2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Road Test: The (sort of) Tahoe SS you’ve been waiting for

2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Road Test: The (sort of) Tahoe SS you’ve been waiting for

TROY, Mich. -- Few brands are better than Chevy at taking something unassuming, even boring -- and making it go faster and feel special. Following in the lineage of things like the 1990s Impala SS, the Bow Tie dips into a familiar playbook -- increased V8 power and police-style chassis enhancements -- to create the 2023 Tahoe RST Performance Edition.

A word of caution: the RST Performance only adds 13 ponies to the already-potent 6.2-liter V8. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Chevy borrowed heavily from the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle, which is fortified for turning quickly and taking off fast, to give the family hauler a new edge.

We’re talking bigger brakes, Torch Red Brembos that are 25% larger in diameter and improve stopping distance by more than 6 feet, Firestone Firehawk police-spec tires, a 10-mm lowered ride height, and tighter spring and damping tuning. A performance intake and catback exhaust are where the extra power comes from, lifting the V8 to 433 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque. This model also has the Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic, four-wheel drive and mechanical limited-slip differential. All told, it will hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (the base RST is 5.95 seconds) en route to a top speed of 124 mph (+12 mph), which would come in handy in pursuit. It can run the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds. Despite all of the changes, towing remains the same at 7,600 pounds.

A bit reminiscent of the mid-90s Impala SS (and even the later 2000s edition, which still has its supporters due to that 5.3-liter hearty aluminum small-block V8), Chevy designers used color and trim to dress up the already-beefy Tahoe. Building on the Rally Sport Truck lineage (RST), the Performance trim adds black 20-inch aluminum wheels and black badging.