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Ready for a 720-hp Chevrolet Colorado ZR2?

Autoweek logo Autoweek 4/3/2020 Wes Raynal
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I don’t have mounds of market research on my half of the dining room table (aka my office) to back this up, but I have a sneaking suspicion the domestic full-size pickup class, in addition to being the bestselling, has among the highest brand loyalty in the car biz. One is either a Ford person, Ram person or Chevy person.

The Chevy person has a couple of problems, one called the Ram Rebel and one called the Ford Raptor. There is no Silverado equivalent. As they often do, our pals at Lingenfelter Performance Engineering have a solution, though in a smaller package: Lingenfelter teamed with Florida-based Current Engineering and stuffed a Chevy Colorado ZR2 with a blown 6.2-liter LT4 V8 of C7 Corvette Z06/Cadillac CTS-V fame.

Current and Lingenfelter weren't happy with the stock engine’s 650 hp and 650 lb-ft, so they added Lingenfelter's LT4 supercharger upgrade kit, including a modified air filter, new drive belt, idler pulley and unique air filter. The changes add up to 720 hp and 730 lb-ft. We estimate the truck should hit 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.

a car parked in a parking lot: Lingenfelter is studying the market to see if it wants to produce this monstrous ZR2 in any kind of numbers. © Lingenfelter Lingenfelter is studying the market to see if it wants to produce this monstrous ZR2 in any kind of numbers.

The standard Chevrolet Colorado comes with either a 181-hp 2.8-liter Duramax diesel or a 308-hp 3.6-liter V6. Lingenfelter’s supercharger kit for the latter bumps horsepower to 450.

Mark Rapson, Lingenfelter COO/VP operations, told Autoweek that when the installation was finished Current brought it to Lingenfelter for "trans, drivetrain, body and engine calibration and control integration." That's when the decision was made to bump up the horsepower.

"It is a cool truck," Rapson said, "and fast!" He told Autoweek that Lingenfelter has looked at doing V8 swaps for the Colorado/Canyon, but it's a limited, pricey market. "That's why we put our initial efforts into supercharging the V6," he said. "We've put a lot of R&D resources into the midsize Chevy truck platform with our new V6 supercharger package. It gives us the best of all worlds—V8 power, it's cost effective and 50-state compliant with a warranty."

a car parked in a parking lot: Lingenfelter builds a Colorado ZR2 with a supercharged V8 producing 720 hp and 730 lb ft for a private owner. © Lingenfelter Lingenfelter builds a Colorado ZR2 with a supercharged V8 producing 720 hp and 730 lb ft for a private owner.

Nevertheless, he said Lingenfelter continues watching the market and someday could offer a V8 package. Rapson is right, it wouldn't be cheap. A base Colorado ZR2 starts at $44,490; the supercharged LT4 crate engine adds $16,095 with the 720-hp supercharger kit. So we estimate we're looking at $60,585 before any kind of options.

When we first drove the ZR2 we said some owners might be "disappointed that Chevy doesn’t offer more power." Lingenfelter certainly took care of that.

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