HSV Almost Sold a 6.2-liter V-8 Colorado Supertruck

Once upon a time, there existed an inconspicuous midsize 6.2-liter V-8 Colorado, and it was heading to dealerships. Real people got to drive it, and they loved its stability, agility, and the fact that it truly felt like a factory-produced truck rather than the one-off unicorn that it was. A few months shy of its debut, the project was axed and the 6.2-liter V-8 Colorado slipped into oblivion. Boo.

The reason you probably never heard about this super desirable, top-secret Colorado was that it was destined for the Australian market. The engineering minds behind the factory supertruck was Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), Holden’s performance-car partner since 1988. The Holden Colorado V-8 was to be called the V-8 Colorado ThunderCat (maybe), and HSV was hoping to build 2,000 of these V-8 muscle trucks each year. (HSV was familiar with the Colorado, making a version called the SportsCat powered by the 2.8-liter diesel.) The HSV Colorado V-8 probably would have done killer on the Holden showroom floor—had General Motors not destroyed the Holden brand in early 2020 and with that, any hope of the HSV Colorado V-8.

The HSV Holden Colorado V-8 was destined to appease performance truck addicts with its 455 hp, 455 lb-ft 6.2-liter V-8 taken from a Chevrolet Camaro. The V-8 was mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. HSV did not perform the engine swap in its Melbourne facility, which was deemed too expensive. Rather, it negotiated for its installation on the Thailand production line, which was a big win for the project. Still, it was no overnight project; HSV spent two years tinkering with the engine, transmission, and associated systems.

There’s actually a tiny bit more to the story; this is gonna hurt. There were two 6.2-liter V-8s mated to 10-speed automatic transmissions. One was for the Australian Holden Colorado that we’ve been talking about. The other was for our very own North American Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 (which may have also been for the Australian market, but brings the droolworthy concept closer to home).

Sure, it would be a very, very long shot for our market to adopt something like the HSV 6.2-liter V-8 Colorado. Once upon a time we did have a factory V-8 Colorado, though. From 2009 to 2012, GM stuffed a Vortec 5.3-liter V-8 (300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque) into the engine bay of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Perhaps overpriced and not heavily marketed—maybe a catchy name would have helped this midsize muscle truck—the V-8 Colorado is probably forgotten by most.

Fast-forward to 2022, the Chevy Colorado is available with a 2.5-liter I-4 (200 hp, 191 lb-ft), 3.6-liter V-6 (308 hp, 275 lb-ft), and a 2.8-liter I-4 turbo-diesel (181 hp, 369 lb-ft). There’s no V-8 Colorado, but by numbers alone, the current 3.6-liter V-6 is more powerful than the old 5.3-liter V-8.

It’s truly unfortunate that the HSV Colorado V-8 never became a thing and that a factory V-8 Colorado will probably never happen again. It’s more likely to see an electric midsize Colorado before a big displacement V-8.

Here’s the thing, though. There’s nothing stopping you from throwing a 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood of your Colorado. HSV and others have shown us it physically fits. You can still throw in a big engine and do your own V-8 swap or pay someone to do the dirty work. For example, Lingenfelter Performance swapped a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 into a Colorado ZR2, resulting in 720 hp. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way when it comes to creating the perfect muscle truck. It just might not come courtesy of the factory.

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