While driving home from the grocery store you realize that the ice cream is melting, the beer has already gotten warm, and the football game on TV just started. If only your Suburban had a little more punch to launch you in front of traffic. So you wanna go fast? You want shiny aluminum? We have the perfect solution: Supercharge it!

As with all good things, they can only get better. Chevrolet’s introduction of the 8.1 Vortec V-8 engine promised to make the Suburban climb to the top of the SUV market. Chevy’s new engine pumps out around 340 horses at the crank and was Dyno-tested to put 273 at the rear wheels. That kind of power coupled to a 4L60E four-speed automatic makes the 7,000-pound behemoth move at a reasonable rate. However, we aren’t concerned with the reasonable. A fast truck is good, but a faster truck is better.

The folks at Kenne Bell Superchargers share the sentiment. Just as Chevy was slating the 8.1 engine for production in Suburbans, Kenne Bell was making the prototype auto-rotor Supercharger to fit. We followed Kenne Bell through the installation of its new 8.1 supercharger kit. The Auto-Rotor charger bolted onto Chevy’s 8.1 showed dramatic improvement. With the engine turning 3,150 rpm, torque jumped to 365 lb-ft at the rear wheels. The biggest gains came in horsepower. With a Kenne Bell unit attached and the engine turning 4,200 rpm, the engine produced 382 horses at the rear wheels and an estimated 477 horses at the crank. Keep in mind this is from a bolt-on unit requiring minimal modification for installation. After an evening at the shop, we can vouch for the simplicity of installation. A novice mechanic may need an entire day for installation—that’s with a blindfold and one hand tied behind his back.