General Motors Co. is capitalizing on growing demand for SUVs with a package that adds black-out detailing and optional performance punch to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban.
The new Rally Sport Truck — or RST — editions are stripped of chrome trim, which is swapped out for body-color trim, including parts around the grille and the door handles. The RST trim levels get a glossy black grille, black mirror caps, black nameplates and a black Chevy logo. Twenty-two-inch wheels come standard.
An optional performance package for the Tahoe RST gets you a 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The standard setup for the RST editions of the Tahoe and Suburban is a 5.3-liter V-8 and a six-speed automatic. The Tahoe RST performance package includes Magnetic Ride Control calibration, which Chevy said “reads the road” every millisecond to deliver improved suspension and control.
Optional upgrades — which can be purchased without adding the performance package — include a Borla performance exhaust system, and a brake package with red Brembo brake calipers and Duralife rotors.
Chevy pulled the covers off the Tahoe RST at a Wednesday media event in Detroit. The automaker did not show the Suburban RST, but expects both models to be available this fall. The RSTs will be available in black, silver ice and tungsten paint jobs.
“It’s really a no-compromise vehicle,” said Sandor Piszar, director of marketing for Chevy trucks, adding that the new performance package pushes the Tahoe into new territory for SUVs. “People want to have a broad level of capability. ... We do know there is demand.”
The automaker did not release pricing or fuel economy information.
Chevy’s announcement comes less than two months after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV announced the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT three-row SUV, which the company billed as its seven-seat Dodge Charger.
At Wednesday’s event, Chevy said the 10-speed automatic transmission was also used on the 2017 Camaro ZL1. The Tahoe will be the first Chevy SUV outfitted with that transmission, which when paired with the V-8 engine, maximizes engine power while improving efficiency at highway speeds. The Tahoe RST with the performance package goes from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds, the company said.
The new transmission has “smaller steps” between each gear ratio, which maximizes engine power when the vehicle is accelerating, according to Chevy.
With the optional performance package, the Tahoe RST is capable of towing 8,400 pounds, Chevy said.
Piszar said the sport packages could attract even more people to the full-size SUV segment. The new trims also offer more choice as more people turn to sport utilities.
“When you want to hustle, it is incredibly fast, with significantly higher levels of acceleration, braking and road-holding grip,” said Eric Stanczak, chief engineer for Chevrolet full-size trucks. “When you want to relax, it is very refined, with exceptional ride comfort and interior quietness.”