• Aug 29th 2010 at 7:45PM
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Reeves Callaway makes the point that his company's Silverado program is extremely new by saying, "Anything I may have said in this conversation may not be true, 'cause I don't know what I'm talking about yet." Modest and super-nice, he's emphasizing that our recent phone chat covering the details of Callaway Cars' move into the realm of pickup trucks is about a project that's still in its early stages of execution.

"We've got an outline of what we would like to do, now the task is do it, test it," Callaway says. Having made its name building highly-modified Corvettes since the 1980s, Callaway Cars' diverse endeavors have stretched from turbocharger kits for BMWs and Alfa Romeos to building and supporting the Corvette Z06.Rs that race in the FIA GT3 European Championship Series, so a pickup truck shouldn't be all that shocking.

"We've got all of the infrastructure in place to service the Corvette and Camaro," Callaway explains, "we figured it's logical to do a pickup truck too, if for no other reason than the powertrain is already done. We have loads of experience with that." While the tuning is obviously different between the V8s in the Corvette and the Silverado, they use essentially the same engine.

Callaway explains the development program has two main objectives. First, "make the power, which we looked at as the easier of the two." Second, and perhaps more challenging, Callaway wants to do "something that nobody really has ever done, in my experience with a pickup truck, and that is [to] make it handle like a Corvette." This is where you roll your eyes and say, "how are they gonna pull that off." Follow the jump and keep reading to find out.
Callaway Corvette Z06R GT3 Series 2The guys that build the Corvette race cars in Callaway's Leingarten, Germany operation will be tasked with making the Silverado dance. "We have assembled a really world class bunch of engineers who are concerned with making the car handle, so I think we're quite good at that," Callaway confidently explains. "We're going to take all those guys who have won the FIA championship for the past four years and assign them the task of making the truck handle like a BMW or like a Corvette or like a Porsche."

While many of the details are still up in the air as development progresses, we caught Reeves accruing evaluation miles on a brand-new 2011 Silverado, so there are some certainties. "It will be supercharged and powerful, it will have a great-looking set of wheels and tires, and it will be positioned at the right ride height to indicate that it's something special."

None of these goals are impossible if you're building $200,000 half-ton pickups, but that's not the plan. "You'd probably sell five of those," says Callway. "We all know the pickup truck market is even more price-sensitive than the Corvette and Camaro market, so this is going to have to be a menu-driven program." Going a-la-carte allows buyers to pick and choose the regular production options that are most important to them. If it's speed, that's one checkbox, handling is another, and the whole shooting match will likely run at similar levels to what the Callaway supercharger options cost on Corvettes and Camaros, which would put the total cost in the $50,000 arena; not unheard of for some current trucks.

Callaway supercharged V8Why would a company known for its sports and racing cars move into pickup trucks, that most utilitarian of segments? "The dealers were asking for it," Callaway says, and pickup trucks are both huge sellers and a common canvas for customization. "We have a nice little system set up and we were just looking for more product to put through, and realizing that the truck is such a popular platform, why not do it?"

That's got to be comforting news for the small network of Callaway dealers that look out their showroom windows upon handfuls of Corvettes and Camaros and rows and rows of pickups. "I'm perfectly willing to develop our version of the truck and then leave it to our dealers to drive the sales," Callaway tells us.

Familiarity with the powertrain and long-running status as a top-notch low-volume manufacturer means that Callaway isn't likely to fumble the execution on its super-Silverado. We've respectfully asked for an opportunity to drive one of the mules when possible, and that opportunity will be forthcoming. In the meantime, Callaway says that other than telling dealers a truck is coming, the schedule is a little loose. "We're looking forward to having it done by SEMA time, whether that means it'll be on display at SEMA or not, I don't know." Whenever it shows up, one thing is certain: the Callaway Silverado will be fully capable of announcing its presence with a V8 roar and neck-straining cornering.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      1st gen Lightning already accomplished this, outhandled the vette of its time in the slalom

      so this has been done by Ford

      i am excited to see this though, i felt like the performance truck market is slowly waning!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think that it would be a good thing if they took a page from the Roush Mustangs and offered different levels of Callaway Silverado
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone bashing this article reread the first part of it.
      "Anything I may have said in this conversation may not be true, 'cause I don't know what I'm talking about yet."
      Could happen, could not happen. Would it be great for a truck to handle like a 'vette um hellz yeah it would. How they wish to do that.. well I have no damn clue. Though I will say this I'd like to see how they pulled it off.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice power but I think ford will have something to compete... fords 6.2 puts out 412 hp & 434 lb/torque. FORD has a huge headstart on chevy and so far ford has a damn good truck.Ford can take the 05 lightning that didn't come out and make very few changes to it for 2011 lineup, and its back to the back for everyone in the hipo truck game. thanks for share a great info.

      • 5 Years Ago
      So they are going to have engineers and race car drivers involved in the suspension design. That didn't really answer the question of how they are going to pull it off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        True, but they do have the technical credibility...those guys have been around for awhile, I remember lusting after the Callaway Vette's many many years go. At that time it was the fastest 0-60 and quarter car ever (1. something seconds!).

