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New Chevrolet Tahoe launches
The new GM full-size trucks family

The new Chevy Tahoe will be launched in the first quarter of 2006.

AutoPressNews,
10th October 2005.

The timing is certainly not the best to launch a new family of full-size trucks, SUVs and pickups. With fuel prices soaring on a global scale, General Motors new GMT900 family of trucks couldn't fall on more delicate circumstances.

That's the half-empty side of the story.

Pending on future sales results, the other half-full side of the same story can logically claim that the need for full-size trucks doesn't depend only on fuel prices, but on real pragmatic needs for powerful pickups and SUVs.

Other arguments might add that renewing a wide selection of models should refresh demand, especially that the new family promises significantly better fuel efficiency than the current GMT800 family. Better fuel efficiency is mainly attributed to the Displacement On Demand, at least in the beginning, since Diesel is considered as an additional possibility during the GMT900 life cycle.

Better fit & finish, tighter gaps between panels, higher perceived quality.

If growth expectations can be ruled out for this segment, at least until cost-realistic hybrid solutions bring convincing fuel savings in the future (with adequate full-size truck capabilities), GM's new full-size trucks family can best hope for market share growth... at the expense of Ford's Expedition and the Japanese brands full-size trucks: Toyota's Sequoia and Nissan's Armada. But that's a different story which time will tell in the not-too-distant future anyway.

Chevy Tahoe - GM started by announcing the first member of the GMT900 family, the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, which will be launched in the first quarter of 2006, just a few months before the other members of the GMT900 family, the Suburban, Avalanche pickup, the GMC Yukon, XL and Denali, the Cadillac Escalade family and Hummer's H2.

With the new Tahoe, GM is promising a sharper, more precise driving feel, more power with improved fuel economy, increased interior refinement and improved quietness.

Nice proportions, better aerodynamics for less noise and consumption.

The 2007 Tahoe is built in Arlington , Texas 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, with wider front / rear tracks and lower center of gravity to enhance handling and stability.

GM claims that its new, stiffer frame should reduce vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. 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 cover to reduce engine noise heard inside the vehicle.

Particular attention to interior quality: trucks are no more just...trucks.

Tahoe’s improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, and tighter body gap tolerances should add to its quietness. A more steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline improve the aerodynamics 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 to reduce air leak paths.

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. It consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, base on body and wheel motion sensors.

Open the Specs page

Click above to open the specs  page.

Engines - A new generation (gen. IV) small-block V-8 family – the newest version of the small-block’s 50-year history – offers fuel-saving Displacement On Demand technology for better 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 (engines figures are preliminary).

The Gen IV small-block Vortec V-8 engine family is standard in all Tahoe models, with the 5.3L version standard at start of production. It is rated at (preliminary figures) 320 horsepower (238 kw) and 340 lb.-ft. of torque (470 Nm), an 8 percent horsepower increase compared to the previous 5.3L engine.

A Flex-Fuel E85 version, which is capable of running on E85 ethanol fuel or a mixture of E85 and gasoline, is standard on 4WD models and available on 2WD models. E85 is comprised of 85 percent ethanol, which is a renewable resource fuel produced in the United States .

Airbags and side curtains.

A 4.8L V-8 engine, rated at 290 horsepower (216 kw) will be standard on Tahoe 2WD models later in the ’06 model year. All new Vortec engines represent the fourth generation of the small-block V-8, which debuted in 1955. Highlights include revised cylinder block design, Displacement On Demand on 5.3L engine, electronic throttle control, and a new, more powerful engine management E38 32-bit controller.

GM claims the 5.3L engines with Displacement On Demand (DOD) technology (available at the Chrysler group as well) provide up to seven percent increased fuel efficiency when measured against a comparable non-DOD 5.3L engine. DOD can temporarily shut down the combustion process of half the engine’s cylinders under certain driving conditions to save fuel.

An engine controller determines when to deactivate cylinders, allowing the engine to maintain vehicle speed in lighter-load conditions such as highway cruising. The process is seamless and virtually imperceptible. When the cylinders are deactivated the engine effectively operates as a V-4. The engine returns to V-8 mode the instant the controller determines the vehicle speed or load requires additional power. The key to DOD’s efficiency and virtually imperceptible operation is a set of special two-stage hydraulic valve lifters, which allows the lifters of deactivated cylinders to operate without actuating the valves.

Different seating and loading possibilities.

The ’07 Tahoe will be available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, with 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. The 4WD models offer up to 7,700-pounds (3,492 kg) towing capability, compared to up to 7,200 pounds (3,266 kg) for the 2WD ones.

Transmission - Tahoe’s 5.3L and 4.8L powertrains are teamed with the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, with an enhanced rear axle system that supports the increased power and capabilities of the Gen IV powertrains. They are mounted to the chassis with stiffer brackets and special bushings that help reduce noise and vibration

A limited-slip axle is optionally available, as is a locking differential. Axle ratios range from 3.23:1 to 4.10:1. A new, low rolling-resistance/low-friction pinion bearing design is used to help reduce driveline friction and enhance fuel efficiency. The rear axle carrier has thicker, stronger tubes and the rear cover pan is 50-percent thicker than previous designs.

Interior - 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.

The front-row seats have one-inch more fore/aft travel than previous models. Second-row seats provide 0.4 inch (10 mm) more legroom and knee room. Their seatback angle is adjusted an additional two degrees rearward for extra comfort. Second-row heated seats are available.

New configurations allow two or three-passenger carrying capability in all three rows, including 40/20/40 split-bench with six-way power-adjustable driver seat (standard on LS models), 60/40-split three-passenger second-row seat (standard on LS and LT-1).

The second-row seats offer a power-release fold-and-tumble feature. Simply pushing an overhead console button or a rear-door pillar button automatically un-latches the seat(s) and sends it into its folded and tumbled position. Optional third-row seats can be removed using two levers on the back of the seat and stored with wheels at the front of the seat.

Exterior - 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. Tahoe’s front end 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 eliminates the conventional bumper-to-body gap.

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 optional Z71 package (available later in 2006) 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.

Safety - The 2007 Tahoe safety features include 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.

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

  • Optional 4WD with Autotrac automatic transfer case

  • OnStar with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification

Variable boot capacity.

Optional equipment includes Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and a rear-view camera system. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist is standard on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ models and optional on LS and LT-1. The rearview camera system is available on LT-2, LT-3 and LTZ models (requires navigation radio).

All Tahoe models are equipped with the OnStar (US and Canada) Generation 6 system, including a one-year subscription to the Safe & Sound plan. The system features digital and analog coverage. 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 (not available in Alaska and some other markets).

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 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).

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