In order to keep mini-truck enthusiasts up to date on the myriad things happening in our sport from month to month on an inside angle, we present Inside Out. This forum is directly aimed at keeping our readers informed about items pertaining to the aftermarket as well as providing a vital link to what's happening at World Mini Truckin' Headquarters. This way, you'll know a little more of what's happening in our sport from an angle seldom seen.
Another Colorado Update
When there's not much news circulating, we'll still do our best to find something new to tell you about. Here's an update on what we know so far. The '04 Chevy Colorado will move up the size ladder from the S-10, having roughly the same dimensions as the Dodge Dakota. Engine choices consist of an inline four-cylinder and two inline-five cylinders that are naturally aspirated or turbocharged. That's right, a turbocharged version is supposed to become available! However, the I-4 will be standard. The I-5 will be built at GM's Flint, Michigan, plant on the same lines as the I-6, and it will also be produced in GM's other new inline engine plant in Tonawanda, New York, sharing that facility with the I-4. The engines share roughly three-quarters of their parts. All are DOH with four valves per cylinder, high compression ratio (10.0:1), variable valve timing, coil-on-plug ignition, electronically controlled throttles, and fuel injection. All engines will be based on the same GM Atlas architecture of the 4.2L Vortec 4200 I-6 that debuted in the TrailBlazer. By the time the Colorado appears in 2004, the truck will share most of its looks with the other GM trucks available, such as the Avalanche. Look for the interior to be similar to the '02 TrailBlazer. Because the Colorado was built in conjunction with Isuzu, we assume the '04 Colorado and Isuzu D-Max Rodeo midsize trucks will be almost identical in exterior appearance but will not share engines.
Exhaust Systems Illegal?
A bill (H.D. 1882) to prohibit the sale or installation of "an exhaust system, which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust" has been reintroduced for consideration in the 2003 legislative session by Massachusetts State Representative Liz Malia. It has not been revised from last year's version and remains an extremely damaging piece of legislation. Call, write, fax, or e-mail your own state legislators immediately to oppose this legislation. This bill tramples on the rights of vehicle enthusiasts in Massachusetts. If you need assistance in determining who your own legislators are, please contact the Massachusetts General Court at (617) 722-1276. This information can also be obtained by calling the SEMA Washington, D.C., office at (202) 783-6007, or via the Internet at www.enjoythedrive.com/legislative/contact_legislator.asp.
*Don't expect a high-performance version of the Chevy Colorado immediately. Rumors have the initial top offering powered by a 210 to 230hp inline-four or I-5.
*If you want to get a jump on customizing a new Isuzu, forget it. The D-Max Rodeo pickup that will share some of its looks with the Colorado won't be imported to the U.S. or Canada.
*Rumor has it that the next generation Dodge Dakota will be smaller in overall size than the current truck. Then again, we've also heard that the wheelbase may be longer too. Who knows?
*We wonder if anyone will think to use the four-door cab of the D-Max on the '04 Chevy midsize trucks. Keeping up with Toyota and Nissan isn't as easy as it used to be.
Nissan 'Belt Recall
Nissan is conducting a voluntary safety recall campaign involving approximately 73,500 '94 Nissan trucks to inspect and replace front seatbelt buckles. Nissan began mailing notification letters to affected owners back in May 28, 2002. Nissan takes its commitment to product safety and customer satisfaction very seriously and is working with its dealers to correct this problem. Are you covered?
www.customtruckforum.com Yet another killer place online to share thoughts and ideas about mini-trucks.
www.dimotorsports.com Check out some very cool apparel and other gear designed for custom automotive enthusiasts.
www.sunautomobile.com The site to check out the particulars on Hyper Grounds, also installed in this issue of MT.
Web Site Of The Month:
www.masterimagecustoms.com You're not going to believe what Mr. Maggi and his crew have been up to lately!