Custom 2004 Chevrolet Colorado - Sound Machine
RKSport's Colorado Also Makes Music Under the Hood
Just how much noise do you want to make? If there's not enough rumble from bolting on a blower and a dual after-cat exhaust, then just plug in a few megawatt amps and crank up the subs. Then, you have one serious sound machine that not only pumps out the power but also pumps up the volume.
That's the drowning decibel delivery of this Chevy Colorado from RKSport. The company touts itself as "the styling and performance candy store." Well, add to that motto the ICE-maker as well, and you have a rig that's ready to rock the house.
This '04 Colorado rolled off the line as just a plain-Jane pickup, but in about six months, it became the belle of the ball. It took a lot of suitors signing the dance card to bring everything together, but the result is one wild party animal.
Under the hood, RKSport took the quick route to max output by creating its own supercharger system for the Colorado's 3.5L inline-five. It's an all-aluminum engine derived directly from the 4.2L straight-six found in the TrailBlazer SUV. And this five-cylinder powerplant is the most technologically advanced engine ever offered in a compact Chevy truck. It features dual-overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and electronic throttle control to deliver a broad range of peak torque that extends from 1,400 to 5,200 rpm.
Of course, RKSport wanted to transform such a sophisticate into a hairy-knuckled beast, so it kicked up the pressure on its techno-heart with a Powerdyne centrifugal blower. For those not acquainted with this type of supercharger, think of it as a belt-driven turbo, since the airflow delivery is similar to a conventional turbo spun by exhaust gases, and is limited only by the number of revs the engine can turn. On this particular application, the boost is set at a streetable 5 psi, but scads of drag racers have pushed these potent little power-heads to screaming levels of performance.
A blower isn't any good without the right plumbing, so RKSport developed a custom intake setup, using carbon-fiber tubing and polished brackets. The result is an engine with the output of Bigfoot on a rampage.
Of course, you can't expect it to jump off the line in a smoky burnout like Roots or twin-screw superchargers. Instead, the power comes on like a turbine-sure, steady, and unstoppable, with no lumps or bumps. It flows smoothly and just keeps on building like a monster hungry for more meat. RKSport says the stock output is 225 hp, but its new supercharger jacks that up to 315 horses. And the torque level shoots from 235 to 335 pounds.
Enough about the performance gear-now it's time to crank up the tunes. Phoenix Gold got really serious with three Xenon amps, good for a total of 3,200 watts. All that juice flows through four 10-inch subs and four 6-inch mids.
To give the cockpit a futuristic feel, this chest of ICE was stuffed into a custom console, fabricated out of fiberglass by the masters of design at RKSport. On the extended-cab Colorado models, they have reverse-opening rear doors on both sides for easier access to the backseats, but in this case provide easier access to the mammoth sound system.
To give the exterior as much attention, RKSport applied its urethane body mods. Adding some more distinctiveness to the lines is a custom-fabricated tonneau fitting inside the top rails, instead of lapping over the edge of the cargo bed. "That modification alone took a lot of extra time and effort," admits Bob Smith, head of RKSport.
As Smith points out, adding body mods is not always as simple as you might think. We've seen a lot of aero kits over the years, and they don't always simply bolt on. Custom-fitting and shaving of the parts is sometimes required. Also, in some extreme cases, the styling may distract from rather than enhance the lines of the production car.
Fortunately, we didn't see any of those hassles with RKSport's Colorado conversion. Experience counts here, because Bob Smith successfully raced a number of vehicles, and he has a lot of hands-on knowledge about ground effects. In the competition field, they have a functional aspect that their form must follow. And they have to fit properly and securely for duty on the track.
All of which means the body kit from RKSport not only looks right but goes on easily as well. When Smith founded the company back in the early '90s, he was one of the first to use urethane instead of fiberglass components, which allows for a smooth, tight fit. And that's a good thing in a truck that's a ground-pounder, whether you're stomping the throttle or blasting those subs.
Owner/hometown: Bob Smith / Murrieta, California
Owner/hometown: Bob Smith / Murrieta, California
Year/make/model: '04 Chevy Colorado
Engine/drivetrain: Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5 / Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic / RKSport supercharger / Gibson muffler and 2-1/4-inch after-cat exhaust
Wheels/tires: 20x8-inch TSW Sledz / Falken 255/35R20
Suspension: (front) Belltech 2-inch drop coilovers / (rear) Belltech Nitro-Active shocks, 2-inch lowering blocks / Stainless Steel Brakes Tri-Power three-piston calipers with 14-inch slotted and plated rotors in front, 13-inchers in the rear
Body Mods: RKSport urethane front valance, side skirts, fender flares, and rear roll pan / RKSport extractor hood with carbon-fiber inlay / custom tonneau recessed into the bedrails
Custom Paint: PPG Yellow
Interior: Stock seats covered in Katzkin leather and vinyl trim / door panels, dashboard, and custom center console all covered in, or built from, fiberglass by RKSport and painted to match the body / Trenz billet shifter and pedals / Billet Specialties steering wheel
Audio/Video: Pioneer DVH P500 MP/DVD head unit / two Phoenix Gold 1,200-watt Xenon amps and one 200.4 amp (3,200 watts total) / four Phoenix Gold 10-inch subwoofers / four 6-inch mids / five Autosonic video screens / system wired using Phoenix Gold cables
Installer: 702 Motorsports in Las Vegas