Chevrolet Adds 10-Speed Auto, Sporty Styling to 2018 Tahoe and Suburban RST
RST is First-Ever Tahoe Available with 6.2L V-8
Chevrolet will add a sporty special package to the 2018 Tahoe and Suburban, called the Rally Sport Truck Special Edition (or RST). In addition to the monochromatic exterior styling and 22-inch wheels, the RST is also available with upsized Brembo performance brakes, a less restrictive Borla exhaust system, and a Performance Package that bundles a Chevrolet-SUV–first 6.2L V-8 with other enhancements.
In addition to the 420hp V-8, the Performance Package (which will only be available on the Tahoe RST) adds sport-tuned Magnetic Ride Control suspension bits to the SUV’s underside. Providing a smooth ride and impressive body control, Chevy claims the Tahoe RST Performance Package will be surprisingly fun to drive on a winding road.
The package also includes the first application of the 10-speed automatic transmission (codeveloped with Ford) in a GM SUV, and engineers were proud to announce it was the same unit as the gearbox in the Camaro ZL1. Featuring internals that are nearly the same as the ZL1’s transmission, the bellhousing and tuning are unique to the Tahoe RST Performance Package. This is also the same transmission that appears in some Ford F-150 models and the upcoming Ford Expedition.
Unfortunately, Chevy representatives said the Performance Package option wasn’t likely for the Suburban RST, citing the different consumer priorities of the Tahoe and its bigger brother. We think that’s a real shame, as a 420hp eight-seater ‘Burb would be a really fun family hauler. And since the Tahoe RST with the Performance Package is preliminarily rated to tow 8,400 pounds and hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, Chevy would do well to give the Suburban similar chops. Alas, it doesn’t sound likely.
Every Tahoe and Suburban RST receives monochromatic exterior styling elements, including a dechromed front grille, body-color headlight eyebrows, body-color door handles, blacked-out badging and Chevy bowties, and black mirror caps. The aforementioned 22-inch wheels impart a mean stance to the RST, and their appearance and performance can be improved with an optional brake package that includes six-piston Brembo calipers squeezing larger Duralife brake rotors. The Brembo performance brakes are an add-on accessory to every Tahoe and Suburban, as is the Borla free-flow exhaust. Chevrolet says this exhaust adds about 10 hp at the rear wheels, as well as a muscular, throaty tone.
The RST Special Edition will be available on the 2018 Tahoe and Suburban LT and Premier. Fitting the aggressive, monochromatic appearance of the RST, it will only be painted the buyer’s choice of Silver Ice Metallic, Tungsten Metallic, Summit White, and Black.
Pricing on the RST has yet to be announced. We anticipate the base package to demand about $2,000 more than an equivalent LT or Premier SUV, while the whole-hog Tahoe RST Performance Package could cost more than $70,000 with all the boxes ticked. We’ll know more once the Tahoe RST and Suburban RST join Chevrolet’s other special editions in dealer showrooms this fall.