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Daily Driven: Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado

Giving the 2017-2020 Chevy Colorado Some Much-Needed Muscle

Oct 30, 2019
The light turns green and your right foot moves swiftly from the brake to the accelerator. You tip in, gently at first to get rolling, then mat the pedal deep into the carpet. The truck leans back as you hear a distinctive, whining whir coming from under the hood, and before you know it, you're deep into license-losing territory, scenery coming up over the hood quicker than you thought.
Photo 2/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Hero

Your steed for this stoplight bracket? A lowly Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup. Huh?

Photo 3/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Rear Quarter 02

Almost everyone appreciates the Chevrolet Colorado, which was reintroduced to the public for 2015 and then slightly updated for 2017. In our initial reviews of the truck, we loved its quiet interior and reasonably pleasant materials, as well as its buttoned-down ride and handling that struck a nice balance between daily driving, occasional off-roading, and capable hauling. Our primary complaints surround the Colorado's available 3.6L V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission, which work at odds with one another—the engine lacking in low-end torque and the transmission constantly seeking to upshift out of the powerband.

That's where Edelbrock, the legendary and beloved speed shop, comes in. Suspecting many Colorado owners opted for the truck over a traditional, V-8-powered fullsize pickup, Edelbrock developed a supercharger kit to bolster low-end torque and overall power output on the sometimes-wheezy LGZ 3.6L V-6. (Unfortunately, Edelbrock doesn't yet offer the kit for the 2015-2016 Colorado's LFX 3.6L V-6, which uses a totally different engine block.)
Photo 4/26   |   Our time with the Edel-rado took us to the South Orange County Cars and Coffee, where we parked up near a cherry El Camino with tons of Edelbrock parts underhood.
Photo 5/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Front Quarter 02

The LGZ's net result is 345 hp at the rear wheels, which Edelbrock claims is up 24 percent over the stock Colorado. The blown three-six also makes a healthy 306 lb-ft on the dyno, up from a dyno-tested baseline of 236 lb-ft (remember that engine output at the wheels is usually about 10 to 20 percent down from published figures due to parasitic driveline loss). Using some bench-racing calculations, we figure the Edelbrock supercharged mill would make at least 375 hp and 370 lb-ft on an engine dyno, thanks to a mild, driveline-preserving 8 psi of boost. That's a significant step up from the stock pickup's 308 hp at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm.

Photo 6/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Tailgate Graphics

More importantly, the Edelbrock supercharged Colorado makes far more low-end torque than the stock pickup thanks to an Eaton R1740 TVS rotor system. In the company's testing, the blown truck makes peak torque at 3,650 rpm, but it ramps up to that peak much quicker at lower revs. The supercharger's pair of four-lobe rotors helps provide swift engine response, while an air-to-water intercooler lowers inlet air temperature for even better, more reliable performance. The setup also incorporates an integrated bypass valve, improving fuel economy in low-load scenarios. In fact, Edelbrock's 50-state-legal tuning package preserves the Colorado's Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system.

Photo 7/26   |   Since Edelbrock had the graphics package made, a repeated dyno run revealed a new power rating of 345 hp and 306 lb-ft.
On the road, the supercharger kit turns the Colorado into something it always should have been: a capable, comfortable, and effortlessly powerful midsize truck. Sure, at full thwack, it feels properly quick—don't ask us how we know it's faster than a second-generation Ford Raptor—but even trundling around town, it has all the power it needs.
For example, since Edelbrock didn't touch the pickup's transmission tuning, the gearbox upshifts rather readily and is slow to downshift unless you push the accelerator pedal's kickdown switch hard enough. In a stock Chevy, that means you're rarely in the powerband when you need to merge or pass, like, right now. In the Edelbrock supercharged Colorado, however, there's more than enough grunt to pull you through the engine's lower rev range, even if you don't command a downshift. And when the traffic clears and Johnny Law makes himself scarce, the 'roided 'Rado will also lay a set of 11s like no midsize truck could before.
Photo 8/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Cargo Bed

Edelbrock's press loaner—seen here—is a pretty slick machine, supercharger notwithstanding. The company has the truck done up in its signature red and monochrome regalia, meaning plenty of matte black with a few gunmetal accents. A bright red Edelbrock logo dominates both the side and rear views, leaving no doubt as to the purveyors of this machine. Around back, Line-X bed coating is color-matched to both the truck's red bodywork and black center stripe.

Photo 9/26   |   Edelbrock Supercharged Chevrolet Colorado Wheel

Furthermore, the build hearkens back to the kinds of trucks that might have cruised Southern California when Edelbrock first started making waves in the hot-rod-obsessed '60s and '70s. Instead of lifted, the two-wheel-drive Edel-rado is lowered by 2 inches, and it sports a set of 20-inch Forgeline RS-OE1 wheels that are styled like the smoothies your dad had on his square-body Chevy. And while the work truck is still a Colorado at its core, lowering its center of gravity helps it handle curves and bumps with relative lan—it's no Porsche, but there's limited body roll and reasonable grip thanks to those wide tires.

The supercharger kit fitted to Edelbrock's little pickup isn't particularly expensive, at $4,999.87 with a tune included. That price gets the prospective owner everything they need to install the supercharger and intercooler, including belts, hoses, mounts, and idlers. The company says to expect a labor bill of eight hours, although one Edelbrock representative claimed most shadetree mechanics could handle the job themselves, thanks in part to the company's full-color printed and PDF'd installation instructions.
Whether that price is worth it depends on your priorities. In our 250-plus miles of hooning, we eked out 15.43 mpg, which makes the Colorado more efficient than our old long-term Raptor (which we drove similarly—power is addictive, y'all). It's also more garageable than most fullsize trucks, making it better for folks who live in tight confines, while offering all the power and torque of a small-block Chevy V-8. Edelbrock also provides a warranty of three years or 36,000 miles from the vehicle's original in-service date, though we'd still be a little worried about the stock driveline's durability 5 or 10 years down the road. What's more, LGZ-equipped Colorados are starting to hit used-vehicle lots in droves as their original owners or lessees turn them in for newer models. The prospect of picking up a sub-$20k pre-owned Colorado then turning it into a hot-rod-shaming work truck for less than 25 grand is mighty tempting, indeed. As for us, our weekend in the Edelbrock supercharged Chevrolet Colorado left us blown away, pun definitely intended.

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