The Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra could reportedly receive a variant of the four-link independent rear suspension found under the new Tahoe and Suburban. While that's not a surprise, a recent report suggests electrification, not comfort, convinced General Motors to make the change.
Replacing the time-tested solid rear axle with an independent suspension will improve comfort, handling and off-road prowess, while adding weight, and likely making the trucks a little bit more expensive. It's a fair trade-off, but GM Authority learned the real reason for the swap is that at least one of the pickups will spawn an electric model, and it's more difficult to package a bulky battery pack around a solid rear axle. The independent rear suspension takes up far less space, even if it has more moving parts.
General Motors will build its first regular-production electric pickup on an evolution of the Silverado's T1 platform named BT1, according to the same source. The b stands for -- you guessed it -- batteries. The firm reportedly doesn't want to make two suspensions for cost reasons, so the independent setup will come standard regardless of whether the truck runs on gasoline, diesel, or electricity. As a bonus, Chevrolet and GMC could choose to offer their T1-based trucks with Magnetic Ride Control or an air suspension, options available on the 2021 Suburban and Tahoe.
The independent rear suspension will also find its way to the next-generation GMC Yukon due to be revealed January 14, and to the 2021 Cadillac Escalade scheduled to make its debut February 4. The long-rumored, born-again Hummer will get it, too, because it will arrive as an electric model built on the BT1 platform. It's worth noting none of this is official, and General Motors has remained quiet about what's next for its new suspension design, and what will be under its electric truck's sheet metal.
If the GM Authority report is accurate, the Silverado (pictured) and the Sierra could ditch their solid rear axle for the 2021 model year. The change will likely be accompanied by other tweaks inside and out.