We live in a world where SUVs have risen to unprecedented levels of popularity and practicality. Once known for their unsightly shapes and larger-than-average powerplants, they’ve been slimmed down, made sportier and now ideal for the family consumer. With so many drastic changes, it seems unlikely that the larger SUVs left in production will somehow make a comeback and return to the spotlight again. There is talk of such a phenomenon, which will not only return the large SUV to the prominence it once saw in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but also that the coveted “SS” badge will accompany tried and tested Chevy fleet rack.
The rumor mill is buzzing a little more than usual regarding the upcoming release 2023 Chevy Tahoe. Chevy’s full-size SUV, which started out as a trim option on the S-10 Blazer, has long been a vehicle for people who need storage space and towing capability. The second-largest SUV in Chevy’s fleet, the Tahoe almost seems like a relic of the distant past. The appeal of full-size SUVs has now been passed on to those who need them most. However, there are rumors that have recently inspired message boards and YouTube content creators to speculate about the possibility of a 2023 Chevy Tahoe SS. Such a move would undoubtedly generate a lot of interest among fans of the bow tie brand.
The heritage of super sports
The “SS” badge, which stands for “Super Sport,” is one of the most coveted designations in American automotive history. The iconic nameplate appeared in 1957 with the Chevy Corvette SS. The first car that had the opportunity to receive the SS mark was 1961 Chevy Impala. Despite minimal sales, the previous years were a time full of high-performance cars that would dominate the muscle car era. SS cars were typically equipped with big-block V8 engines, high-quality suspension and stronger brakes to create a level of performance that tore up the tarmac on the track and streets in several races.
The Camaro, El Camino, Chevelle, Nova, Monte Carlo, and Impala had this distinction that separated them from GM’s regular offerings. While the Camaro is the only car in Chevy’s current lineup to wear this badge, quite a few cars have received the badge as well as several high-performance features. Trucks like the S-10 (predecessor to the Colorado) and the Silverado 1500 were incarnated with the SS, and even the Trailblazer briefly wore the badge proudly and proudly. So it’s more than plausible that the Tahoe could spend time among this storied class.
Big ambitions for big SUVs
The current microchip shortage and its tight control over production quotas has been well documented and widely debated. Because of this, several features that many consumers want to take advantage of have been limited and scarce. Chevy is not known for its willingness to admit defeat in the face of adversity. Having survived the Great Depression, a devastating energy crisis and, most recently, a pandemic, the brand is not one to be swayed.
Those difficulties haven’t stopped Chevy from announcing one plan in particular for both 2023 Tahoe and Suburban, which both cars will be equipped with Super cruise along the upper trim lines. Super Cruise, which is a semi-autonomous driving assistance feature, will require a decent number of microchips and drivers, which are in short supply. Equipping two large SUVs with this technology is a very ambitious task, and if Chevy can pull it off effectively, it will be just another feather in its already full cap.
Under the hood and beyond
Without further ado, it goes without saying that any vehicle brandishing an “SS” badge will be equipped for high performance. Then the guesswork comes into play as to what type of engine the Tahoe SS will choose. Both the Tahoe and Suburban already need powertrains that can move the heavy weight that both vehicles possess.
Perhaps the answer to that question lies not with Chevy, but with its upscale GM sibling, Cadillac. The recent announcement of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V has piqued the interest of performance enthusiasts and GM fans alike. The engine that will power the new Escalade embodies high performance. This supercharged 6.2-liter V8 packs an incredible 682 horsepower along with the ability to produce 653 lb-ft of torque. This is the same engine that currently powers the CT5-V Blackwing. The fact that it can offer this level of power for a luxury car and a full-size SUV is a testament to the engine’s raw capabilities. This beast is equipped with a GM-best ten-speed automatic transmission and also accompanies the turbocharged Duramax diesel engines found in the Silverado.
The Escalade-V will come with Super Cruise technology, the same technology Chevy wants to equip the Tahoe and Suburban, so a Tahoe SS announcement seems very possible. Similar to the kinship Chevy shares with its sister brand GMC, the Tahoe SS could possibly be a slightly downsized version of the Escalade-V, selling for a slightly lower starting MSRP than Cadillac’s venerable luxury line.
The Escalade-V, in addition to a supercharged engine that rivals the competition, has plenty of high-end luxuries that come with it, such as a 16.9-inch infotainment screen and a 36-speaker stereo system. Since history may repeat itself, it’s likely that the Tahoe SS will forego some of these luxury items, as Chevys with the “SS” designation have always focused on performance, while Cadillacs are usually more focused on luxury and comfort. Time will tell…
Thinking about the future and the virtues of patience
The history of the automobile is one of bold moves, unexpected innovations, and above all, the exercise of the sometimes difficult virtue of patience. Like a child looking forward to opening presents on Christmas morning, the final reveal of what Chevy has planned for the 2023 Tahoe will be worth the wait. As we’ve seen in the past with Chevy, the brand always delivers – a trait that sets them apart in the automotive world.
Aside from possibly delivering a product that defies consumer and critic expectations, the Tahoe “SS” will be a huge undertaking that will demonstrate Chevy’s continued pursuit of excellence and determination to bring top-level performance to the horsepower-hungry masses. And from a historical perspective, it will be a bold new chapter in Chevy’s “Super Sport” history. Applying the same pedigree to a full-size SUV, Chevy can single-handedly change the paradigm of what a manufacturer can do as far as performance and power are capable. Chevy, we all look forward to seeing what you decide to do.
Rumors and a reimagining of the Super Sport name
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