IRS or Die: How the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Got its Independent Rear Suspension
Rear suspension setup was an expensive ask, says Tim Herrick
Dec 12, 2019
Not everyone would put their job on the line for an independent rear suspension.
Tim Herrick is not everyone. The career engineer at General Motors spent the last four or five years working on the massive truck program known as T1 that underpins GM's light-duty pickups, heavy-duty trucks, and full-size SUVs.
The plan was always to distinguish the big SUVs, Tahoe and Suburban, from the pickups. On Herrick's wish list from the start was an independent rear suspension for the SUVs. Ford has had an independent rear suspension on the Expedition and Expedition Max for years. Herrick knew the benefits, and he wanted it for GM's large SUVs even though the pickups continued to use a leaf-sprung solid rear axle.
"We took a number of runs at it," said the man whose work on trucks dates back to the Chevy Avalanche that went into production in 2001. It was an expensive request. Not only are the components heavier and more expensive, but it also would require tearing up the assembly process and building a new body shop at the plant in Arlington, Texas.
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