Freaky Friday: Can You Tell There's a New Chevrolet Suburban on the Way?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
freaky friday can you tell theres a new chevrolet suburban on the way

Automakers jump through hoops to tease upcoming models or put eyes on just-released ones. General Motors, it appears, has chosen an altogether new avenue for its marketing efforts.

Yes, that image you see above is real. The Chevrolet Suburban will now join the likes of Christina Applegate*, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and other celebrities we can’t think to name in receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At least the star doesn’t mention the model’s upcoming rear suspension swap.

*TTAC means no disrespect to Ms. Applegate, who remains a national treasure.

The first vehicle to adorn the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard, the Chevrolet Suburban’s parents apparently felt it was eligible for the accolade after appearing in thousands of films and TV shows since its 1935 debut. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce unveiled the Award of Excellence star on Thursday.

If you guessed that the next-generation Suburban’s reveal date is drawing near, you’re bang on. The big unveiling is just days away, and GM felt this effort would help highlight the model’s extremely long production history.

“For six decades the Chevrolet Suburban has been Hollywood’s longest-working actor,” said Rana Ghadban, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. “Appearing in classic feature films and on must-see television shows, the Suburban is a well-established industry mainstay. With the Chevrolet Tahoe also making an impact in movies and on television, it’s impressive to have both vehicles now join an illustrious group of actors and characters that are forever known as Hollywood legends.”

One wonders what Ghadban said in private about this latest star.

Still, it’s true that the Suburban commands on-screen attention in the same manner that it commands on-road respect. Audiences love body-on-frame construction and solid rear axles; just ask anyone.

Often seen performing security duty and decked out in “official black” in 99 percent of its movie roles, most on-screen Suburbans end up riddled with bullet holes from AK-47s and HK MP5s, usually while missing a front door (and with hood in flames) after an RPG hit. Chevy Suburban convoys are just itching for an alleyway ambush. TTAC’s own Matthew Guy knows this, donning appropriate attire while testing the 2018 Suburban RST:

According to GM, “Suburban has starred in more than 1,750 films and television series. It has appeared in at least one television series every year since 1956, and at least one film every year since 1960. Suburban has also appeared in more than 30 award-nominated films.”

Such film credits include the 1982 bomb Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, which caused a New York Times reviewer to walk out after 55 minutes. Other more notable appearances took place after that.

This exercise in publicity, of course, aims to draw attention to the imminent reveal of the next-generation Suburban, which, like its full-size GM siblings, keeps its traditional body-on-frame architecture while moving to an independent rear suspension for greater ride quality. Stay tuned for the main attraction.

[Images: General Motors, Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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  • Kericf Kericf on Dec 06, 2019

    The good news is they can’t possibly make the visibility any worse than it is now. My wife really wanted a Suburban, until she drove it. The blind spots are terrible, the side mirrors are tiny, the rear window is a tiny slit. And if you get the DVD players for kids they drop out of the roof in both back rows completely blocking all rear visibility. The third row is too small for a teenager and can only fit two comfortably. We ended up with an expedition and she loves it. And we can actually fit three people in the third row.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 07, 2019

    A long time ago (circa 1998-2001) [or not so long ago, depending on what you think of truck product cycles], I was the finance geek supporting the Escalade and Yukon/Yukon XL brand teams. At that time, GM generally knew not to screw up their fullsize trucks and SUV's (and they generally assigned some of their best people to those platforms). A lot of water has gone under the bridge, and GM is a different legal entity now. I am no expert on new GM or the current state of their fullsize SUV's or the details of IRS vs. SRA or current customer use cases. But we can make the following observations: - In the late 90's, GM changed over production at Arlington Assembly from the B platform to fullsize SUV's. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. After this, Arlington became the The Most Profitable Automotive Plant on the Planet (TM) - and may still be. - The side-hinged rear panel doors ("cargo doors" aka "barn doors") were discontinued in ~2005 (from what I see). These were popular with 'towing people' because you could more easily access the rear of the vehicle with the trailer attached. - The 2500 ("3/4 Ton") models were discontinued after the 2013MY. [Possibly little-known facts: 2500HD Suburban models (rental/commercial fleet only) and 3500HD Suburban models (government only - for up-armoring) became available in 2016MY.] - Sales since 2007 have never come close to 2007 levels. - There are currently many upscale/luxury offerings in the *pickup* market which will hold people (not three rows of people) and tow your stuff and which weren't available before. If GM is moving to IRS, they may have very good reasons, or they may be following the lemmings off a cliff (no well-informed opinion here). They may execute the change well, or maybe not (no advance opinion offered).

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 07, 2019

      One more: - Rented a GMT900 Suburban for an extended road trip with 6 people plus luggage. It was just about ideal for the purpose - but the vertical height of the rear opening was embarrassingly small compared to a minivan of the time (due to the height of the load floor).

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.