GM mulls offering off-road variant of its large SUVs

Article by Anita Panait, on September 23, 2013

General Motors is thinking of introducing an off-road version of the redesigned large sports utility vehicles it unwrapped this month -- Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, remarked that although GM has offered a Z71 off-road package – which features stronger shocks, bigger wheels and special styling cues -- for the SUV models, they haven't been big sellers.

Luke said that for this generation of SUVs, GM is looking for “a more off-road variant." According to Luke, off-road capability is one reason why customers flock to large SUVs, instead of unibody crossovers that largely have replaced body-on-frame platforms. He said that vehicle owners "just love off-roading” with such vehicles, adding that large SUVs are seen as “more off-road capable" than crossovers. 

Luke said that in general, GM will offer more enhancements to the next generation of SUVs, which will be rolled out by March for the 2015 model year. The outgoing SUVs have been on sale without major modifications or improvement since they were launched in early 2006. Luke remarked that in the life cycle of SUVs, GM will continually upgrade and add technologies, including in the powertrain area.

Chevrolet revealed the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban – brand-new versions of the industry’s top-selling duo of full-size SUVs. They offer greater functionality, more significant refinement, new safety components and an added range of cutting-edge advancements to speak to two distinguishable client groups who need the distinct combination of elements only Tahoe and Suburban give.

All-new styling elevates the Tahoe and Suburban's design, which adds to a relaxed ride. A more-effective, direct-injected EcoTec3 powertrain combined with enhanced aerodynamics help provide more significant evaluated highway fuel economy based on GM testing while at the same time safeguarding the overall execution and capacity.

There are a few new components and improvements at the center of the brand-new 2015 Suburban and Tahoe that will broaden the prominence Chevrolet has created as the segment leader. Clients will experience significant refinement, effectiveness and safety with a similar capacity that has made Chevrolet the go-to brand for full-size SUVs.

With more than 117,000 sold in 2012 and with sales up more than 16 percent for the first six months of 2013 over the earlier year, Chevrolet's full-size SUVs keep on playing a vital part in the brand's achievements and General Motors' profitability. Presented in 1935, the Suburban is the segment's author and the industry’s oldest constantly available nameplate, while Tahoe is the segment's sales pioneer.

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Topics: gm, suv

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