Sun, sea, surf. Alien to the state of Colorado.
When Holden’s ute was christened ‘Colorado,’ it made quite a bit of sense. The mountainous land-locked westerly US state encompasses most of the southern Rocky Mountains, and is home to an incredibly diverse landscape, ranging from mountains, forests, high-plains, canyons, rivers, and deserts.
Most notably, there’s no mention of beaches. How could there be, considering that there are at least two states between it and the nearest shoreline? So you could say that the 2018 Holden Colorado Z71 ‘Surf Truck’ is a little out of its depth, as a special one-off designed by professional surfer Matt ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson.
“The Colorado is such a versatile machine with a huge accessories range, and to have the chance to show that off with Wilko is really exciting.” — Richard Ferlazzo, Design Director, Holden Australia
The Wilko special was built off of a production-spec Holden Colorado Z71, which itself is nothing short of impressive. The automatic crew cab used sees motivation from a 2.8-litre turbodiesel that puts out 147kW and 500Nm, with power sent to all four wheels though a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Colorado Z71 is the flagship in the range, and comes generously specified, which you can read about in our review here.
Given a free rein, Wilko had his way with Holden’s genuine accessory list, and went about making the Colorado his own. As Australia’s most successful male surfer in the last year and a half, bagging wins at events in Snapper Rocks, Bells Beach and Fiji, Wilko was intent on ensuring that his ute would be the perfect companion for more rough-and-ready adventures.
“I’m a bit of a golf nut so I spend most of my time driving in golf carts. But when it comes to surf or camp trips, the Colorado wins every time. I recently visited Holden’s design studio in Melbourne and got to spec up the Colorado to be perfect for off-the-beaten-path surf trips, and it looks awesome.” — Matt Wilkinson, Surfer
Adding things like a safari bar, bash plates, an LED floodlight bar, tow hooks, off-road tyres, side steps and a bonnet bulge, the Colorado Z71 certainly looked at home on the beach just south-east of Melbourne, which was as intended. But to show off the sheer versatility of the Colorado, Wilko and the team headed to Holden’s “top secret proving ground” in Lang Lang to really put the ute through its paces. The Colorado preceded to “bash its way” though an off-road track, wade through relatively deep water, and climbed up a steep muddy incline before high-tailing it to the high-speed track to give its torquey diesel engine a motorway workout.
The Holden Colorado is certainly one of the better utes on the market, with plenty of sophistication and an improvement in refinement with the latest facelift. And with sharp drive-away deals almost always available, it’s certainly more than just a worthy contender.