Chevro­let’s Hot Rod SUV Pack­age


CHEVRO­LET RE­CENTLY TOOK the wraps off a new special edi­tion per­for­mance model of the pop­u­lar Ta­hoe full-size SUVS, and Street Trucks was there to get the first shots. The ’18 Ta­hoe RST (Rally Sport Truck) is com­pelling as a stand­alone halo model, but it also reveals GM’S di­rec­tion in the full-size body-on-frame per­for­mance truck mar­ket. “The RST is de­signed for cus­tomers who want a street per­for­mance look with­out sac­ri­fic­ing ca­pa­bil­ity or re­fine­ment, along with the op­tion of in­creased per­for­mance as well,” said San­dor Piszar, Chevro­let truck mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor.

THE RST IS POW­ERED BY A NOR­MALLY as­pi­rated ver­sion of GM’S 6.2L L86 power plant, of­fer­ing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The L86 fea­tures di­rect fuel in­jec­tion, as-needed cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion and con­tin­u­ously vari­able valve tim­ing. It’s the same en­gine you can get in the Chevy Sil­ver­ado and the GMC Sierra or Yukon, but it’s the hottest en­gine that Chevy has ever put in its Ta­hoe or Sub­ur­ban, and a ma­jor step up from the 355 hp and 383 lb-ft that the stock Ta­hoe with the 5.3L V-8 has.

THE ECOTEC3 EN­GINE IN THE TA­HOE RST is mated to the 10-speed Hy­dra-matic 10L80 trans­mis­sion that GM co-de­vel­oped with Ford. We’ve al­ready seen this box in the ’17 Ford F-150 Rap­tor and the ’18 Ca­maro ZL1. The com­bi­na­tion of the big­ger en­gine and 10 gears will sprint the Ta­hoe from 0-60 in 5.7 sec­onds, and still al­lows the Ta­hoe RST a tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 8,400 pounds. The RST is much more than a driv­e­line pack­age. Buy­ers will also have the op­tion to in­clude the driver-con­trol­lable mag­netic ride con­trol sus­pen­sion de­vel­oped for the Corvette. The sus­pen­sion takes a read­ing ev­ery mil­lisec­ond, and ad­justs damp­ing in the elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled shock ab­sorbers in about 5 mil­lisec­onds. The per­for­mance cal­i­bra­tion in­cluded in the Ta­hoe RST in­creases body con­trol for even higher lev­els of re­spon­sive­ness when it’s di­aled up for sport driv­ing, and en­hances smooth­ness in com­fort mode.

IF A BIG BRAKE KIT IS ON YOUR LIST, IT’S ALSO ON THE OP­TION SHEET. A PAIR OF red six-pot alu­minum Brembo calipers will squeeze 16.1-inch vented ro­tors up front, in­creas­ing pad area by 84% over stock, and in­creas­ing swept area by 42%. A set of unique 22-inch wheels with 285/45 Bridge­stones com­pletes the pic­ture.

COM­PLET­ING THE HAR­VEST OF LOW-HANG­ING AF­TER­MAR­KET FRUIT, CHEVY will also of­fer a borla cat-back ex­haust sys­tem as a fac­tory op­tion. Chevy says the borla kit is good for 28% more flow and 7-10 ad­di­tional horse­power. No­tably, the borla tips are done in black chrome to match the rest of the look. Out­side, the ta­hoe rst has been dechromed, with grille and door el­e­ments in body color and all badg­ing in black-out letters. The ta­hoe rst will be avail­able in black, sil­ver, tung­sten and white. Chevy has not yet an­nounced pric­ing, but we can ex­pect it to come in un­der the com­pa­ra­ble GMC Yukon. The same pack­ages will also be of­fered on the Sub­ur­ban. Both the Ta­hoe and Sub­ur­ban RST will be in deal­er­ships by fall.

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