Even as General Motors Co. transitions to electric vehicles, it’s not giving up on gas-powered ones yet. The Detroit auto maker showed off electric versions of Chevrolet’s top-selling vehicles including the Equinox compact SUV, Blazer mid-size SUV, and Silverado pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. But the big debut wasn’t electric – it was a high-performance, gas-powered version of the full-size Tahoe SUV.
Chevrolet officials took the wraps off the 2023 Tahoe RST Performance edition, which is the fastest Tahoe to date. It’ll be powered by a 6.2-litre V8 engine, which pumps out 433 horsepower and 467 lb.-ft of torque – 13 more horsepower and an extra seven lb.-ft of torque compared to the current RST trim.
“As we transition to EVs, we’re going out with a bang, said Doug Kenzie, national marketing manager at Chevrolet Canada, ahead of the Tahoe’s debut.
The special-edition Tahoe RST trim will accelerate to 96 kilometres an hour in less than six seconds and tow up to 7,600-pounds. It also leverages a number of chassis and suspension elements borrowed from the Tahoe PPV, or pursuit-rated police vehicle package, which is made for police. Prices will be available closer to its launch, later this year. The current RST starts at more than $70,000.
GM’s growing electric portfolio includes the all-new 2024 Chevrolet Equinox, which will be one of the cheapest EVs on the market when it hits Canadian dealerships in the fall of 2023. With a starting price of around $35,000, before rebates, it’ll have an electric range of up to 480 kilometres.
“EVs are critical. [gas-powered] products are still important for us and our customers. We want a product for everyone, said Sandor Piszar, vice president of sales, service and marketing at GM Canada. “Profitable, successful [gas-powered] products are helping pave the way and pay for that EV future.”
GM is investing US$35-billion through 2025 on electric and autonomous vehicle product development globally and has committed to introduce 30 new EVs. All new and future GM electric vehicles, except the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, will be powered by GM’s new Ultium platform. The flexible architecture features modular battery and drive unit combinations, which can be used in a range of vehicles including trucks, SUVs, cars and high-performance vehicles.
The all-new Equinox EV will not be made in Canada. In April 2022, the last Canadian-made gas-powered Equinox rolled off the line at GM’s CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont. That facility is being transformed and retooled to prepare for building electric commercial delivery vans from BrightDrop. When production begins later this year, CAMI will be Canada’s first and largest full-scale EV plant.
The 2024 Equinox EV will be made in Mexico. It’ll be available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. And GM estimates, it’ll be able to charge up to 112 kilometres in 10 minutes on a DC fast-charger.
The Chevrolet Blazer EV will also be built in Mexico at the same plant as the Equinox EV. It’ll be offered in several trims as well as front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and have an electric range of up to 515 kilometres. On a DC fast-charger with capability of up to 190 kilowatts, estimated charging time is approximately 125 kilometres in ten minutes. The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will go on sale in the summer of 2023, starting at $56,598, followed by the base model in early 2024 for $51,998.
Meanwhile, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV will be built at a facility in Detroit which was retooled for EV production with in an US$2.2-billion investment. The Silverado EV, developed from the ground up as an EV, will have a range of up to 640 kilometres and tow up to 10,000 pounds. The Work Truck trim will launch first for fleet customers in the spring 2023, followed by the fully loaded RST First Edition model in the fall of 2023. It’ll cost $119,948, but other trims will start at $52,448.