2018 RST SPECIAL EDITION
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.