What you don’t know can hurt you — especially if you’re into full-size, big-engined sport trucks.Sure, everyone knows about the rompin’, stompin’ V-10 Dodge Ram SRT-10 and the (recently discontinued) supercharged Ford SVT Lightning. They’re fierce trucks, quicker and faster than almost anything on the road, and with the hulking presence of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as they barrel up in the rearview.
But there’s a third big gun with a bed out there, too — the GMC Sierra 1500 Performance Edition.
Unfortunately, many enthusiast buyers who might really like this sport-themed muscle truck don’t know it exists. That’s because unlike the Ram SRT-10 and Lightning, it’s not a full-fledged model in its own right. You have to scroll down the options list of what appears at first glance to be your basic ’05 Sierra 1500 extended-cab pickup “contractor special.”
There you’ll find the key to glory, GMC-style — the $3925 Sierra Performance Edition Package, code B4V.
Getting it good
What you get for the extra cash (on top of the price of a nicely loaded rear-drive, short-bed SLE or SLT Sierra 1500 pickup) is a Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 under the hood. Yep, that’s the engine based on the current Chevy Corvette’s 400-hp LS2 engine. This mill is rated at 345 horsepower (up 20 from last year’s 6.0-liter engine) and it’s tied to a heavy-duty four-speed automatic with a transmission cooler and 3.73 gears with a locking differential. The package is rounded out with a lowered and more aggressively tuned Z60 sport suspension riding on 20x8.5-inch chrome rims wrapped in extra-beefy P275/55R20 blackwall tires.
Though not brutally quick in the way the Lightining and Ram SRT-10 are, the Performance Edition Sierra can definitely lay a hearty patch if that’s what you want. It also snaps your neck back nicely when you drop the hammer. Numbers-wise, it runs 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds and tackles the quarter-mile in the mid-high 15s. That’s about the same straight-line performance as a mid-’90s Mustang GT — only in a vehicle big enough to carry a Mustang GT in its bed. Well, almost.