        About the truck handlings as well as the Corvette though, that's super ambitious. You need some ingrained OEM magic for anything approaching that level of traction and performance like BMW's torque vectoring etc on the X6M. (ie, needs to be integrated into the ECU and ABS). Solid tyres and suspension will only get you so far (and that limit can be very high, just not Vette territory I suspect).

        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm excited about this. GM trucks will need superchargers to keep up with the new Ford and Dodge engines anyways.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, Techy, but when it comes down to gas engines, Chevy is king.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they just lazy boy it, it'll be a blower, lowering kit, sticky tires, Brembos, but that costs money. The rest would be soaked up by the cost of a quad cab truck. I'm not a fan of quad cabs from a turning radius standpoint.

      Single cabs with a short bed run about $20k That leaves $30k for parts to hit $50k $30k will buy a transaxle, an aluminum engine block, tires, and have plenty of room for chassis mods and a supercharger. That sounds Corvette-ish, or something like the F150 raptor (which handles pretty well).

      I would settle for a Single cab, short bed, all-aluminum engine with individual throttle bodies per cylinder, rear mounted transaxle or even a mid engine conversion hidden by a tonneau cover, along with a bunch of suspension mods. That fixes weight balance, of course throwing junk in the bed isn't really gonna be an option. I'd like to do this to a mid 90's GM pickup!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Make a truck handle like a Corvette? Should be easy. The hard thing to do would be to make either of them handle like a car. Probably start by removing the leaf springs from both!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some people never learn. Gas is cheap now, so owning a truck like this one is fun. But once oil will start going up again these people will come to a conclusion that they can not afford to gas up any longer and will sell these trucks at huge discounts. Much like 2006 and 2007.

      Of course they will blame the politicians and oil companies for all this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know, I really don't think so. Not with a Callaway truck, at least. Their vehicles are something special you hang on to through fuel crises and economic downturns. We're not talking your run of the mill F150 Lightning here
        • 5 Years Ago
        On the "gas is cheap" now rant, you can give it a rest. Unless there is a catastrophic event that affects production, gas prices will continue to hold the line.

        The petroleum industry is under attack, serious attack. The world's fleet of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles grows larger every day. It has grown to a size that the oil barons can no longer ignore. Large municipalities and corporations everywhere are replacing their conventional fleet vehicles with hybrids, almost every manufacturer has or is planning a hybrid or plug-in electric.

        Look at the US for example, even though fewer people are flying due to pain in the a$$ airport security, and crappy airline service, fuel consumption has dropped in the US. That is what is holding fuel prices down, even as we rack up MORE highway miles.

        Have you ever stopped at one of those modern super truck stops? In the past, trucks would run the engines at idle all night to keep heat in the cabs, or keep the refrigerated trucks cool. Now the truck stops rents them a truck tender that comes equipped with heat, power generators and satellite tv. All for much less than what it cost them to run the trucks all night. Three years ago, it was estimated that nationally the truck tenders were saving about 1 million gallons of diesel fuel every two weeks. I'm sure that more truck stops are being forced to offer the tenders, or risk going out of business, as truckers were bypassing the truck stops that didn't have the tenders.

        This was inevitable, but Cash for Clunkers had a hand in this too, by pulling 400K plus inefficient vehicles off the road in favor of more efficient ones. The Leaf and the Volt are only going to pile on and make the situation worse or better depending on which side of the table you are sitting on.

        Prediction: In three to five years, OPEC will be embroiled in a production limit / price war with its member nations.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin,

        Not really. That type of rule might apply to the average guy spending $22-25,000 on a low-end SIlverado, but I doubt anybody spending $50-60,000+ on what's essentially a specialty vehicle will bother to notice their gas bill.

        When I filled up my 33MPG-averaging Forte about half an hour ago, the person at the pump before me purchased 30.4 gallons of gas. If he or she didn't notice or care about their $80 "cheap" gas bill, I can't see them caring too much more if that bill rises to $120-130.

        They were dumb enough to buy the 17-18 MPG averaging truck, to begin with. =)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dr. Greenthumb,

        With all due respect, the last time I checked a foreign government and their economy dictated the price of our gasoline. That alone should make observant people cautious 24/7 in my book.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The types of people who buy these specialty vehicles generally do not intend to drive them on a daily basis, therefore gas prices really are not an issue. They are the classic car market guys.

        With that said, lumping a customized, Callaway Silverado with a bunch of "dime-a-dozen", daily driven, "suburban soccer-mom" suvs is taking it a bit to the extreme.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's been attempted before with full size trucks, the viper powered dodge, the saleen powered f150 i believe even roush tried to get in on it.

      But, each company builds the trucks without 4wd.
      IMO, what is the point?
      If the truck is too nice and too expensive to fill the bed with garbage, you can't drive it well in the rain or the snow, why not just buy that corvette or mustang instead?

      The trailblazer SS and srt8 cherokee got it right.
      Seat 4 comfortably, you can throw some stuff in them without feeling too guilty, oh and the best part, AWD, so you can drive it year around in the upper half of the country.
      Seriously who wants a truck that you can't drive in the snow.

