UPDATE - Walkinshaw has dropped an Instagram post showing off a very noisy, very supercharged V8 engine that's destined for life under the bonnet of a Chevrolet Silverado.
The once-secret project from HSV is expected to unleash a supercharged 500kW Chevrolet Silverado 1500 onto Australian roads in the near future.
The Silverado 1500 LTZ is currently the only model sold by HSV, powered by a 313kW/624Nm naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8.
And well, if there's one thing they seem pretty good at down in Clayton, it's supercharging a 6.2-litre V8. It's become a bit of an HSV speciality.
So, when the atmo Chevrolet Silverados were rolling down the production line, having their engines pulled out in the re-engineering process from left- to right-hand drive, it would appear that somebody realised that there was an opportunity to strap on a supercharger and create some time-honoured HSV havoc.
Wheels understands that the project will result in a locally-developed Australia-only special edition for the Silverado 1500, with a supercharged petrol V8 under the bonnet pushing power outputs into the region of 500kW.
That would make the supercharged Silverado the most powerful ute to ever grace Australian roads.
Nobody's prepared to go on record at HSV to talk about the project just yet, but we reached out to sources in the business in an attempt to discover whether this was really happening. The official word is "no comment" but there's clearly some interest in the project.
One source told us that the company was getting asked by a lot of customers about it and HSV – soon to become GMSV – were always exploring ways to make awesome cars and that supercharging the Silverado was indeed an obvious way to do just that.
The contact went on to say that a lot of people like their V8 utes and that because many owners customise and modify them, a supercharged Silverado could make sense if executed by the aftermarket.
When pressed on dates, it's clear that an official announcement is in the works, but not immediately imminent. The message from Clayton was clear. It's on their radar.
Expect a power output in the vicinity of 500kW, with a torque rating expected to be around 850Nm. That's broadly in line with what partners Walkinshaw Perfromance were getting from the old LS3 with their W497 package.
Of course, the engine in the Silverado isn't the same LS3 as seen in the old VFII Commodore. That was a Gen IV unit, and the Silverado's instead powered by a Gen V L87 lump.
But is throwing more power at the Silverado really going to help it?
In the August issue of Wheels we put the Silverado up against the RAM 1500 and found that while it certainly wasn't short of straight-line grunt, it wanted for something in terms of chassis control. HSV claims to have suspension refinements in place to tame that, but boosting power by 187kW – greater than the total power output of a Golf GTI - is upping the ante in a major fashion.
There's also the price of entry to consider. The Silverado 1500 currently retails at $113,990. Adding a supercharger, revised injectors, modified intake, freer-breathing exhaust and a custom ECU map will likely tack another $35,000 to that figure.
If HSV has done its math, there's a viable queue of customers who'll see that as a reasonable ask. Let's hope so. There's something hilariously antisocial about a supercharged Silverado, but there's also something wonderfully extreme about it. We can't wait.
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