As GM Authority recently covered, GM Defense has been awarded a $36 million contract from the U.S. Department of State to validate and develop a new heavy-duty Suburban model. However, the new GM Defense HD Suburban is not a Chevy.
In an interview with GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft, GM Defense spokesperson Angela Ambrose explained that the official name of the vehicle is GM Defense HD Suburban. The model was the response from GM Defense to the U.S. Department of State’s “Large Support Utility Commercial Vehicles (SUV)” program.
Moreover, despite carrying the Suburban nameplate, which has been a Chevrolet since 1935, the GM Defense HD Suburban is not a Chevrolet-branded vehicle. This distinction is important, as the new GM Defense HD Suburban will not be commercially available. Instead, it is a purpose-built, heavy duty vehicle developed for the U.S. Department of State to support the needs of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
Ambrose also tells us that it’s currently unclear whether the new GM Defense HD Suburban will have a Chevy logo on the nose. In fact, GM Defense models have equipped a GM Defense logo rather than a Chevy logo.
For instance, the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV), which is derived from the Chevy Colorado ZR2 pickup truck and utilizes numerous off-the-shelf Colorado ZR2 components, but comes with a GM Defense logo on the steering wheel, rather than a Chevy Bow Tie.
In the near-term future, GM Defense will work with the U.S. Department of State to determine exactly what is needed for the GM Defense HD Suburban, including logos. The new contract stipulates the construction of 10 purpose-built GM Defense HD Suburban models over the next two years for $36 million. The vehicles will include a variety of commercial-off-the-shelf components, including a Suburban exterior, body, propulsion system, interior, and brakes. However, the new models will also include a new and unique body-on-frame chassis and suspension setup that is designed to perform with higher payload capacities and ground vehicle weight, per the needs of the U.S. Department of State.
Following the initial development stage, The General expects a production contract for 200 GM Defense HD Suburban models annually for nine years.