The Chevrolet Silverado Coolside II picks up where its predecessor left off

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Chevrolet Silverado Coolside II

As if the original Coolside was refined, hardened and reborn out of a nuclear inferno, its successor the Chevy Silverado Coolside II looks better and performs at a higher level than its predecessor.

With its spectrum-crossing flame paint job, this is one high performance pickup that can only be described as enfuego! whether its moving or standing still.

The Coolside II employs the same pure-sport, regular cab / all-wheel drive design philosophy as its precursor to ensure the maximum amount of rubber is always in contact with the road when transferring the powerful Vortec 8100's torque and horsepower to all four wheels. Slippage is not an option.

To gracefully handle the power supplied from the nearly 500ci engine, the Coolside II borrows a heavy duty automatic transmission and viscously coupled transfer case, like the one found in GMC's Sierra C3, from the GM parts bin.

The Coolside II's interior is definitely a step up in luxury and functionality over the Coolside I. The high back red and black leather bucket seats were equipped with four point seat belts that were probably the most comfortable and supportive we drove in all day, including the seats we found in the cars.

The gauge cluster is contemporary Silverado. Handsome and functional.

About the only awkward and unfinished part of the Coolside II interior was the push button shift controls set in the center of the dash near the HVAC controls replacing the traditional steering wheel mounted PRNDL stalk.

Starting the engine, it came to life with a deep bass growl like some pitbull waiting to seize the road and not let go.

On the road or track the Coolside II eats up the pavement

Pressing the 'D' shift button, we had to leave our foot on the brake for a few seconds while the transmission put the truck in gear. Another indication that this is still an experimental truck.

Again, before hitting the drag strip we, took the Coolside II onto the surface streets around Milan.

The pit bull exhaust note rumbled loudly while driving slowly, and as we accelerated in our quest to reach the threshold of Ypsilanti's upper posted speed limits the growl built up and crescendoed.

We had the A/C blowing cold air on high because of the oppressive midsummer Michigan heat and humidity. But even with the A/C on the truck felt full of power.

The Coolside II's suspension handled the road a little firmer than the Coolside I reinforcing the truck's sporting nature.

With the automatic transmission the drive was an effortless demonstration of a highly refined performance vehicle but the lack of a manual transmission does leave the driver a bit out of the full enthusiast experience.

Back at Milan we again hopped in line to drag the Coolside II down the 1/4-mile.

The Coolside II once again showed its power and refinement over the Coolside I as it sped down the center line with the throttle pushed down as far as it would go. In fact this was the fastest truck we drove hitting 106mph at the end of the 1/4-mile and covering that distance in an amazing 12.88 seconds. A testament to its regular cab, AWD configuration.

The likelihood of the Coolside II reaching production seems to be quite slim at this time. Apparently all effort is being directed to get the last truck we drove into production - the Silverado SS.

Specifications:

Chevrolet Coolside II
Two-passenger, two-door pickup truck
Front-engine, All-Wheel Drive

Engine Type and Size:
- Modified big block Vortec 8100
- Iron block / aluminum head 16 valve OHV V8 engine

Horsepower (hp):
575 @ 5700 rpm

Torque (ft./ lbs.):
605 @ 4500 rpm

Other Drivetrain:
- Viscous, fulltime engagement transfer case
- Solid rear axle
- Frame mounted front differential

Transmission:
4L80HD-E four-speed automatic

Chassis:
- Independent, coil spring SLA front suspension
- Hotchkis drive leaf spring rear suspension
- Front disc / rear drum brakes with ABS

Cylinder Heads:
- GM Performance Parts aluminum Gen V/Gen VI
- 127 cc Combustion chamber volume
- 2.25" INTAKE, 1.88" exhaust valves
- Cylinder head bolts, 11mm x 7/16" (wheel to wheel)

Induction:
- Two-piece tuned runner intake manifold assembly
- Oval bore throttle body
- Fabricated dual air cleaner system

Exhaust:
- Fabricated stainless steel four into one tubular headers, 2½" x 34" runners into 3" collectors (wheel to wheel)
- Fabricated dual 3" stainless steel exhaust system
- Dual 304 series 3" intlet and outlet mufflers

Wheels and Tires:
- Budnik 'Famosa' 18"x10" wheels
- Eagle F1 GS 295/45ZR-18 tires

Width:
63.8 in front / 64.9 in rear track

Wheelbase:
119 inches

Weight:
Total
4672 pounds
Front (estimated)
2962 pounds (63.4%)
Rear (estimated)
1710 pounds (36.6%)

Body / Interior:
- Regular cab
- Sportside box
- Custom black paint job with multi-hued flames
- Increased height tailgate
- Molded front air dam with 2000 Tahoe Z71 fog lamps
- Aluminum core tonneau cover
- Custom black leather seats and door trim with red perforated leather inserts
- Black and red leather trimmed steering wheel

0 - 60 mph:
5.55 seconds

1/4-mile time:
12.88 seconds

1/4-mile speed:
106mph

Pure performance is what the regular cab, AWD Coolside II is all about
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