V8 MUS­CLE

HOLDEN LS3 COLORADO

4 x 4 Australia - - Custom 4x4 Of The Year 2017 -

POS­SI­BLY the ul­ti­mate Kick-starter cam­paign pro­ject, this Ls3-pow­ered Holden Colorado is the re­sult of Steve and Tony’s, from Killa Kus­tom Kables & Con­ver­sions, de­sire to offer some­thing more than the glossy stick­ered ‘spe­cial edi­tion paint’ 4x4 the Aussie mar­ket is cur­rently sub­jected to by all man­u­fac­tur­ers. These guys were keen to mod­ify (then offer as a com­plete turn-key prod­uct) a rig that re­ally did ful­fil the ‘spe­cial’ in spe­cial edi­tion. Af­ter find­ing a write-off ve­hi­cle and pulling it apart to see how best to fit the big V8 into the Colorado en­gine bay, the guys then set to work on a test mule. And when we’re talk­ing about that donk and say ‘big’, we mean it; the 6.2-litre GM LS3 V8 punches out 298-plus-kw of power and a mighty 580Nm of torque. The V8 was mated to a 6L80E six-speed auto that has fea­tured in H2 Hum­mers in past in­car­na­tions. This combo feeds all that grunt through a mod­i­fied adap­tor with cus­tom en­gine mounts on its way to the stock Colorado trans­fer case.

As Dan Everett wrote in the orig­i­nal story on the Colorado, “This isn’t ex­actly a back­yard en­gine con­ver­sion”, and it shows through­out not only the en­gine trans­plant, but in re­gards to all the pe­riph­er­als that en­sure the ve­hi­cle runs and per­forms like a fac­to­ry­s­tan­dard equiv­a­lent would.

Af­ter sign­ing off on the en­gine trans­plant, the guys then moved on to how to in­te­grate the new driv­e­train into the Holden work­horse’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem. The re­sult of the many, many hours of work is a Colorado that re­tains all the fac­tory stuff – hill-start as­sist, down­hill as­sist, trac­tion con­trol, etc. – while be­ing trans­formed per­for­mance-wise, both on- and off-road.

In ad­di­tion to the im­pres­sive en­gine trans­plant, the guys have also fo­cused on the other im­por­tant stuff – the sus­pen­sion – with a full set of Fox 2.0 sus­pen­sion (in­clud­ing

WHEN WE’RE TALK­ING ABOUT THAT 6.2-LITRE GM LS3 AND SAY ‘BIG’, WE MEAN IT

Fox re­mote reser­voir coilovers and ex­tended shack­les at the rear) that has re­sulted in a nice lift over­all.

Rolling un­der­neath all this is a set of beefy 305/70R Mickey Thomp­son ATZ P3 AT tyres on 18-inch Fuel al­loys. Im­pres­sively, and al­low­ing for the size of the en­gine, fuel econ­omy still sits around 14L/100km for what is a pretty big lift in over­all per­for­mance.

Cos­met­i­cally, the burnt or­ange beast has copped just a few nice tweaks, in­clud­ing a blacked-out two-piece mesh grille, black sur­rounds on the front lights and the wheel arch flares. With the idea of of­fer­ing vari­a­tions on this mod across three op­tion ‘packages’ (each op­tion would have its own en­gine, trim and sus­pen­sion mods) the Killa Kus­tom duo are on a win­ner.

With the demise of the Holden ute and V8 power, con­ver­sions like this could be­come com­mon in the fu­ture.

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