While truckmakers are doing a good job of producing some interesting and powerful special-edition factory pickup trucks, there's a growing number of companies that are doing it better — for a price, of course. Callaway is one of those companies, specializing in creating high-performance vehicles from GM sports cars, full-size SUVs and pickups.
Callaway has been around for decades and is known for its Corvette engine and suspension upgrades, but recently we had the chance to get behind the wheel of a GMC Yukon Denali full-size SUV equipped with several Callaway performance upgrades on the 6.2-liter V-8; it was impressive and tons of fun.
The newest-generation Callaway performance packages for the Chevrolet Silverado 1500s and GMC Sierra 1500s are ready now and can be ordered for either the 5.3-liter V-8 (SC480) or the 6.2-liter V-8 (SC560). The centerpiece of the package is a twin-Vortex supercharger and huge cold air charger intake system. The 5.3-liter V-8 makes 480 horsepower and 477 pounds-feet of torque, while the bigger 6.2-liter V-8 produces 560 hp and 553 pounds-feet of torque.
During our drive of the new SC560 GMC Yukon Denali SUV in the mountains outside Los Angeles, we had a ball carving through canyons and jumping around slower traffic without much effort, due in large part to the supercharger, neck-snapping throttle response and road-hugging 22-inch 285/R45 Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza tires on Callaway custom wheels. The Callaway package also offers a host of other cosmetic and light performance parts if you want to — and can afford to — check all the boxes. Just be mindful of the cost.
The Callaway sports truck kit designed for the Silverado or Sierra 1500s with the larger V-8 starts at just more than $17,000 and includes the next-generation supercharger kit, intercooler, special intake, high-flow dual exhaust, exterior badging, carbon fiber engine cover, floormats and a limited three-year/36,000-mile warranty. But if you want more, you can opt for brake and suspension upgrades, wheel and tire improvements, as well as an extended warranty and other interior modifications.
The GMC Yukon Denali we drove had the full performance kit, suspension, brakes and interior mods, all of which added more than $35,000 to the price of a brand-new Yukon Denali, meaning the SUV that sat underneath us had a total price hovering around $110,000 out the door. That's busts our budget, but we know there are plenty of people looking for unique vehicles who don't let cost worry them. For them, a Callaway upfit could be the perfect fit.
We've heard nothing about Chevrolet or GMC offering an SS special edition with a kit like Callaway's for the all-new 2019 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, but it sure would make our next sports truck contest an interesting match. Now if Callaway would up the ante by modifying Ford and Ram pickups, we could have a full-blown sports truck renaissance on our hands. Wouldn't that be nice?