We recently exclusively reported that GM’s next-gen full-size SUVs – the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade – will go on sale for the 2021 model year, rather than the 2020 model year as initially expected. And now, our eagle-eyed spy captured a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe running about in Metro Detroit.
The new photos don’t reveal anything that we haven’t seen before: the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe prototype still wears the same level of camouflage as the testers we’ve seen over the past few months. However, there does seem to be a new grille peaking out from under the camouflage. The grille’s bright finish suggests that the model we’re looking at is a high-trim Tahoe LTZ, Premier or High Country.
One thing working against the notion that this is a high-end 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is the lack of side assist steps or running boards, which are included on the Tahoe models. However, the unit seen here may have power-retractable running boards, as evidenced by the black strip between the wheels that’s not wearing any camo. The inclusion of the power-retractable assist step could explain the absence of visible steps.
This 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe prototype includes an amber turn signal indicator lamp that seems to have a similar shape as the one on the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD. In addition, there’s also a set of quad exhaust outlets at the rear, which could suggest a high-performance variant (but probably doesn’t).
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe will be completely overhauled (redesigned and re-engineered). It will move to the GM T1 platform shared with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2019 GMC Sierra 1500. Coupled with aluminum swing panels and the weight savings baked into T1, the future Tahoe should be significantly lighter than the current model, much like the new Silverado is lighter than its predecessor.
Mechanically, the most notable difference is the introduction of an independent rear suspension, giving the Tahoe mechanical parity with the new Ford Expedition. It’s unclear what GM will stuff under the hood of its best-selling full-size SUV, but we believe that we’ll see the turbocharged 2.7L I-4 L3B, the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 L84, and potentially the 6.2L V8 L87. The turbo-diesel 3.0L I-6 LM2 Duramax should also be on offer. All engines should be mated to the new GM 10-speed transmission.
The 2021 Tahoe will debut later this year and go on sale in the first half of the 2020 calendar year.