Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup gets an LT4 swap and 720 hp

Jonathon Ramsey

Let's say someone wanted a big-bore desert- or dune-running truck with OEM bona fides in a more compact package than the Ford F-150 Raptor or coming Ram Rebel TRX. What's one to do? Chevrolet doesn't sell a truck in the Raptor class, but all the pieces are there, so one owner worked with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and Current Performance to put those pieces together. Starting with a Chevy Colorado ZR2, Current Performance installed a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8 usually found in urban firecrackers like the C7 Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V. On top of that, Lingenfelter fitted its LT4 supercharger upgrade kit, with equipment like a new supercharger drive belt, idler pulley, 9.2-inch drive damper pulley that overspins the supercharger by 15%, Green Air filter, and NGK spark plugs. The result is that instead of the 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque found in the standard engine, the upgraded motor produces 720 hp and 730 lb-ft.

The Colorado comes with a choice of two engines from the factory, either a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 308 hp and 275 lb-ft, or a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel with 181 hp and 369 lb-ft. Lingenfelter makes a supercharger kit for the 3.6-liter that cranks output to 450 hp, clearly not enough for this owner. A dyno run with the LT4-swapped Colorado in 2WD mode and shifting through the retuned eight-speed transmission showed 534 hp and 526-lb-ft at the rear wheels. Even with the Colorado's beefy mechanicals and larger-than-stock wheels eating up around 25% of power and torque, the pickup spits more fire at the wheels than any of the current adventure trucks muster at the engine.

The overhaul wouldn't have come cheap, though. A base Colorado ZR2 rings up $44,490, a new supercharged LT4 crate engine adds $15,000, the Lingenfelter 720-hp supercharger kit another $1,095 on top. That's a total of $60,585 before options on the truck, peripherals for the engine, labor, those shiny Method wheels, the chunky rubber, and that tingly exhaust. It's also $5,475 beyond a base F-150 Raptor, but we think the real comparison with the Ford needs to happen out on the trail. We offer our services to referee the contest, free of charge.

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