Chevy Secretly Developed V8-Powered Colorado

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This epic creation sadly won't happen.

There are times when an automaker has a brilliant idea, tests prototypes, but ultimately ends up canceling the project for any number of reasons. This is one of those cases. General Motors' now-defunct Australian division, Holden, or rather its performance division, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), began working on a response to the overseas-only Ford Ranger Raptor back in 2017.

According to Australia's Drive, the team managed to stuff GM's 6.2-liter small-block V8 under the Colorado ZR2's hood and coupled it with the Camaro's 10-speed automatic. GM's extensive parts bin was brilliantly utilized here. The result was a 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque midsize truck that could reach 60 mph from a standstill in less than five seconds.

2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front View Driving Chevrolet
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Rear Angle View Chevrolet

All the more impressive is that they managed to do this while still retaining the Colorado's best-in-class 7,700-pound tow rating. A second nearly identical right-hand-drive prototype was also built and tested for a potential Australian market launch. HSV worked on the program for two years, regularly improving the engine tuning, gearbox, and stability control and braking systems. The team even got as far as drive-by noise tests in order to pass local regulations.

HSV also managed to negotiate an agreement with the home office in Detroit to get the V8 and 10-speed slushbox installed on the Thailand assembly line where the Colorado is built for Australia and other nearby markets.

GM
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front View Driving Chevrolet
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front Angle View Chevrolet
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GM's number crunchers did the math and determined there was a business case, predicting they'd be able to sell around 2,000 units annually priced at nearly $58,000 USD. The project was then greenlit. Then, in February 2020, GM announced the death of the entire Holden division, including HSV. HSV's successor, the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, recently invited local Australian media to test drive the two prototypes who reported that they both felt nearly production-ready.

It's truly a shame this project was killed at seemingly the last minute. This V8-powered Colorado would've knocked the socks off the US-spec Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and the previous-generation Nissan Frontier by a long run. Some things just aren't always meant to be.

2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front View Driving Chevrolet
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front View Driving Chevrolet
2021-2022 Chevrolet Colorado Front Angle View Chevrolet
Source Credits: Drive.au

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