Back in May, we reported that GM’s entire line of full-sized SUVs, which includes the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon / Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade / Escalade ESV, would receive complete overhauls across the board for the 2021 model year, rather than the 2020 model year like was originally thought. And now, we’ve learned some more details in regard to the launch cadence of these next-generation GM SUVs, clearing up previous spots of ambiguity.
During today’s GM Q2 earnings call, GM Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara stated that the next-generation GM SUVs will launch “early next year,” thus providing us with a clearer picture of how The General will launch the new models.
We then did some digging of our sources and found out via sources familiar with future GM product planning that at least some of the model lines will be revealed by the end of the 2019 calendar year, and will then follow with a launch in Q1 of 2020.
Again, this includes full-sized GM SUVs under the Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac brands. It’s a massive undertaking to launch a next-generation model for just one of these model lines, but to do it for no less than three model lines across six nameplates is nothing short of a herculean undertaking.
That said, there will be some similarities seen across that board that should help to streamline the process. For example, every model line will ride on the GM T1 body-on-frame vehicle platform, the same architecture employed by the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
The 5.3L L84 V8 and 6.2L L87 V8 engines currently offered in the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 will carry over into the Chevrolet and GMC models, while the future Cadillac Escalade will offer the L87 as well as the new 4.2L Blackwing twin-turbo V8 engine in certain trim levels. What’s more, the new 3.0L I6 LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax motor should be available on some of the models. Shifting duty in models powered by internal combustion engines will be done via the new GM 10-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the Cadillac will get an Escalade EV variant later on in the model’s lifecycle.
Completely new exterior designs and cabins will be part of this generational overhaul, with exceptional attention to detail. There will also be improvements to third-row seating, an independent rear suspension (either as standard or as an available option), and more slipper profiles thanks to new aerodynamic components such as the front air curtains.
Like the current lineup, the next-gen GM SUVs will be produced the GM Arlington Assembly plant just outside Fort Worth, Texas. The facility was retooled for the new vehicles earlier in 2019 in preparation for the all-new models.
Highly lucrative for GM, the Tahoe/Suburban, Yukon and Escalade are vital to its bottom line, as not only are they very profitable on a per-unit basis, but the automaker also leads the market when it comes to cumulative full-size SUV sales volume. Hence, the vehicles are cash cows in the purest sense of the phrase.