SVE Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme roars down memory lane

Jonathon Ramsey



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Like Harry and Sally, the Chevrolet Colorado and the word "Xtreme" keep returning to one another. In the early years of this millennium, Chevy sold a Colorado Xtreme pickup — an appearance package special with more aggressive kit around the lower extremities and a set of 18-inch wheels. In 2016, Chevy's Thai division created Colorado Xtreme that was effectively a more hardcore ZR2 package before the ZR2 had gone on sale. Now, New Jersey-based tuner and OEM supplier Specialty Vehicle Engineering throws the Xtreme mantle over the Colorado again, with that first-gen street-focused truck in mind. SVE says its 2020 Colorado Xtreme is "in the spirit of the legendary 1st gen," which is like saying the F-22 Raptor is in the spirit of the Vought VE-7.

The first Xtreme made no performance improvements. SVE's Xtreme is all about its engine, the 3.6-liter V6 that normally comes with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. A centrifugal supercharger with a planetary drive that eliminates whine blows those figures out to 455 hp and 425 lb-ft, an air-to-water intercooler working to keep those numbers elevated during hard use. The block exhales out a cat-back stainless steel exhaust with dual tips finished in satin black. A composite Xtreme engine cover replaces the standard Chevy unit, just beneath the composite hood insert. For those keeping track, these updates sound awfully similar to what SVE performed on last year's reborn GMC Syclone.

Because power needs control, SVE installs a lowering suspension with performance shocks; rake is all but gone thanks to a two-inch drop in front and a five-inch drop in back. An optional heavy duty rear sway bar and traction bar can instill even more discipline out back. Front brakes get swapped for slotted rotors slowed by carbon-ceramic pads, hiding behind 20-inch, five-spoke, satin or gloss black wheels wearing 275/45 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2S rubber.

Exterior changes are limited to details like body-color fog light surrounds, extended rocker panels, and step deletes in the rear bumper. Inside, red embroidered Xtreme logos in the seats tie into a number of other Xtreme badges inside and out. If that's not... extreme enough, SVE offers a custom seat trim package designed to pair well with the Colorado's factory black or brown interior.

SVE will build just 100 of the Colorado Xtreme in 2WD or 4WD and multiple cab options, for an as-yet-unannounced price, and all come with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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