After unveiling the 420 HP 2019 Suburban RST earlier this month, Chevrolet managed to one-up themselves by taking an all-new 2020 Suburban prototype out for a drive. Camera lenses were of course present.
This is an exciting moment for full-size SUV enthusiasts (yes, they’re out there). As much as people love all these new subcompact crossovers, we reckon there will always be a place for vehicles the size of the Chevrolet Suburban.
Rumor has it that it was the latest Ford Expedition that prompted Chevrolet to add an independent rear suspension (IRS) to their all-new Suburban. The Expedition has been really well-received, not only because of its IRS, but also because of its aluminum-body construction and turbocharged engine.
How much can we see?
It’s clear that GM went to extreme lengths to hide the new Suburban’s rear suspension by adding under-body camouflage. Thankfully, our spy photographers knew where to point and shoot, revealing that the SUV’s solid rear axle days will soon be behind it.
As for the rest of the body, while it remains well-hidden, we can still make out multiple design elements such as the angular C-pillar or the slightly curvy front fascia design – at least not as boxy as the 2019 Silverado. The taillights are also partly visible, but there’s no way to tell if they’re in any way new, or simply the ones from the current model.
While we can’t see much of anything with regards to the interior, the 2020 Suburban should look to at least match, if not one-up the 2018 Ford Expedition, which is packed full of modern safety, convenience and off-road management systems.
Lighter means better
The 2018 Expedition weighs around 300 lbs (136 kg) less than its predecessor, thanks to its high-strength aluminum body design. Add the 3.5-liter EcoBoost unit and you’ve got yourself a considerably more efficient SUV than before.
We can expect a similar recipe from Chevrolet, especially if they opt to fit the new Suburban with the Silverado’s 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine – yeah, a four-pot in a Suburban, who would have thought?
“We expect GM will use the engine in upcoming full-size SUVs and it should make a solid addition with improved standard performance and fuel economy,” said IHS Markit analyst, Stephanie Brinley.
On the Silverado, this power unit produces 310 HP and 348 lb-ft (471 Nm) of torque, taking the full-size pickup from zero to 60 in less than 7 seconds.
When can I get one?
Not anytime soon. The all-new Chevrolet Suburban should be unveiled sometime next year as a 2020 model. Its direct segment rivals include the previously-mentioned Ford Expedition, but also the GMC Yukon XL. You can throw the Escalade ESV and the Navigator in there too, but only if you want to spend more.