The Tahoe's new suspension could "absolutely" hold up in a pickup truck, says the vehicle's Chief Engineer.
The all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, revealed at a press event last week, have been designed around a brand-new independent rear suspension. The new suspension design takes the fight to the Ford Expedition model line, affording the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban improved ride and handling characteristics, with extra cabin space for passengers and cargo, to boot.
It's a win-win for General Motors, and it raises a logical question about the next generation of GM's full-size half-ton pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500: will they, too, adopt an independent rear suspension design?
Roadshow had that very same question, asking Tim Asoklis - GM's Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban - whether the independent rear suspension in the all-new SUV models is durable enough to hold up to the abuse of extreme towing, hauling, and off-roading in a full-size pickup truck. "Oh, absolutely," Asoklis replied, without commenting on whether General Motors was actually working on adapting the suspension to its half-ton Silverado and Sierra models.
Were GM to deploy the independent rear suspension in its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, Asoklis noted, the automaker would have to completely reevaluate it for the new application.
"We've done all the development on this system," Asoklis told Roadshow. "[I]t's beyond my initial expectations." The Tahoe/Suburban Chief Engineer noted that the SUVs "will have over 4 million miles of... additional road exposure compared to just doing the durability [testing]." Afterward, GM takes the vehicles apart, inspecting for potential problem areas and issuing fixes along the way.
Should the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra gain an independent rear suspension design, it would put both half-ton pickups in a league of their own; both the RAM 1500 and the Ford F-150 are currently designed around solid rear axles. Rumor has it that one or more variants of the next-generation Ford F-150 will offer an independent rear suspension, but that is so far unconfirmed.