Sidebar: Colorado Cruz Concept
Perhaps this is what the Chevy SSR should have been when it came to market.
Built by the GM Performance Division to showcase design talents and engineering expertise, the Colorado Cruz is an over-the-top sport truck with more than 400 V8 horsepower and plenty of attitude.
The Cruz is one of two vehicles built under the Employee Enthusiasm program at GM Performance that made their debut at the 2004 Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. The other was a Pontiac GTO Ram Air 6. Both vehicles were designed and assembled by more than 200 volunteer employees using parts donated by GM Powertrain, GM Performance Parts and GM Design Center.
The truck started out as a Colorado standard cab. The exterior is emphasized with a classic high-dome hood, aggressive front fascia, sleek rockers, mind-bending wheel flares, custom side mirrors, shaved door handles and metallic blue paint. The suspension was lowered using dropped spindles up front and tuned leaf springs in the rear. Big Brembos are found at all four corners along with 20-inch HRE 5-spoke wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires (335/30 rear, 285/30 front).
Under the hood is a 6.2-liter V8 pumped up to deliver 420 horsepower
and 420 lb-ft of peak torque. The engine was shoe-horned in using modified
engine mounts, the accessory drive from a Cadillac CTS and a radiator
and fan from a C6 Corvette. The remainder of the driveline consists of
a T56 6-speed manual transmission, modified stock driveshaft and a 9.5-inch
American Axle rear end.
The truck will also appear at SEMA and selected auto shows during the winter. GM officials deny that the Cruz is a preview of future Colorado models, but it confirms that a V8 will fit into the engine bay. Chevy should take a hard look at this truck. The Silverado SS is a joke compared to the Ford Lightning or Dodge Ram SRT-10, and sales of the SSR aren’t meeting expectations. Maybe it’s time to stop building show trucks and build a real performance street truck for the dealers.
– Mike Magda