'08 Means a V8 for Chevrolet Colorado
By: Mike Levine Posted: 06-07-07 02:24 PT
© 2007 PickupTruck.com

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It's been a long time coming.

Sources tell PickupTruck.com that the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup is going to receive a V8 next year - the same small block 5.3-liter 295-horsepower / 317 lb-ft motor that will power it's Shreveport stable mate, the 2008 Hummer H3 Alpha. Both trucks are assembled in the same Louisiana factory, along with the Colorado's midsize corporate twin, the GMC Canyon.

Asked to confirm the new engine option, GM spokespersons told us only to, "stay tuned." No other information, denial, or verification was provided.

The current 2007 Colorado offers buyers a choice of two engines: the Vortec 2900 2.9-liter inline-four cylinder rated at 185-hp / 190 lb-ft or the Vortec 3700 3.7-liter 242-hp / 242 lb-ft inline-five cylinder.

Adding a V8 to the Colorado would position it favorably power-wise with the Dodge Dakota, the only midsize pickup that currently offers a V8. For model year 2008, Dakota is getting a heavily updated 4.7-liter V8 that Dodge says will produce 290-horsepower and 320 lb-ft.

The Colorado's 5.3-liter V8 would also give Colorado bragging rights over the number one selling Toyota Tacoma (236-hp / 266 lb-ft) midsize pickup and number two selling Ford Ranger, which overtook the Colorado last month in 2007 sales volumes.

Rumors of a V8 for GM's small pickups date back to the Colorado's predecessor, the S-10 compact truck.

In 1999 Chevrolet brought its S-10 V8 Xtreme Concept to the SEMA show in Las Vegas as a promo for the S-10 Xtreme factory body and suspension kit. GM legendary performance guru Jon Moss and his team of powertrain wizards gave the V8 Xtreme Concept a 350 cubic inch (5.7-liter) LT1 Corvette powerplant. It was rated at 340-hp and 370 lb-ft and was mated to a four-speed auto gearbox.

In 2004, when Colorado replaced the S-10, the 420-hp Cruz Concept showed up out of the blue sporting a 6.2-liter eight cylinder engine and six speed manual transmission. It was built by GM's Performance Division to showcase design talents and engineering expertise. But it also showed that the Colorado platform could hold a V8, even if the truck looked like it had been spray painted around the engine.

And just last year another Colorado V8 went to SEMA. The Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71 Plus Concept was a heavily disguised look at the powertrain we're expecting production Colorados to receive next year, though the Plus Concept had a more powerfully tuned version of the 5.3-liter V8 capable of 320-hp and paired with a heavy duty 4L65 four-speed automatic.

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