Chevy Picked The Wrong Time To Drop A Mild Performance SUV

(Image Credits: GM)
(Image Credits: GM)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

The Chevy Tahoe RST has GM’s excellent enormous V8, Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride and a dechrome treatment. Sounds like a solid SUV with just enough athletic pretenses to be entertaining. It’s just a little hard to see through all that tire smoke the Jeep Trackhawk’s making.

Illustration for article titled Chevy Picked The Wrong Time To Drop A Mild Performance SUV

Chevy never claimed that its new RST trim for the Tahoe and Suburban full-sized SUVs was setting up to take on the Trackhawk, Range Rover SVR, AMG SUVs or Cayenne Turbo. But when you start throwing around terms like “Performance Package” and “Rally Sport Truck” (that’s what RST stands for) comparisons are bound to be drawn.

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There’s also the problem of getting lost in the fog of hype Fiat Chrysler is making right now with absurd horsepower claims and airplay-hogging halo cars.

The official press release says Chevy’s RST SUVs will run the company’s 6.2-liter 420 hp, 460 lb-ft V8 engine. A gloriously strong and smooth powerplant that’s pervasive in the GM truck lineup right now and it probably sounds even better with the RST’s Borla exhaust. This is the first time you’ll be able to spec it in a Tahoe.

Illustration for article titled Chevy Picked The Wrong Time To Drop A Mild Performance SUV

That engine’s going to be paired with a Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission and a wide 7.39 overall gear ratio, available six-piston Brembo brakes with 16.1 inch front rotors (actually larger than the Jeep Trackhawk’s) and GM’s incredibly smooth and comfortable Magnetic Ride Control.

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Mag Ride is a magical technology that uses magnetized particles in the fluid of the vehicle’s shock tubes to create an extremely responsive suspension, practically translating to a very balanced ride.

Illustration for article titled Chevy Picked The Wrong Time To Drop A Mild Performance SUV
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The only performance claims Chevy is making so far are 8,400 pounds of towing and a 0 to 60 time of “less than six seconds.” So the Tahoe and Suburban RST can’t touch the Trackhawk or SVR for bragging rights there, but they can haul a bit more and I sure hope for GM’s sake that the RSTs will be much less expensive.

“Practical muscle SUV” sounds oxymoronic, and a little regular moronic, but if you need to move a lot of people and toys and can’t afford a Mercedes GLS AMG the Chevy RSTs might make sense. Heck, the Chevys might actually be your best bet if you need the validation of an aggressive SUV but don’t want to out yourself as overtly insecure.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

Yeah, but the Tahoe is the one I would buy. I mean, I don’t want a track focused off roader. I want a faster, more powerful truck to haul family/boat/ass in that order. There is certainly room in this world for both types of buyers:

1. People, who for some reason, think an off-road platform is a good base for a track attack machine and are willing to part with lots of their hard earned money for it.

2. People who want a little more go from their very practical family hauler and can pony up a little extra to get it.