GM Defense just announced a new $36.4 million contract awarded by the U.S. Department of State to develop and validate a next-generation heavy-duty SUV. The GM Defense HD Suburban is intended for future production in support of the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
As part of the new contract, GM Defense will build 10 purpose-built HD Suburban units over the next two years. The vehicles will leverage a variety of commercial-off-the-shelf components, including the exterior, body, propulsion system, interior, and brakes. The new models will also feature a “new and unique body-on-frame chassis and suspension, designed to specifically support increased government vehicle performance requirements with a higher payload capacity and greater ground vehicle weight,” according to General Motors.
To create the new HD Suburban, GM Defense will leverage advanced manufacturing tools and techniques in support of low-volume production of the new chassis and frame. This includes fixtureless assembly and flexible fabrication, intended to lower overall costs and offer greater flexibility for customer needs.
The new GM Defense HD Suburban units will be delivered in two phases, with initial deliveries expected next spring. GM Defense expects a production contract for 200 HD Suburban units annually for the next nine years following completion of the development contract in May of 2023.
“We’re excited to be developing a fully-integrated, purpose-built HD Suburban in partnership with the U.S. Department of State,” said GM Defense president, Steve duMont. “The Chevrolet Suburban has been an iconic name in commercial transportation since 1935. Our development contract win speaks to our long-standing legacy of exceeding transportation capabilities and our new HD Suburban will deliver government-specific advanced mobility solutions to meet the needs of DSS.”
Back in July, GM Authority rendered a realistic Chevy Suburban HD model based on the latest twelfth-generation SUV, adding things like more heavy-duty wheels, a single exhaust, and other upgrades in anticipation of the model’s higher payload ratings and armor up-fit.
Previously, in October of 2020, GM Authority covered comments made by GM’s vice president of Global Product Programs, Tim Herrick, who hinted that a new Chevy Suburban HD model was indeed on GM’s radar. The last Chevy Suburban HD model was produced in 2018.
It’s worth noting that the actual product will officially be called GM Defense HD Suburban, and is not a Chevrolet per se.