It seems just a short time ago that GM was saying their new full-size truck/SUV platform would save the company. We're sure their tune has changed slightly, but GM's new 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe is quite attractive. While the exterior is really no surprise, the apparent quality and attention paid to the interior is impressive. It seems GM has finally lain to rest the blocky dash design that harked back to the late Seventies. Many of the technical changes may also find their way into redesigned full-size pickups, which should make Ford sit up and take notice. Overall, the Tahoe is an impressive redesign and the vehicles based on this new platform should be popular, although we suspect the popularity will be tempered by steadily increasing gas prices. Check out the pictures and the press release at the jump.
DETROIT - Chevrolet has announced the debut of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe, the next generation of the industry's best-selling full-size SUV. The new Tahoe is comprehensively redesigned and delivers a sharper, more precise driving feel, more power with improved, segment-leading fuel economy, increased interior refinement and improved quietness.
The new Tahoe takes over at the top of the segment in sales, quality and comfort - Tahoe has been the best-selling full-size SUV since 2001. The outgoing model (along with its longer sibling, Suburban) has ranked first in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey for five years, topping all import and luxury models. Engineers built on Tahoe's established credentials with a "no compromises" mantra that realized improvements in many areas of performance, quality and comfort.
Contributors to the 2007 Tahoe's segment-leading capability include:
* Superior ride, handling and quietness
* Improved efficiency
* Refined interior with thoughtful convenience built in
* Distinctive, sporty exterior design
* Enhanced safety and security
"Tahoe is known for delivering whatever its customers want, whenever they want to do it - a hard-earned reputation reflected in countless independent quality studies, buying guide recommendations and customers who have returned to buy another vehicle," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "The '07 model enhances the attributes that have made Tahoe the industry's best-selling full-size SUV and improves them with dramatically increased attention to detail in smoothness, quietness and refinement. We believe it is simply the best Tahoe yet."
Superior ride, handling and quietness
The 2007 Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.
Extensive attention to detail was paid by Tahoe's engineers to ensure a quiet driving experience. It starts with a new, stiffer frame, which reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. The strength and accuracy of the full-boxed frame also enables more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components, which also helps reduce vibration. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch standard and 20-inch available wheels, were designed to reduce noise.
Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engine also features a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that dramatically reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. New door seals help reduce seal "pull away" at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise. Also, Tahoe's more slippery shape, thanks to improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, and tighter body gap tolerances, makes Tahoe quieter as it slices through the air.
Tahoe also features details such as spray-in expanding foam, which helps reduce noise by filling in space to eliminate sound paths. The foam, located mostly in the A-pillars, expands to fill the void of a space. Tahoe's quietness and smoothness is complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.
Tahoe's quietness and smoothness are complemented by capabilities full-size SUV customers depend on. Tahoe offers up to 7,700-pounds (3,492 kg) towing capability (4WD models).
A new Gen IV small-block V-8 family - the newest chapter in the small-block's 50-year history - offers more power than comparable powertrains in previous models. Fuel-saving Displacement On Demand technology also enables better fuel economy. When combined with other vehicle-wide features, including improved aerodynamics, the small-block V-8 helps give the Tahoe the segment's best fuel economy. Preliminary testing with 5.3L-equipped models shows unadjusted combined fuel economy ratings of 20.5 mpg with 2WD models and 20.1 mpg with 4WD models. That's better fuel economy than any other full-size SUV.
New engine choices allow consumers to choose the performance level that meets their needs. A Vortec 5.3L V-8 with 320 horsepower (238 kw)* and 335 lb.-ft. of torque (463 Nm)* offers fuel-saving Displacement On Demand technology is standard at start of production. A Vortec 4.8L V-8 becomes available later and will be standard on Tahoe 2WD models.
A more steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline improve the aerodynamics of Tahoe, resulting in a best-in-class 0.363 cd, which enhances fuel economy on the highway. Additional contributors to efficiency include a lower, wider front air dam, tighter tolerances and gaps between the fascias, lamps and grille openings, and improved front-end sealing that nearly eliminates air leak paths. These features all contribute to enhanced fuel economy and improved driving quietness, compared with previous models.
"The economy of the new Tahoe is tremendous," said Gary White, General Motors North America Vice President and vehicle line executive for full-size trucks. "It not only delivers better fuel economy than some smaller vehicles, it does so with the full capability expected of a full-size SUV. That means you can tow a boat out to your favorite lake on the weekend and take the kids to school during the week without worry - it's another trait of Tahoe's do-anything personality."
Refined interior and thoughtful convenience built in
The '07 Tahoe is available in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ, with the high-volume LT trim level offered with LT-1, LT-2 and LT-3 equipment groups. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models are available. All models come well equipped with enhanced safety, comfort and convenience features. New and substantially revised features include:
* Power-release fold-and-tumble second-row seat
* Remote vehicle starting system
* First- and second-row heated seats
* Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist
* Rearview camera system
* Touch-screen navigation system
* Power-articulating running boards (mid-year availability)
* DVD rear-seat entertainment system with larger, 8-inch screen and enhanced features
Refinements throughout Tahoe's spacious interior create an environment that exudes quality and precision, as well as comfort. A two-tone color scheme is executed with new, softer and low-gloss materials for the instrument panel and other trim pieces. Additional details include LED backlighting for the instruments and chrome accents on instruments and vents. Flush-mounted accessories and controls, such as the climate control/radio center stack create a seamless, "single unit" appearance. Also, there are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing "close outs" around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates.
