The mid-size Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has gained a significant amount of popularity in the pickup market. It’s also responded well to modifications. Demand for AEV’s ZR2 Bison, for instance, was high enough for Chevrolet to boost 2020 production. The Colorado ZR2 is also the basis for GM’s Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle. However, while the ZR2 may be excellent off-road, its V6 gasoline engine may leave some owners asking for more power. Michigan-based tuner Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has a solution for them. At this year’s SEMA, the company will display the Colorado ZR2-L, a supercharged Colorado ZR2. Here’s what you need to know about the blow(er).
Lingenfelter Supercharger Kit by the Numbers
The Colorado’s 3.6-liter V6 makes 308 hp and 275 lb-ft stock. When Lingenfelter initially announced the development of the V6 supercharger kit, both Muscle Cars and Trucks and GM Authority reported that the company was predicting “at least” a 35% power increase. That works out to a predicted 416 hp at the crank. At the time of the initial announcement, GM Authority noted that Edelbrock—the supercharger supplier—only rated their kit up to 345 hp and 306 lb-ft at the wheels. There was some concern, therefore, that Lingenfelter would push the engine components too hard in pursuing power.
But this isn’t Lingenfelter’s first foray into supercharging Chevy pickups. As MCT recently revealed, the company managed to beat its own prediction. According to company owner Ken Lingenfelter, the ZR2-L will deliver 443 hp at the crank: an almost 44% increase. Torque figures are not available at the time of writing.
As for why the company went with a supercharger over a turbo, Lingenfelter stated that the former was “easier to drive, and more efficient.” The tuner claims their kit improves both the Colorado ZR2’s towing capabilities and fuel consumption, although no road tests have been performed yet.
Lingenfelter has not released additional details about the kit at this time. Presumably, there were modifications done to control excess heat generated by the supercharger. Lingenfelter did note that supercharging the V6 resulted in fewer heating issues than when the company supercharged V8 engines.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Supercharged Alternatives
Lingenfelter isn’t the first to supercharge the V6 Colorado ZR2. North Carlina-based tuner Mallett Performance Cars has offered such a kit since 2015. It even uses the same type of supercharger as the ZR2-L, albeit not from Edelbrock.
Mallett’s kit boosts the V6 to 361 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque at the wheels (the company claims “over 100 hp and 100 lb-ft” at the crank). Like Lingenfelter, Mallett claims its supercharger improves fuel efficiency; allegedly, by at least 4 mpg. It may seem counter-intuitive for an engine to make more power while burning less fuel. But, Mallett’s and Lingenfelter’s claims aren’t all hot air. Forced-induction lets the engine work less to deliver a given amount of power—meaning less fuel is burned. And, because superchargers have less lag than turbos, the efficiency may be more pronounced in normal conditions.
GM Authority noted that Mallett’s claims represented an allegedly “conservative, heat-soaked” dyno run. Mallett’s kit adds Fluidyne intercoolers and a two-gallon coolant reservoir to control excess heat. In addition, GM Authority noted that Mallett uses a proprietary upgraded belt to drive the blower. Initial Lingenfelter build details had the Colorado’s standard drive belt extended to drive the blower.
Lingenfelter Chevy Colorado ZR2 Supercharger Kit Cost and Availability
As of this writing, Lingenfelter has not released pricing or availability information for the ZR2-L. Mallett’s kit is available for $7200.
However, Lingenfelter has stated that the kit will be emission-legal in all 50 states, and is compatible with any 3.6-liter V6-equipped GM vehicle. That means the Lingenfelter won’t just be available on the GMC Canyon—as Mallett’s is, too—but also on the Chevy Camaro and non-turbo Cadillacs. Hopefully, SEMA will answer any remaining questions.