Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, with the 5.3L V-8

2009-chevy-colorado-v8-picture.jpg (1280×782) - Google Chrome 8212014 60848 PM.bmp Welcome to another installment of the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the definition of what a muscle car is, and to see if a modern Pickup Truck can even be called a Muscle Car… Over the course of this series, I have tried to showcase a couple of trucks from various brands to show they should be thought of as an obscure Muscle Car, and for the most part, you seem to agree with my reasons. For example, you said yes to the The Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T, The 1990-93 Chevrolet Silverado 454 SS, The Dodge Warlock and Li’l Red Express, The Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, and even The 1971-72 GMC Sprint SP. However, there was a resounding No vote for the Colorado’s cousin under the skin, the Hummer H3 Alpha, so let’s see if you can accept these two trucks as Obscure Muscle Cars… 2009_chevrolet_colorado-pic-48979.jpeg (1600×1041) - Google Chrome 8212014 61129 PM.bmp The Chevrolet Colorado and its twin, the GMC Canyon were jointly designed by GM’s North American operations, GM’s Brazil operations, and Isuzu. All Chevrolet, GMC, and Isuzu versions worldwide are based on the GMT355, itself the basis for the GMT 345-based Hummer H3. These trucks were introduced in the fall of 2004 as model year 2005 models, and were built for the US Market in Shreveport, Louisiana. These were replacements for the long in the tooth Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma small trucks. 32583020001_original.jpg (2048×1536) - Google Chrome 8212014 61042 PM.bmp Powering these trucks were a myriad of four and five cylinder engines ranging from 2.5L (at only 116HP) all the way up to 3.7L (a five cylinder variant producing 242HP) with as many as six other engine displacements offered throughout the production life of the GMT355. Try as they might, these engines were lacking in low rpm grunt needed for any serious performance or load carrying capability. The answer came in the form of a highly engineered version of the Chevrolet 5.3L V-8 modified to fit within the confining engine compartment of the GMT355, and was introduced for the 2009 model year no-subject.jpg (1024×681) - Google Chrome 8212014 61603 PM.bmp The 5.3L was tuned to produced 300HP with 320 lb-ft of torque, which was a substantial improvement over the previous top spec engine, which was a 242-horse, 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder engine. 0-to-60-mph times fell to 6.7 seconds from the 8.7 seconds turned in by the 220-hp five-cylinder truck, according to reports from Car and Driver. Quarter mile times were recorded at 15.1 sec @ 92 mph, which isn’t too bad at all. The only transmission for the eight-cylinder unit was the four-speed 4L60 Hydra-Matic, which most testers at the time felt was a step-backwards, and produced miserable fuel economy numbers, with EPA estimates 15 mpg city and 21 highway. 2009-chevy-colorado-v8-53-vortech.jpg (726×424) - Google Chrome 8212014 60733 PM.bmp The engine was only available on extended cab and crew cab models, in both two and four wheel drive. The hot ticket was the ZQ8 option, which was a lowered extended cab (or crew cab) two-wheel drive model. The package combines 18×8-inch aluminum wheels with P235R18 Goodyear Eagle all-season radials. The suspension is stiffened by about 30 percent overall, and the truck is lowered 25 mm, about 1 inch. A front stabilizer bar is added and the steering ratio jumps to 14.5:1 (from 17.4:1), with only 2.7 turns lock-to-lock. There are three rear axle ratios available, going as low as 4.10:1, to as tall as a 3.42:1 axle ratio. There was a G80 Locking differential offered as an option. 32327270009_original.jpg (912×684) - Google Chrome 8212014 61100 PM.bmp So, is the Colorado (or it’s twin, the Canyon) an Obscure Muscle Car in disguise? Car and Driver at the time called is a pretty lackluster vehicle with a much needed upgrade in power, with a rather low-rent interior. However, Pickup Trucks.Com described the Colorado ZQ8 as a classic American street machine, with entertaining performance, excellent dynamic handling and ready power on demand. So it is up to you… Does the V8 Colorado/Canyon twins gain entry into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage, or will they be kicked to the curb just like the Hummer H3? Express your views in the poll, and then tell me what you think about this series of posts in general… Chevrolet-Colorado-2009_Image-01-1024.jpg (1024×643) - Google Chrome 8212014 61346 PM.bmp [poll id=”223″] Lifted001.jpg (1023×588) - Google Chrome 8212014 60947 PM.bmp Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You! 1201-4wd-01+2011-chevy-colorado-gets-wheels-tires-lockers-suspension+front-angle-after.jpg (750×563) - Google Chrome 8212014 60905 PM.bmp

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