General Motors pulled the covers away from the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban just a few weeks ago. In this instance, the big SUVs really are all-new and not just because of fresh sheet metal on the outside. An independent rear suspension underpins the three-row people movers for the first time, and a report from GM Authority says the Z71 model will also be part of the Suburban’s portfolio.
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That’s not anything new, but it some ways, it sort-of is. At the Tahoe/Suburban debut, Chevrolet revealed the Z71 edition of the Tahoe, but not as a package. Z71 is now a model trim, and GM Authority reports that it will also be a trim level for the larger Suburban. The world allegedly comes from Chevrolet Truck Marketing Director Bob Krapes, and given the popularity of the Z71 package over the decades, we have no reason to doubt the news despite Chevrolet being rather coy on the subject.
What does this mean for the new Suburban? Z71 is still the hardcore off-road moniker for Chevrolet so expect all the upgraded tidbits normally associated with a Z71 machine. Official information for the Suburban Z71 isn’t available yet, but based on what we know with the Tahoe, the height-adjustable Air-Ride suspension will be part of the standard-issue equipment. Skid plates underneath will protect vital components, and like the Tahoe, the Suburban Z71 should get a unique front fascia that offers better clearance for approach angles. Grippy all-terrain tires and a monochromatic exterior treatment are also expected.
Meanwhile, we’re in a holding pattern on Chevy’s upscale siblings, the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. A February 4 reveal is already scheduled for the Escalade, but we’ve not yet heard if the Yukon will appear before or after the big Cadillac flagship.