The history of the Chevrolet Suburban began almost 90 years ago, and since then, no less than 12 generations have been on the market uninterruptedly.
Some cars have been on the market for decades. The Porsche 911 was born in 1963, the Ford Mustang in 1964, and the Chevrolet Corvette in 1953. However, there is an even older model, even older than the Ford F-Series (1948). The history of the Chevrolet Suburban began in 1934, and since then, it has been in the market uninterruptedly for twelve different generations.
Also marketed as GMC Suburban, this impressive oversized SUV has passed through the Holden and Chevrolet brands. It is currently sold as Chevrolet, while the GMC model was renamed the Yukon XL. It also shares a platform and some features with the luxurious Cadillac Escalade.
The history of the Chevrolet Suburban: a veteran in the market
The first generation is presented in 1934 under Suburban Carryall, a family vehicle not derived from a cargo truck. With just 60 horsepower, the Suburban began to gain popularity, prompting GMC to launch its version with a few extras. The second generation arrived seven years later, in 1941, with the world being ravaged by World War II, so it was intended as an adaptation designed for military use. The model was hardly new, and its production was seriously limited as most of the metal was used for war purposes.
In 1947, with the armed conflict already over, Chevrolet launched the third generation of the Suburban. This model adopts many of the advances developed during the war and allows, thanks to technology, to increase its power. However, the most crucial leap took place in 1955, when Chevrolet launched the model’s fourth generation. On this occasion, the first version with a V8 engine arrives, and the four-wheel-drive is integrated to compete with the Jeep models. This fourth-generation, in turn, would serve as the basis for other General Motors models.
Fifth to eighth-generation Suburban
The fifth generation arrived at the dawn of the 60s, with the most significant change introduced in its platform evolution. On this occasion, the chassis intended for commercial vehicles is dispensed to equip its platform to improve passenger comfort. It is also the first generation to integrate air conditioning and heating in the rear seats.
In 1967, the Chevrolet Suburban underwent a new change. General Motors decided to improve the off-road qualities of its SUV by enhancing its off-road performance and making the bodywork even more significant, which grew by 30 centimeters.
This generation also revolutionized vehicle production, going from just 6,000 to 27,000 copies a year at the end of its commercial life (in 1972).
A year later, the seventh generation of the Suburban lands. This generation was characterized by remaining in the market for almost two decades. The model was launched in 1973 and was officially discontinued in 1991.
Rarely does a car stay on the market for 18 years without suffering at least two-generational leaps? The Suburban, which also doubled its annual production in the mid-1980s, was in operation all that time with no changes beyond a few updates.
In 1992 the eighth generation of the Suburban was presented, a vehicle strongly influenced by its predecessor in terms of design. The image was updated, ABS brakes were installed, and the OnStar system debuted.
The definitive modernization of the Chevrolet SUV
The popularity of the model reached heights never seen before. The turn of the millennium occurs, and General Motors presents the ninth generation in the history of the Chevrolet Suburban. Efficiency is improved, and emissions are reduced, highlighting the 6.0-liter V8 engine shared with the Corvette.
It was also much more technologically advanced, highlighting the self-leveling suspension system or the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) that detected traction losses even when the vehicle was towing.
The tenth generation was introduced in 2007, with a significant design change that makes it look, even today, like a modern and elegant vehicle. It also improved aerodynamically, thanks partly to the fact that it was designed using wind tunnel technology. It also increased in size by 15 cm and, coinciding with the model’s 75% anniversary, the particular Diamond Edition version was launched, a super-luxurious proposition of the American SUV.
In the mid-2010s, specifically in 2015, the eleventh generation arrived. On this occasion, the model stood out for its significant technological load focused on connectivity and security. Finally, in late 2020, the twelfth-generation Chevrolet Suburban was unveiled. This model sports a modern image that combines luxury and equipment and equips engines of more than 420 hp at the top of the range.
Source: RCC Auto Transport