and body lift, rock sliders with removable steps, Warn winch, and a 500mm tray extender. On top is the spare wheel and a bar with basket and retractable lights.
What hasn’t changed is Colorado’s six-speed automatic gearbox and its 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, good for 147kW and a maximum 500Nm. Braked towing capacity is the same too, at 3500kg. But the exhaust note isn’t – it’s been given a rorty note to match ROX’s look.
Perhaps the most interesting addition is the patent-pending leather front and rear RVE sports seats. RVE used to distribute Germany’s Recaro seats in New Zealand.
“We’ve taken the learnings out of that (Recaro experience) and come up with a system of how you can make a seat for any vehicle,” said Stanners. “We are only concentrating on new cars because that’s where volume is.”
Why the name ROX? Who knows? Said Holden NZ marketing chief Marc Warr: “Some might relate it to motorsport, thanks to the lion motif on the side of the vehicle, in which case it could be Rally Offroad Cross. We’ll leave it up to people to make their own decisions.”