Earlier this month, General Motors unveiled the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and equally all-new 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, dropping cover on a completely revamped generation for both nameplates. Both SUVs are now offered with the 3.0L inline six-cylinder LM2 Duramax turbodiesel engine option, which is available on every trim level except for one – the off-road-oriented Z71. But why?
To find out, we spoke with several GM engineers at the reveal event for the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and apparently, it comes down to the Z71’s unique front fascia.
In order to achieve a higher approach angle and greater off-road worthiness, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 come with a different front fascia than the rest of the lineup. According to the engineers we spoke with, this unique look also obstructs the intercooler and associated piping of the 3.0L Duramax LM2 turbodiesel powerplant. As a result, the oil burner is offered on every trim level but the Z71.
As of this writing, there is currently no indication whether or not Chevy plans to address this, perhaps by reconfiguring the intercooler piping, or by altering the bumper.
To note, both the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2021 Suburban will offer a Z71 trim level, which will come with a slew of rough-and-ready upgrades specifically geared for dirt duty. In addition to the unique front fascia, these upgrades also include 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, a front skid plate, red tow hooks, and black/black chrome exterior accents. Options will include both available Air Ride Adaptive suspension, and available Magnetic Ride Control.
Is the lack of a diesel option on Z71 models a dealbreaker? Would you prefer the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 with the LM2 diesel under the hood? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Tahoe news, Chevrolet Suburban news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.