We’ve seen Chevrolet’s sporty RST trim level before, most recently with spy photos of the Silverado wearing the trim, and before that, on the Tahoe. The latter we hustled down the highways of Texas. Now the large-and-in-charge Suburban is getting in on the fun with a sporty RST trim level all its own.
The Suburban RST borrows nearly all of the same styling elements found on the Tahoe before it; new 22-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone P285/45R 22 tires, black bowties and badging, and a blacked out-grille. Out back there’s an optional Borla Performance Dual-Side Exit exhaust system, too, which not only looks more aggressive, but should give the V8 engine an even more raucous note.
The Suburban RST will use for the first time ever a 6.2-liter V8, paired to an equally new 10-speed automatic. That engine will produce 420 horsepower (313 kilowatts) and 460 pound-feet (623 Newton-meters) of torque at full tilt, matching the Tahoe RST, and likely the Silverado RST, too. That number represents a pretty hefty upgrade over the current range-topping ‘Burban, which wields a smaller 5.3-liter V8, and produces a mere 355 hp (364 kW) and 383 lb-ft (519 Nm) of torque.
But that new engine is only part of the performance story. The Suburban RST will also adopt Chevy’s Magnetic Ride Control system for the first time ever, making the bulky SUV a bit sportier – cutting down on bodyroll in the corners – and more comfortable on the open road. Not to mention it can still tow up to 8,100 pounds (3,674 kilograms).
"When you want to hustle, the Suburban RST with the Performance Package offers high 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."
Alongside the already mentioned optional Borla exhaust, Chevy offers a handful of other add-ons, too. Buyers can pick up a performance brake package, which tacks on Brembo brake pads and six-piston Duralife rotors, and/or a Performance Package, which does away with all the silly chrome treatments. No word on how much those extras will set buyers back.
Chevy hasn't detailed how much the Suburban RST itself will cost, nor when you can expect to see it in dealers. But the bowtie brand promises even more in the way of details closer to an official release.
Gallery: 2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST
Chevrolet today announced the new Suburban RST Performance Package. Featuring a 420-hp, 6.2L V-8 engine, Magnetic Ride Control with performance calibration and a new Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission, the Suburban RST Performance Package brings a seamless blend of style and performance to Chevy’s portfolio of full-size SUVs.
“The RST Performance Package made its debut on the Tahoe RST last spring, and the response from our customers was overwhelmingly positive,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevy Trucks Marketing and Advertising. “In fact, Tahoe RST with the Performance Package is the fastest-turning Tahoe model, and we’ve received customer requests to offer the same performance and power to Suburban RST. Delivering on those requests with the Suburban RST Performance Package is another example of how Chevrolet has continually invested in the segment, developing models with combinations of capability, technology and performance to meet the needs of different customers.”
Available later this summer, this is the first time Suburban will offer the 6.2L V-8, which boasts 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The engine delivers three state-of-the-art technologies — direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing — to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.
Suburban RST will also feature a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Smaller steps between each ratio maximize engine power under acceleration. With a wide 7.39 overall gear ratio spread and lower numerical top gear ratio, the transmission also reduces engine revolutions at highway speeds.
Magnetic Ride Control is an active suspension that “reads” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in the electronically controlled shock absorbers in as few as 5 milliseconds. As a result, the suspension delivers both improved body-motion control during cornering and a more comfortable ride while cruising. The new performance calibration included in the Suburban RST Performance Package increases body control for even higher levels of responsiveness and comfort.
“When you want to hustle, the Suburban RST with the Performance Package offers high 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.”
Available performance accessories for Suburban RST include a custom tuned Performance Dual-Side Exit exhaust system designed, engineered and backed by Borla, with sleek exhaust tips that improve exhaust flow by 28 percent for enhanced performance and decreased fuel consumption. Borla, and not GM, is responsible for the safety, quality and warranty for this exhaust system. An available performance brake package designed, engineered and backed by Brembo features massive front red six-piston, fixed aluminum calipers with brake pads clamping on larger-than-stock 410 x 32mm (16.1 inch x 1.3 inch) Duralife™ rotors coupled with an 84 percent increase in brake pad area and a 42 percent increase in rotor area to increase system thermal capacity. Duralife™ rotors feature a hardened surface to reduce corrosion.
The Performance Package is available as an upgrade to the Suburban RST, which was introduced last year. Styling is based largely on trends in the aftermarket space — virtually all chrome trim has been eliminated for a sporty, street appearance. Changes include body-color grille surround and door handles; gloss-black grille and mirror caps; and black roof rails, window trim, badging and Chevy bowties. RST package also includes 22-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone P285/45R 22 tires.
The Suburban RST is expected to boast a towing capacity of 8,100 pounds. Full performance metrics will be announced closer to launch.
Chevrolet has been the best-selling full-size SUV brand for 43 consecutive years. Today, Tahoe is the top selling vehicle in the segment, and Tahoe and Suburban account for nearly one out of every two Full-Size SUV sales when combined. Tahoe and Suburban customers are also the most loyal owners in the segment, with 77 percent of owners replacing their full-size SUV with another Tahoe or Suburban.