The U.S. may be happy for getting crossover-based pickups in the guise of the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick, but unibody trucks are not exactly a new concept. General Motors, for example, offers the Montana since 2003, and a clean-sheet redesign is coming for the 2023 model year.
Developed for Brazil and other countries in Latin America, the first two generations of the Montana feature Opel Corsa underpinnings. In other words, the front-wheel-drive ute relies solely on anemic four-cylinder powerplants.
The all-new Montana is leveling up to a newer platform for emerging markets that GM calls GEM. The Gamma-replacing Global Emerging Markets vehicle architecture is currently used by the likes of the Buick Encore for China, which is offered with three-cylinder turbos with up to 1.3 liters of displacement.
From a visual standpoint, General Motors took a page from the Chevrolet Trailblazer design book to create the front fascia of the all-new Montana. The headlights are particularly similar, which is quite an upgrade over the second-generation Montana that looks like it rolled out in the 2000s.
Officially called Nova Montana by the Golden Bowtie, the small pickup will be produced at São Caetano do Sul in Brazil from 2022 according to General Motors. The workhorse is an integral part of a beefy investment plan in Brazil that converts to roughly $2 billion at current exchange rates.
The Nova Montana will complement a mid-size pickup in the largest country in South America, specifically the S10 that GM manufactures at São José dos Campos. The 2022 model year is probably the final incarnation of the current generation as GM prepares to roll out the 31XX-2 architecture.
For the U.S. market, the Chevrolet Colorado is expected to drop the four-cylinder base engine, 3.6-liter V6, and Duramax turbo diesel in favor of a turbocharged four-cylinder from the Silverado 1500. If the chip shortage doesn’t interfere with the automaker’s plans any further, the next Colorado and GMC Canyon should premiere next year as 2023 models.