2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition Gets More Power, Police Parts

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2023 chevy tahoe rst performance edition gets more power police parts

The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Edition was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday with an array of mechanical enhancements borrowed from the Tahoe PPV – or Police Pursuit Vehicle.

While American muscle cars originally evolved from moonshiners modifying vehicles to ensure a swift getaway from police enforcing an unpopular law, automakers would actually find themselves utilizing components that had been reserved for law enforcement to make production hot rods even quicker decades later. Police vehicles often came with upgraded engines, brakes, shock absorbers, and even entire handling packages that weren’t available to the general public – at least not until manufacturers realized they could spin that into a profit on the passenger market, too. 

The new Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Edition runs with this concept by lifting the suspension from the Pursuit package. That means upgraded springs, dampers, sway bars, and some unique tuning with a ride height that’s 0.4-inches lower up front and 0.8-inches lower at the rear. Stopping power has likewise been enhanced by larger Brembo brakes and backed by claims that Chevy also improved pedal responsiveness. This is alleged to give the top-tier RST the power to bring itself to a halt from 60 mph in 133 feet. 

“The 2023 Tahoe RST Performance Edition is designed for those who want the best of both worlds – the everyday comfort and capability of a full-size SUV along with the driving excitement of a true performance vehicle,” said Scott Bell, Chevrolet's vice president. “It leverages the proven capability of Chevy’s pursuit-rated police vehicle packages and motorsports success to offer a confident, engaging driving experience for our customers.”

Though something tells me that most Tahoe RST shoppers aren’t going to be overly concerned with handling upgrades and the possibility of engaging in some late braking. If slinging oneself around a corner at the highest speed possible were a primary concern, GM fans would be probably looking at the Camaro. Hi-po Tahoe customers aren’t seeking a pony car suited for track days, they want a cargo-friendly rhinoceros that can charge down rivals on the highway or tow 7,600 pounds without breaking a sweat. 

To that effect, Chevy has outfitted the model with a 6.2-liter V8 outputting 433 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque through its 10-speed automatic transmission. This represents an increase of 13 horsepower and 7 lb-ft over the standard RST and would likely be a tad more impressive on a much-lighter vehicle. Depending on whether you option all-wheel drive, the performance Tahoe can weigh anywhere between 5,356 and 5,553 pounds. 

While quick, this doesn’t make the model blisteringly fast. Chevy has the Performance Edition hitting 60 mph in 5.78 seconds. That’s roughly the same as the Mazda MX-5, though the freer-flowing exhaust system that’s helping the RST shave off those fractions of a second will probably help it sound more menacing. The top speed was said to be 124 mph, which also seems a little lackluster until you’ve been told that’s 12 miles an hour more than the standard RST can manage. 

How much does all of this cost? Chevy said the Performance Edition will be an $8,525 upgrade for the standard Tahoe RST – with the optional 6.2-liter V8 we’ve been comparing it to in this article. That’ll put you at over $80,000 once the destination is factored in. However, it does come with the Luxury Package that incorporates some of GM’s advanced safety tech and luxo-features like a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats to make the price a little easier to cope with. 

If that sounds too steep for a fancier, better-handling Tahoe, shoppers will still be able to purchase the RST without the police parts and larger engine. Unless Chevrolet decides to nix them before the year is over, customers can likewise snag the base RST equipped with either the 5.3-liter V8 or 3.0-liter Duramax turbo diesel for 10 grand less. The higher-riding Tahoe Z71 will also remain on offer for just about every powertrain you might want (minus the diesel).

However, if nothing but the RST Premium Edition will do, the model is supposed to commence production before the new year.

[Images: General Motors; © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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2 of 7 comments
  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Sep 14, 2022

    so about half the weight of the new hummer.

  • Gregtwelve Gregtwelve on Sep 14, 2022

    "so it'll run good on regular gas.'

    I filled up the wife's car with Regular which was $3.39 per gal. Premium was $4.49.

    In the past the difference was only 50 or so cents per gallon. Apparently the difference now is over a dollar. That would have to be considered in the purchase of any vehicle whose manufacturer requires ( or "recommends") premium.

  • Theflyersfan Interest rates going sky high should knock out the next group of people on the fence waiting to buy. I haven't looked, but I'm betting 2.9 and 3.9% on longer 60+ month loans are either gone or almost impossible to qualify for. I'm starting to get "turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater" vibes here. And if you're an American in Iran, get out. We don't need a sequel to Argo.
  • Theflyersfan @Matthew Guy: You might have jumped the gun on this one a little bit. Chevy's website doesn't have a build/config page up yet, nor does KBB or Edmunds. All we have to go on is what Chevy has leaked out to us without seeing the finished product. And I don't see prices on options and each model just yet, just somewhat "around this amount." But all that being said, if I was in the market for a pickup, and saying that I close on a new home later this week (locked in rates before interest rates really went crazy), the MX-5 might need a stablemate. And the "regular" trucks that everyone thinks of have just gotten too large, too over-styled (except for the Ram), and way too expensive. So this size truck seems to hit the sweet spot of people, cargo, and ease of driving/parking needs. So, I'd probably go mid-range with something like the Z71 trim level. I'm guessing it'll be in the mid-30's with enough tech to keep everything connected, reasonable enough fuel economy, and comfort for a road trip. There are some great offroad trails all around Kentucky, and that would have me interested in something like a ZR2, but without knowing exact cost, not sure about that one.But in this class, the Tacoma and Ranger are up there in years and Nissan, while putting in a different engine and transmission, pretty much tidied up the same old bones and is selling it as all new...(Z car...cough...cough). I'd still have to try the Frontier vs. Colorado to make up my mind.
  • Bkojote I go off-roading quite a bit (nothing extreme, just some fun scenic trails) and everyone in our group with a Colorado has basically given up or switched to a Toyota/Jeep after dealing with constant issues and $$$ in repairs.The best trim for the Colorado is something on-road biased. These trucks are good for towing toys or some light duty stuff but a burly off road trim on this is silly as the 4WD system can't handle it. While I believe they fixed the major design flaws of the prior generation (an easily-damaged oil pan and poorly positioned shocks that hang precariously low), the clutch-based 4WD system is notorious for failing on moderate trails- look no further than the recent C&D "Trail Boss" review.
  • Arthur Dailey The absolute best series on TTAC and so few responses? I am going to assume that the readership (B&B) is either too young or did not have enough 'coin' to have enjoyed these vehicles during their heyday.
  • Arthur Dailey From circa 1985 to 1998 I was partially responsible for a 'fleet' (up to just over two dozen at any one time) of 15 passenger and 12 passenger vans as well as some converted/ex smaller school buses. All 3 domestic manufacturers were represented. We purchased one Dodge 15 passenger van that came from the factory propane powered. Later converted a number of other vans, predominantly GM's made at the Scarboro van plant to propane. The propane conversion did reduce the passenger capacity. In our experience the Fords were indeed the most robust.