2018 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban RST: Embracing performance SUVs
Hot rod SUVs? Not quite. A super version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, ready for a New York Auto Show debut, will soon redefine what’s really hot in the world of SUVs. Nevertheless, the new RST options will make for a hotter look and more performance for Chevy’s big utes, particularly the Tahoe.
RST (not to be confused with SRT, which applies to the Grand Cherokee) stands for Rally Sport Truck. Due to show up on Chevrolet order sheets this fall, the basic RST is a cosmetic treatment that eliminates a lot of chrome and includes a lot of black—grille, grille surround, door handles, side mirror caps, window trim, roof rails, RST badges, and Chevy bowtie emblems. Also included: 22-inch wheels wearing 285/45 Bridgestone tires.
Performance suspension and brakes
For those who want substance to go with the custom look, the RST collection will also offer a Performance Package that includes GM’s magnetorheological auto-adjusting shocks (Magnetic Ride Control), bigger Brembo brakes (6-piston red anodized aluminum calipers squeeze 16.1-inch front rotors), and a Borla exhaust system that reduces back pressure by 28 percent, according to Chevrolet, enhancing the music from the big V-8.
Big engine means 6.2 liters (420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque), long a Suburban option, but previously unavailable in the Tahoe. The Performance Package also includes GM’s new 10-speed automatic transmission.
0-60 in less than 6 seconds
With its wide ratio spread, the new transmission will keep the engine in its operational sweet spot more of the time, and optimize performance when the driver tramps on the throttle. In the Tahoe, some 300 pounds lighter than the bigger Suburban, pedal to the metal will produce 0-to-60 runs in the high 5-second range, according to Chevrolet.
Lighter doesn’t mean light. A Tahoe weighs over 5,500 pounds, making 0-60 in less than 6 seconds just this side of astonishing. Towing tops out at a robust 8,400 pounds, and the 6.2 retains efficiency enhancements such as variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation (officially, Active Fuel Management), although EPA fuel economy forecasts won’t be available until closer to launch. That also applies to pricing information. Look for specifics by September.