Last month, we showed you exclusive spy shots of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe undergoing testing with a clearly-visible front aero curtain treatment. And though not at all confirmed, we think it’s a safe bet that the Tahoe’s longer twin – the 2020 Suburban – will get the same aerodynamic treatment given that the Suburban and Tahoe are different lengths of the same vehicle.
About Aerodynamic Air Curtains
Air curtains maximize a vehicle’s aerodynamic performance by utilizing specially-engineered tunnels at the front of the vehicle. The tunnels manage airflow in a specific and pre-determined manner, guiding air around the vehicle’s wheels, rather than allowing it to run uncontrollably into the wheel houses. The result is maximized aero efficiency and reduced aerodynamic drag.
Better aerodynamic performance, in turn, translates to improved fuel economy – particularly on the highway – as well as reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels experienced by the driver and passengers.
Air curtains have been making their way across the Chevrolet model range over the past few years. As of this writing, the technology is exclusive to Chevrolet vehicles within the GM family.
GM’s (and Chevy’s) first application of air curtain technology was the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, which was introduced for the 2016 model year. The second Chevy model to use the feature was the all-new 2019 Silverado, which shares the T1 platform with the 2020 Suburban and its shorter twin, the 2020 Tahoe. Notably, the air curtains are not part of the Silverado’s platform mate – the 2019 GMC Sierra.
Given the historic correspondence of the Tahoe and Suburban as being the same vehicle but in different lengths (the Tahoe being shorter and the Suburban being longer), it would be safe to assume that the execution of the front air curtains on the next-gen models will be identical. And since our spy shots have already given us a rather solid confirmation that the Tahoe will, in fact, feature the air curtains, the Suburban should have them as well.
Moreover, the treatment of the air curtains on Chevy’s two full-size SUVs should be somewhat similar to what we see today on the 2019 Silverado, though the design can (and probably will) vary.
We will likely be seeing a lot more of the future Suburban in the months ahead as development nears completion. Expect the extended-length, full-size utility to be introduced in the first half of the 2019 calendar year as a 2020 model.
About Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban is an extended-length, full-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). It is currently Chevrolet's biggest SUV, slotting above the Chevrolet Tahoe, which is the same vehicle as the Suburban, but with a shorter wheelbase. The current model was introduced for the 2015 model year and represents the 12th generation of the Suburban nameplate. The model rides on the GMT-K2 platform shared with the Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL as well as the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.
The 2018 Chevy Suburban represents the fourth model year of the 12th-generation Suburban. The vehicle remains highly competitive in its segment and the 2018 model year brings various improvements, most notably the Suburban RST appearance package.
The 2019 Chevy Suburban represents the fifth model year of the 12th-generation Suburban, and offers up a new exterior color, a new Premier badge on the tailgate, and new color availability for the Suburban RST as well as the rear-closeout feature. In addition, two new models are introduced, both offering the 6.2L V8 L86 engine and 10-speed transmission. The first is the Suburban RST Performance Package that focuses on performance while the second is the Premier Plus model that focuses on luxury. The addition of the 6.2L V8 engine addresses a long-standing request of potential customers and enthusiasts on the K2-generation Suburban, which spent the first four years of its lifespan being offered exclusively with the less potent 5.3L V8 L83 engine.
An all-new, 13th-generation Suburban is expected for the 2020 model year. The vehicle will be based on the new GM T1 platform and is expected to deliver an all-new exterior, interior, and powertrains, along with exceptional attention to detail and new aerodynamic features such as front air curtains.
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