2018 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban RST: Hopped Up Family Haulers

Unlike the new crop of sport-oriented crossovers bound from Europe, full-size, body-on-frame American SUVs usually fail to elicit much excitement among enthusiasts. General Motors hopes to change that.

Starting this fall, the General will begin handing over keys to a new variant of its venerable Tahoe and Suburban — one that promises to get junior soccer teams to the practice field with newfound vigor. While the RST (Rally Sport Truck) trim brings a host of performance upgrades, it also gives Tahoe buyers an opportunity to kick that 5.3-liter V8 to the curb.

At a glance, RST looks like most other stock full-sizers with an appearance package. For some, that’s basically all it will be.

Sure, GM jettisons the chrome trim for a more murdered-out look — it even frames the bow-tie badge in body color — while adding 22-inch wheels and P285/45R 22 tires, but RST can mean much more. That is, if you’re willing to shell out more.

Available on both models is a Borla performance exhaust system that GM says is good for an extra 7 to 10 horsepower, plus six-piston Brembo front brakes with 16.1 inch x 1.3 inch rotors (representing an 84-percent increase in pad area).

If this still feels lacking, Tahoe RST buyers can also outfit their vehicle with the Performance Package. That checkbox brings GM’s Magnetic Ride Control to the game, as well as its 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. You’ll find that same gearbox in Chevrolet’s beastly Camaro ZL1, not to mention the 2017 Ford F-150 and Raptor.

Not surprisingly, this is the model GM wants you to know about. With an estimated towing capacity of 8,400 pounds, the Tahoe RST Performance Package should do the run to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. GM promises more detailed specifications later this year.