This two-wheel drive S-10 with a shouty name arrived in 1999, more or less as a direct appeal to the youth market. It packed monochrome ground-hugging bodywork—cool. A low-slung “ZQ8” suspension—sick. And oodles of options, all served at a cost conscious price—totally rad. That meant a smidgen over $15,000 caught you the keys to a factory warranted hot rod. Well, sort of.
Buying an Xtreme demanded that you make some tough choices. Buyers could spec-up an S-10 Xtreme in base or LS trim, regular or extended cab, Fleetside or the wide-hipped Sportside bed, along with power and convenience options that added a few hundred dollars here and there.
But for the low-on-budget-high-on-excitement youth market, there was arguably only one big choice to be made, and it lay under the Chevrolet’s hood. The Xtreme offered up a 2.2-liter four-cylinder as standard, which summoned 120 horsepower, and a 4.3-liter Vortec V6, which made around 190hp. If you chose the itty four, the five-speed manual trumps the automatic in backing up those Xtreme looks, but choose V6 and both the stick and slush box could shovel that 245 lb.-ft. of torque to terra firma.
In terms of visual impact for the price, it certainly ranks high.
Why the Xtreme is a Future Classic
As a result of its eye-catching looks, a fair amount of young people bought them. Inherently that means loads of them have been modified, turned into hunkered-down street machines, and now boast some variation of massive turbocharger, goliath supercharger, both, or nitrous.
With that in mind, this truck’s factory hot rod recipe could make low-mileage, unmodified, manual-equipped V6 models a rare item in the next 15 years or so. To the guy or gal who owned one in high school or college—again, these were significantly cheaper than the similarly styled F-150 Lightning—a low mileage S-10 Xtreme could be quite the hot ticket.
A look at current asking prices on eBay suggests Xtreme values certainly have room to climb.