General Motors has finally taken the wraps off its next-generation full-size SUVs as they introduce the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL in a trio of events Thursday. Designed to demonstrate the automaker’s leadership in the segment, the new models show off new styling, new technologies and new powertrains.
While GM held separate events on each coast to introduce its newest Chevrolet and GMC full-size SUV models, they brought the family together for a global family launch party in Dallas, Texas, not 20 miles from the Arlington Assembly Plant where they will be built. The third member of the family, Escalade, will be introduced to the world sometime next month.
Citing a “first-quarter, 2014” launch date for the new sport utes, GM was proud to display all new styling for the foursome in Texas that included the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and GMC counterparts Yukon and Yukon XL. GM commands nearly three-quarters sales leadership in the full-size SUV market, and this debut shows they’ve no intentions of slowing down.
The new trucks will feature the new family of EcoTec3 V-8 engines launched recently in the Silverado and Sierra pickups with one slight difference – no V-6 offering for the SUVs. GM stated its market research has shown that fullsize SUV customers gladly trade some fuel efficiency for the power and feel of a V-8 at the helm of a frame-based sport utility.
The 2015 Suburban will celebrate 80 years of the nameplates heritage, and the new model will be the 12th-generation to wear that moniker. Underpinning all the new full-size vehicles is what GM calls “K2”, or the second-generation of the GMT-900 platform, revising the current generation’s chassis.
GM states the new trucks will offer a quieter, more controlled ride with improved steering and brake feel, similar to upgrades made to the full-size pickup models this year. The frame has been strengthened, and the rear track made wider; up-model Chevy and GMC vehicles will offer magnetic ride control suspensions. Wheels have been widened as well, and engineers have gone to electric variable-assist power steering for enhanced fuel economy and maneuverability. In addition, the new trucks all get the Duralife brake rotors also introduced on the pickups recently.
The standard engine will be the new 5.3-liter V-8 featuring direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation and will offer 355hp and 383 lb. ft. of torque. GMC models will also be available with the new 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 420hp and 460 lb. ft. of torque. Fuel economy has not been released, but GM says the new models will lead the segment.
Some of the new design highlights include ridding the trucks of most of the rounded corners while integrating the doors into the body side openings thereby eliminating the wrap over the top of the body to reduce wind noise and improve aerodynamics. Inside, GM has eliminated the “afterthought” third-row seats and gone to a flat cargo floor for both back rows, with power function to operate the third row of seats.
Just as it did with the full-size pickups, GM brings new interior design and materials to the cockpit with GMC Denali models getting a large electronic drivers monitor in the instrument panel.
Pricing has not been released, but it will become available closer to arrival date which is set for some time in the first quarter of next year.