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2018 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe RST Preview

img 213243390 1491420407623 jpg 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST | Manufacturer image

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Competes with: GMC Yukon Denali, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia

Looks like: Your standard Tahoe and Suburban minus most of the chrome, plus blingy wheels

Drivetrain: 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 (Tahoe only); 10-speed automatic transmission; rear- or four-wheel-drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2017

Hot-rod sport trucks aren’t uncommon, with every major automaker offering a hotter version of their full-size pickup truck for people who want to live the dream of the true Golden Age of muscle cars. With the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe selling faster than Trump effigies at an ACLU rally, Chevy decided that making a hotter version of its big trucks was a good idea, too.

Related: More Chevrolet News

Behold the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe RST, which stands for Rally Sport Truck. Both models feature a de-chromed appearance package with bigger wheels, optional performance bits and a special powertrain for the Tahoe (but not the Suburban).

Exterior

It’s not necessarily a “blacked-out” look for the RST package, as nearly as much of the chrome trim has been replaced by body-colored pieces and gloss-black bits. The RST is an add-on to the LT or Premier trim levels, and it comes with a body-color grille and door handles. Blacked-out trim replaces chrome on the roof rails, window trim, name script and Chevy bow-tie logos. Big 22-inch wheels with Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza performance all-season tires are part of the deal, as well.

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Interior

Inside, there are surprisingly no changes. All of the sporty look is on the outside — the interior is as nice as you’ve specified by choosing either the LT or Premier trim levels, meaning that your wicked-looking, urban street-inspired Tahoe can feature incongruous fake wood trim on the inside.

Under the Hood

This is where things get interesting. While the RST itself is an appearance package, it opens the door to some performance options that you can only get on this model. Available on either the Tahoe or Suburban RST are a performance brake package with Brembo six-piston front calipers and larger Duralife rotors for better stopping power. A Borla exhaust is also optional, which provides a 28 percent flow improvement and up to 10 rear-wheel horsepower on the standard 5.3-liter V-8 engine.

The Tahoe alone gets something more, however. You can specify a Performance Package that will bring your Chevy’s big 6.2-liter V-8 mated to the new 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is optional even with the bigger engine. The package also includes Magnetic Ride Control, GM’s adaptive suspension, but it’s tuned specifically for sportier performance characteristics instead of the standard MRC’s comfort skew available on Premier trim trucks.

The big V-8 in the Tahoe makes 420 horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of torque, good to propel the Tahoe from zero-to-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, according to Chevy. It also enables the Tahoe RST to tow 8,400 pounds, giving up nothing in the utility department.

Pricing has not yet been announced on the new package and performance options, but the trucks should be arriving at dealerships in the fall of 2017.

Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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