      I just don't think there is a market for 60k+ pickup trucks that aren't meant to do any work.
      And before you guys start complaining and suggesting people could do work with them and towing, nobody really does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Saleen S331 wasn't "Saleen powered". It was a modified RWD F-150 with the same 331c.i./5.4L V8 found in the factory truck. Oh and yes, Roush did do this. In fact, it was so successful, that Roush Performance did it for 2 generations of the F-150. Steeda also has kits for the F-150. Also, there's a limited edition Shelby F-150 Super Snake.

        The Trailblazer SS had an OPTION for AWD. Also, the majority of sales for the TB/SS were of the RWD variety. The AWD wasn't selling well because of the gigantic price hike over the RWD. Read the article again. They are looking at this to be a somewhat cheap high performance truck. Adding AWD will just bring the price up even more.

        Also, who said that you can't use these trucks like they're meant to? How are you going to mess up your pretty truck by putting stuff in the bed? Ever heard of bedliner?

        I've seen multiple SRT/10 Rams and Lightnings hauling stuff around, PLUS towing stuff. I've even seen a crotch rocket sitting in the bed of a Lightning and sheetrock in the bed of an SRT/10.

        I just LOVE how you assume nobody use them as trucks. Because for you to know that for sure is to know every SRT/10 Ram, Lightning, and Silverado SS owner around the nation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        May want to do a little more research Elmo.
        First off the S331 was saleen supercharged, pretty much the same thing calloway appears to be planning.
        Second off, Trailblazers SS's in the south may be 2wd, but up north damn near all are awd.
        When shopping for one (didn't ever get it) none, as in zero were 2wd out of about 20 i either saw in person or on the internet.

        For roush you consider a 2 year run successful?

        Bed liner huh, you ever see what a bed liner does to the bed under it?

        Lust those numbers for the ram are in the 14's in the quarter at around 107mph.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is not my thing either, but different strokes for different folks.

        On a side note, I am pretty sure those Ram SRT-10s could do high 12s, low 13s. They were quicker than my Mustang GT out of the box, so I know they weren't no 15 sec trucks.

        Will they fly off the shelves like Mustangs, Camaros, or even Corvettes? No. They will be quite the sleeper, which I am sure is a big part of the reason why people would consider such vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, you really are a moron.

        You said "saleen POWERED". It being Saleen supercharged does t mean it's Saleen supercharged.

        Reread what I said about the TB/SS. I never once said anything about the south getting 2WDs. Research the sale figures. The 2WD overshadowed the AWD trim.

        2 generations isn't 2 years. A generation is not the equivalent of a year. Roush started the F-150 tuning program back during the 10th generation ('97-'04), continued on to the 11th generation ('05-'09), and is currently in the process of developing a tuning program for the 12th generation ('10-'11) 6.2L F-150.

        Really? How long have you been stuck under a rock to NOT know about spray-on bedliners?

        Also, the Ram SRT/10 was a low 13, high 12 second truck. I don't know where in the heck you're getting you're info, but it is seriously false.

        Do you always pull stuff out of your butt or was this the first time? It's like you do it on purpose almost just to see what type of attention you get. Because no one can be THIS stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Several things.
        First off the Trailblazer SS and Srt8 cherokee aren't that expensive.
        Certainly they come in way under what a calloway truck will.

        Second, those suv's come with or have available AWD.

        Next they are lighter and quicker. Even with the extra drain of the awd system.

        Why pay 65 grand to run 15's?

        In recent years the only full size performance truck to be done right was the lightning.
        It may be the last of them, trucks are just too big and too heavy these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Something's flawed in your argument -- you think it's perfectly fine for people to put large dollars down for a performance SUV, but it's unreasonable for people to buy performance trucks?

        Did you ever consider that these trucks are often extended-/crew-cab, meaning they are every bit as useful as a normal SUV?

        Or how about the fact that most SUVs don't normally carry more than 1-2 people?

        I've read quite a few opinions hating on luxury trucks (performance is a luxury). Why is it perfectly acceptable for people to buy luxury cars but not luxury trucks? Why the double standard?

        Some people just want a truck -- and as much as you deny it, they still are more work/hauling-friendly than any car around [I'll make one exception for car-trucks like the oh-so-wonderful Falcon Ute].
      • 5 Years Ago
      I say to Callaway...look to GM for this one.

      GM did something of the sort (high horse truck, handles like a vette) with the 2000 Silverado SS concept: http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/autoshows/sema2000/chevrolet/ss.html

      It had a 6.6L LS1 with 480hp and 475ft.lbs torque. It had a rear mounted 6-speed transaxle and C5 rear axle basically grafted and modified to the back end.
      • 5 Years Ago
      big toys for big kids.

      cant wait to see the final product!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow.. I had a lot of typos.

      I'd like something like this if it could out handle Mini coopers, civics, stock camaros, M3's

      850 hp, single cab, short bed, 600+ cu in, 2.5" primairies, 4" exhaust, sounds like a pro mod and it's the best looking bodystyle GM ever made. The headlights/turn signals and air dam really pull it off for me.

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