Distinctive, sporty exterior design
The amenities and performance features are wrapped in a stylish new package that conveys the sporty, ready-for-anything reputation of Tahoe. An all-new exterior design is leaner and more agile looking, with large wheels and the wider track enhancing Tahoe's powerful, capable stance. The improved aerodynamics also contributes to the sleek look, with a more steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline accentuating the exterior length.
Tahoe is the first truck to feature the new face of Chevrolet with a large Chevy gold bow tie, centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. The body-colored grille surround is inset with an argent texture mesh. Fog lamps and headlamps feature jewel-like optics. The lower fascia, incorporating the front license plate holder and integrated tow hooks, is aggressively styled with a skid plate look that enhances Tahoe's rugged, off-road appearance.
Tahoe's front end reflects its sporty, outdoor character. It includes the fast-rake windshield; a bulging power dome hood; a prominent new fender design, with integrated wheel flares; a distinctive new grille and headlamps; and a full-wrap fascia. The wraparound fascia, which eliminates the conventional bumper-to-body gap, is one of the numerous attributes that gives the Tahoe a more refined look. It also enhances aerodynamics.
Also complementing Tahoe's sporty appearance is a new family of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard, with 20-inch factory-installed wheels available. The larger wheels fill Tahoe's wheel houses, giving the vehicle a confident stance.
The available Z71 package (available later in 2006) takes this aggressive look to the next level. It includes a specifically designed three-piece fascia with a protective, platinum chrome skid plate. It has larger tow hook openings; larger, more prominent fog lamps; and specific grille texture and platinum chrome grille trim. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires also are part of the package.
Tahoe is offered in nine exterior colors: Greystone Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Sport Red Metallic, Bermuda Blue Metallic, Black, Summit White, Gold Mist Metallic, Antique Bronze Metallic and Silver Birch Metallic.
Enhanced safety and security
The 2007 Tahoe has a comprehensive package of standard and available safety features. New features, including roof-mounted head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows, complement the stronger chassis and body structures to provide excellent passenger protection.
For further protection, the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with new roll-over mitigation technology is standard on all models. With the enhanced StabiliTrak system, sensors continuously monitor the vehicle's side-to-side angle, triggering stability-maintaining action if the angle indicates a possible roll-over condition. If a roll-over is likely, the system can trigger the roof-rail air bags before the incident occurs to provide passengers with increased protection.
Crash avoidance also is bolstered through enhanced driver control dynamics, such as wider front and rear tracks, as well as more responsive suspensions - including a new coil-over-strut front suspension design and new rack-and-pinion steering.
Tahoe's additional safety features include:
* Standard dual-stage frontal air bags with GM's passenger sensing system
* Roof-mounted head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows available on LS, LT-1 and LT-2 models; standard on LT-3 and LTZ
* Standard front seat safety belt pretensioners (with rear-crash activation)
* Remote vehicle starting system standard on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ; prep package for dealer installation standard on LS and LT-1 models (includes keyless entry remote)
* Power-adjustable pedals standard on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ, available on LS and LT-1
* Tire pressure monitoring system standard on all models
* Daytime running lamps
* RainSense automatic windshield wiper activation standard on LTZ and available on LT-3
* Heated windshield wiper fluid standard on LTZ and available on LT-3
* Standard four-wheel disc brakes with Bosch 8.0 four-channel ABS
* Available 4WD with Autotrac automatic transfer case
* OnStar with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification
Available technology, including Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and a rear-view camera system, enhance safety at all corners, helping - in addition to the numerous crash and roll-over sensors - to give the Tahoe 360 degrees of protection. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist is standard on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ models and available on LS and LT-1. The rearview camera system is available on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ models (requires navigation radio).
Along with GM's other new full-size SUVs, Tahoe's chassis and body structure are designed for improved crash energy management. The front frame section has improved crush dynamics that provide the equivalent of 17.7 inches (450 mm) of additional crush space, when compared with the previous-generation models - in a vehicle that is only approximately 3 inches (76.2 mm) longer. The frame also is designed for improved vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility in the event of a crash with a smaller vehicle.
All Tahoe models are equipped with the OnStar Generation 6 system, including a one-year subscription to the Safe & Sound plan. The system features digital and analog coverage. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands Free Calling (OHC) that allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls using a powerful 3-watt digital/analog system and external antenna for greater reception. OHC requires an additional OnStar service contract and pre-paid calling minutes, and is not available in Alaska and some other markets. Calls can be made to U.S. and Canada only.
The OnStar service available on the Tahoe includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to emergency services to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. If the vehicle is in an accident that activates an airbag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar Adviser who will check on the occupants or summon emergency help if necessary. OnStar also can assist authorities in locating a vehicle if it is reported stolen (ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions).
The 2007 Tahoe will be built at Arlington Assembly, in Arlington , Texas , and will be available in the first quarter of 2006.
"Chevrolet introduced the SUV with the 1935 Suburban and the new Tahoe is the culmination of more than 70 years of experience building these vehicles," said Peper. "The 2007 is not only the most refined SUV in the segment, we believe it to be the best SUV we've ever built."