Chevrolet Dumps 6.2-Liter V8 Into 'Premier Plus' Editions of Tahoe, Suburban

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
chevrolet dumps 6 2 liter v8 into 8216 premier plus editions of tahoe suburban

Last year, Chevrolet introduced Rally Sport Truck (RST) variant of the Tahoe. Effectively an appearance package for the body-on-frame SUV, it also opened the door for a performance package containing General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control, a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, and the 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. The company did the same for the Suburban a short time later.

According to the manufacturer, people love the engine more than their own children. As a result, Chevrolet wants to expand its availability while it makes a little heaping mounds of money on the side. For 2019, Chevy adds the motor to the Premier Plus special editions of the Tahoe and Suburban — which represent a half-step in luxury above the standard Premier trims, but a giant leap in overall price.

“Our customers have shown strong demand for both Tahoe and Suburban with the 6.2L V-8 option,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Trucks Marketing and Advertising. “Thirty-six percent of all Chevy full-size SUV special edition models are now sold with this engine. Premier Plus gives both Suburban and Tahoe customers another option to choose from with several added premium touches.”

GM claims the Premier Plus editions feature meaningful interior upgrades, like distinctive heated and ventilated leather-appointed front seats, two-tone interior colors, power steps, a head-up display, 8-inch touch screen. However, most of that equipment can be found on the standard Premier trim. The truly unique stuff is the additional badging, gold Chevy logo, and 22-inch wheels that are specific to the special edition models.

What you are really shelling out the big bucks for is that engine, and it doesn’t come cheap. The standard Tahoe, in Premier guise, starts at $63,895 before destination. For the Suburban, it comes to $66,595 with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 equipped. But the 6.2-liter Premier Plus will set you back $74,100 for the Tahoe and $76,900 on the Suburban (plus a $1,295 destination fee). That’s a lot of money for what is basically an engine upgrade.

While that cash does take you from 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque (with a six-speed) to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque (with a 10-speed), we’re not sure ten grand is a bargain unless that grille ornament is made of real gold. We’re absolutely positive people will still buy these vehicles, however. Denali has already proven that GMC can use special luxury trims to print money for itself.

Chevrolet is clearly expecting strong sales. It claims the first 5,000 customers to order either of the special editions through a Costco member incentive can save $4,500 off the price. We imagine that still leaves General Motors with a tidy profit, even before customers tack on optional extras.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • BklynPete BklynPete on Aug 15, 2018

    Ford sells lots of F-series with EcoTech V-6s and RAM may sell more Pentastar V-6s than Hemis. Someone must care about weenie motors.

    • See 2 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Aug 16, 2018

      @RSF GM isn't gonna let you have too much fun. The 6.2 is mated to a (forced) 3.23 axle ratio on the Tahoe/Suburban. The Coyote 5.0 V8 with a 3.55 would get you similar performance. DOHC engines have more power per displacement, vs pushrods, so no surprise the 5.3 comes with well under 400 hp and torque. The Coyote engine is at least equivalent to the Hemi 5.7, neither of which are "anemic".

  • Fordson Fordson on Aug 15, 2018

    You guys kill me - yeah, those tiny engines (you know, the ones with 500 lb/ft of torque at 1800 rpm) are nothing more than a commie plot! Can't wait for the next episode of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Who is America" - I'll finally get to see what some of the more strident members of the TTAC B&B look like in the flesh.

  • Rng65694730 All auto makers seem to be having problems ! Still supply chain issues !
  • MrIcky I'd go 2500 before I went 1500 with a 6.2. I watched an engineer interview on the 2.7l. I appreciate that their focus on the 2.7 was to make it perform like a diesel and all of their choices including being a relatively large i4 instead of an i6 were all based around it feeling diesel like in it's torque delivery. It's all marketing at the end of the day, but I appreciated hearing the rationale. Personally I wouldnt want to tow much more than 7-8k lbs with a light truck anyway so it seems to fit the 1500 application.
  • MaintenanceCosts If I didn't have to listen to it, I'd take the 2.7 over the 5.3 based both on low-end torque and reliability record (although it's still early). But the 5.3 does sound a lot nicer.
  • Arthur Dailey The Torino Bird which was relatively short lived (3 years), 'feasted' on the prestige originally associated with the T-Bird name. The Cordoba originally did the same as it had a Chrysler nameplate. The Torino 'Bird had modified 'opera' style middle windows, a large hood with a big chrome grill and hood ornament, pop-up headlights, and a 'plush' interior. It was for the time considered a 'good looking' car and could be ordered with a 400 cid engine (the first 2 years) and even a T-bar roof. You can see one just behind De Niro and Liotta in Goodfellas when they are standing in the diner's parking lot and have learned that Pesci has been 'whacked'.Although a basically a renaming/redesign of the (Gran Torino) Elite, the Elite was for a time available with Ford's 460 cid engine.I had both an Elite and a 'Torino Bird'. Although their wheelbases were the same, the 'Bird always seemed 'bigger' both inside and out. The Elite seemed 'faster' but it had the 460 opposed to the 400 in the 'Bird. But those are just subjective judgements/memories on my part. However the 'box Bird' which followed it was a dud. It sold Ok the first year based on the T-Bird name, (probably mostly leases) but it quickly lost any appeal/prestige. Back then, the management/executives of the Toronto Maple Leafs used to get leased T-Birds every year. After the first year of the 'box Bird' they changed to different vehicles.
  • Parkave231 Random question that -- in the interest of full disclosure -- I am too lazy to look up on my own.Back in the day, cars in my mostly-GM family had a hard lock on the steering wheel, such that unless the key was turned to the ACC position, the steering wheel was physically locked in place.I don't recall whether my 2002 Deville locked the wheel in place, but I want to say it didn't, even though it still had a physical key.And now, of course, most everything is push-button, and my current Cadillac doesn't physically lock the wheel.So was the movement away from a literal physical lock of the steering wheel back in the 80s driven solely by the transition to push-button start, or was there some other safety regulation that got rid of them, or just something else that a car manufacturer could omit for cost savings by running something else through software (I'm guessing this since the H/K issue is a thing).