No, this isn't an April fool's joke: General Motors says it's working on a pair of mid-size pickup trucks that will bow some time in 2014 or 2015.
The topic of a smaller American pickup truck has been a controversial one: Ford killed the Ranger and Chrysler killed the Dodge/Ram Dakota in 2011, and the GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado duo were discontinued in 2012. The only remaining pickup trucks smaller than the Ford F-150 are the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Despite hinting periodically about a next-gen mid-size pickup, Chrysler hasn't made any announcements about a new Dakota, instead focusing on its Ram 1500 full-size line-up.
We heard last year that both GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado successors were on their way, but the Detroit Free Press reports today that GM hopes to bring the duo to market at the same time as the next-generation Ford F-150. Considering that Ford's Atlas concept bowed at this year's Detroit Auto Show, we should see the new Ford in late 2014 or early 2015.
General Motors North America president Mark Reuss said as much this week, adding that the two trucks will slot in size above the Toyota Tacoma (which is still technically a compact pickup), and fill two different niches. While the GMC Canyon replacement will follow GMC's "professional grade" ideology and serve as a shrunken Sierra work truck, the Chevrolet Colorado will move towards the consumer angle with a "lifestyle truck" look and feel.
While we know little else about the duo, what we do know is that GM engineers are shooting to beat the Silverado/Sierra's fuel economy numbers, recently revealed as up to 23 mpg highway. With a smaller, lighter body--and, heck, the international-market Colorado's turbodiesel engine--it shouldn't be that difficult. But will that happen? Nobody knows for sure.
Source: Detroit Free Press
Pictured are the discontinued GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Silverado, the global-market Colorado, and spy shots of an American GM mid-size pickup.