They’re too big to be small (they’re nothing like the Chevy S-10/GMC Sonoma mini trucks of 20 years ago), but they’re too small to be big, lacking the stature of the Silverado/Sierra full-size and HD pickup variants. What would make GM’s pair of midsize trucks—the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon—more lovable? A V-8 under the hood with gobs of horsepower, of course. We’ll never see another factory-equipped 5.3-liter V-8 Colorado or Canyon, but that hasn’t stopped other companies from building what GM won’t.
Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE), a GM Specialty Vehicle Manufacturer that creates turn-key GM muscle cars and trucks like the 1,100-hp Yenko Camaro and 850-hp Yenko Silverado, has committed to slinging hot-rodded 750-hp, 600 lb-ft of torque 5.3-liter V-8s into a handful of 2022 Chevy Colorados and GMC Canyons. This isn’t a new engine swap for SVE, as it nested the small-block into its 2021 GMC Syclone (Canyon) last year, but it has now added the Colorado to its collection. Prior that that, it supercharged the 3.6-liter V-6.
While the engine swap is the capstone, other performance and visual mods contribute to totally custom SVE truck builds. SVE went in opposite directions style-wise with GM’s twin midsizers, with the Colorado bent toward off-roading and the Canyon designed to slay pavement. The company will only build 50 lifted V-8 Colorados and 50 lowered V-8 Canyons, making them fairly exclusive.
2022 750-HP V-8 AWD Syclone
Specialty Vehicle Engineering’s 2022 GMC Canyon is a lowered muscle truck fashioned after the legendary AWD GMC Syclone. Hence it’s known as a 2022 GMC Syclone. It’s a modern-day supercharged super truck that can haul ass (and stuff, if practical justification is needed). It’s based on 2022 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard-trim extended cab trucks. And yes, it actually has full time all-wheel-drive, the transfer case sending 62 percent of the power to the rear wheels and 38 percent to the front wheels.
2022 750-HP Xtreme Off Road
The new SVE 2022 Chevy Colorado Xtreme Off Road is an off-road oriented truck based off the 2022 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab ZR2 trim. It’s outfitted for overlanding, adventuring, exploring, and hitting whoops responsibly. With prominent bedside graphics, beefy fender flares, a custom sport bar topped with optional LED lights mounted in the bed, a fullsize spare wheel and tire mounted in the bed, a mild lift, and aggressive wheels and tires, the Xtreme Off Road looks the look while out-horsepowering the Ram TRX.
Inside the Supercharged 5.3-liter V-8
The SVE Colorado Xtreme Off Road and SVE Canyon Syclone builds share a supercharged 5.3-liter V-8 that produces 750 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, mated to an upgraded 8L90E eight-speed automatic transmission. In its stock form, the EcoTec3 L83 5.3-liter is the 355 hp, 383 lb-ft of torque version of the engine that was used in the Silverado, Sierra, Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon from about 2014 to 2019.
To support all that extra power, the internals have been beefed up to include a forged twisted steel crankshaft, custom ground camshaft, forged steel H-beam connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, modified L83 high-flow cylinder heads with ARP head and main studs, and so on. SVE’s own centrifugal supercharger features a 33 percent larger eight-rib belt drive system, and there’s a cool air-to-water intercooler system. The fuel system and injectors have also been upgraded.
Lifted and Lowered Suspensions
The SVE Syclone Canyon is lowered two inches in front and five in the rear for a sporty, performance-oriented suspension setup. A heavy-duty rear sway bar assembly and heavy-duty traction bars help keep things under control.
The SVE Xtreme Off-Road Colorado has a four-inch BDS lift and retains the Colorado ZR2’s Multimatic DSSV dampers.
Wheels and Tires for Different Purposes
The Syclone wears satin black 20×10 lightweight aluminum six-spoke wheels that include a Syclone logo on one spoke, a red stripe around the outer edge, and “S” centercaps. The wheels are wrapped in 275/45R20 Nitto NT420V tires.
The Xtreme Off-Road runs black 18×8 aluminum wheels with “X” centercap graphics. That’s just a painted rim edge; they’re not beadlocks. The LT295/70R18 tires are Nitto Recon Grapplers, solid off-road and quiet on the pavement.
Small Touches to the Interior
Both trucks feature an optional leather seat trim package in two different colors. Black seats get red and white stitching, while Cocoa Dune seats get black and white stitching. Logos are appropriately embroidered on the headrests and floor mats, and a numbered dash plaque adds the final touch.
How Much Will They Cost?
A 750-hp V-8 supercharged Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon that’s backed by a warranty? That’s compelling. SVE claims that its Syclone and Xtreme Off Road “could easily qualify as the quickest limited production midsize pickup trucks for the 2022 model year.” That makes for decent bragging rights, should the pocketbook allow for such a lavish expenditure of at least $80,000 (as reported by GM Authority for the 2021 GMC Syclone), which doesn’t include the cost of the donor truck.
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