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Chevy Thinks Bigger V8 Is Better For Suburban RST

Special Edition / 52 Comments

When a 355-hp V8 just isn't enough...

When you slap a sporty trim on your mega-sized SUV, adding power is never a bad thing, and ever since Chevy dropped the 420-hp 6.2L V8 into the Tahoe RST in the form of a Performance Package, customers eyeing the Suburban for its superior cargo space have been asking, "Hey, what about us?" Until now, the RST trim on the Suburban was a purely cosmetic appearance package.

Sandor Piszar, director of Chevy Trucks Marketing and Advertising, gives us the backstory, "The RST Performance Package made its debut on the Tahoe RST last spring, and the response from our customers was overwhelmingly positive… we've received customer requests to offer the same performance and power to Suburban RST." Well, their voices have been heard, and GM has followed through on the no-brainer move to pump up the Suburban RST with a Performance Package of its own to help haul the almost-6,000 pound SUV (and anything in it for behind it) up to speed in a hurry.

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Forget about the drag strip and launch control, though, the 460 lb-ft of torque is 77 more than the standard Suburban, so anyone towing with their Suburban will also perk up at the thought of having all that torque to make climbing grades and accelerating easier and quicker, and it will have a similar 8,000+ pound towing capacity to 5.3L models. The Performance Package doesn't just stuff a big engine in and call it a day; it also adds a matching 10-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping for smoother, better ride, better efficiency and acceleration, and handling should be better in the cornering department as well as in body control during towing.

Visually, you'll be able to tell the RST apart because pretty much all chrome has been banished in favour of gloss black trim and body color for a modern, sporty look, and 22-inch wheels don't hurt either. If you're serious about getting the most performance out of your Suburban RST, Chevy is offering a handful of performance accessories, including a custom Borla Performance exhaust system, that opens up exhaust flow for better performance and lower fuel consumption – should sound killer, too –and Brembo brake upgrade that beefs up the front calipers and rotors. No official word on price yet, but likely around the same $2,820 on top of the RST price that they charge for it on the Tahoe.