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Holden LS3 Colorado: 2017 Custom 4x4OTY contender

By Justin Walker, 13 Nov 2017 4x4OTY

Holden LS3 Colorado main

LS3 V8-powered Colorado puts the special in special edition

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.

Vote for the Holden LS3 Colorado to win 2017 Custom 4x4 of the Year

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.

Holden LS3 Colorado drive.jpgAfter 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 factory-standard equivalent would.

Holden LS3 Colorado engine.jpgAfter 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.

2017 Holden Colorado: Research & development drive

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

Fox suspension.jpgRolling 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.