You may not remember the Chevrolet Suburban HD. It was an obscure heavy-duty variant of the brand’s big people mover that was sold only to fleets before eventually going the way of the dodo. It was certainly a niche vehicle, given the capability of the regular Suburban. For a few types of users, though, the HD’s standard 6.0-liter V-8 engine, extra payload capacity, more rugged frame, and upgraded brakes were essential. Think fire and police departments that need to carry lots of gear and people in mixed road conditions. Is there a place in today’s market for a reborn Suburban HD?
According to a report from GM Authority, at least one executive thinks so. Speaking at the release of the GM Infantry Squad Vehicle, Tim Herrick, GM’s vice president of global product programs, discussed the broader Chevrolet and GMC full-size truck family, thinking out loud about ways to create a full-size truck architecture that works as a system. A system that would allow for heavy-duty variants of each of the platform mates, if GM so desired. “And with that, then you bring, maybe a heavy-duty Suburban,” he reportedly said. We’ve reached out to Chevrolet for comment about Herrick’s statement.
Note that it wasn’t just a vague allusion to some new HD variants, through which a process of elimination could have revealed he was probably talking about the Suburban. Instead, he was quite specific in his remarks. Automakers aren’t generally eager to discuss a future unannounced product, so it’s especially notable that Herrick discussed the Suburban HD at all.
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What might a Suburban HD look like? It’s not too hard to imagine, since the latest Chevy Silverado HD trucks launched last year in an entire class of revised or upgraded competitors. It’s a hot segment right now, so perhaps Chevy’s interest in a similarly-burly Suburban HD isn’t surprising. And that Suburban HD would likely feature the company’s new 6.6-liter V-8 gas engine, which replaced the 6.0-liter unit used in the previous Suburban HD. It’s possible the turbo-diesel 6.6-liter and its associated Allison 10-speed automatic transmission could make an appearance, too.
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