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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.