Iconic Chevy Suburban gets high-tech makeover

Say goodbye to the Chevy Suburban. Well, more specifically, say goodbye to the current Chevy Suburban. Next summer, an all-new one will hit showrooms.

Sleeker and slightly bigger inside, the 2021 Suburban will keep an 85-year streak moving ahead.

In the meantime, Chevrolet is celebrating the truck's history.

Like its history in movies and TV shows over the decades, with a bit of a publicity stunt, an honorary Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

The team that designs and builds the big Chevy SUV was on hand, knowing there's a lot riding on the name.

"People do buy these from one generation to the next. And they're loyal to us, so we can't let them down," said Tim Kozub, with GM Advanced Brand Design.

For years they weren't necessarily noticed by the average American, typically doing duty as commercial vehicles.

But as time marched on and cars started shrinking, the Suburban moved more and more into family duty.

The upcoming new example will up its family friendliness with huge touch screens for rear seat passengers, which is just one example of expanded tech.

And the tech at the Texas factory has been upgraded too, to build the new Suburban and its shorter sibling, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe.

The laws of physics come into play whenever the Suburban is discussed. On the positive, it's big and powerful, so it can carry heavy loads and fairly big trailers. On the negative, it's big and powerful. So it's never been known for good gas mileage.

But efficiency is crucial for all vehicles these days. The new Suburban will offer a diesel engine option, and little tweaks here and there in recent years have made it a bit more efficient.

Kozub said, "The fuel economy numbers are always getting better, so that's a beautiful thing. And then we're also paying a lot more attention to 'aero', so that these things are much more slippery through the wind as you're driving."

So while smaller SUVs have taken center stage lately, Chevrolet isn't throwing in the towel on the iconic big Suburban.

Quite the opposite.

"Even when I was working on the next generation, it wasn't until halfway through that I really realized '85 years.' And this is the longest-living nameplate in existence."
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