This rumor is so persistent and so widespread, it's hard to believe it's not real. Word on the street is that the 2008 Chevy Colorado will offer an optional V-8 engine for 2008. The most likely version is the LH8 5.3L Gen IV small-block from the just-announced Hummer H3 Alpha. In the Hummer, it produces 295 horsepower and 317 lb./ft. of torque. Similar output is expected for installation in the Colorado.
So could this be the beginning of a midsize muscle-truck revolution? Well, it could. We've seen several Tacomas with the 4.7 V-8 in them at SEMA and other shows, and it fits like a glove. Likewise, Nissan has just announced the availability of the Endurance 5.6 liter V-8 in the 2008 Pathfinder, which is essentially identical to the Frontier and Xterra from the B-pillar forward. Again, should be an easy fit. However, Ford's bulky modular V-8, although lightweight, would probably be an awkward fit in the Ranger's snug engine bay. There is the V-8 powered Sport Trac model now, but its Ridgeline-esque styling hardly screams "sporty" in the same way as a Colorado Xtreme.
The current hand-wringing about fuel economy standards and gas prices doesn't exactly bode well for a large-scale rollout of powerful mid-sizers. Then again, GM has at least two versions of the 5.3 that have flex-fuel capability, and the 5.6 engine in the Titan is also offered in a flex-fuel version. So maybe it's not so far-fetched after all.