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Chevrolet’s cool-looking Z71 Midnight Edition package is offered on Tahoe and Suburban sport utilities, as well as on the Silverado pickups.
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Over the past year, I’ve tested Silverado 1500 and Tahoe models with the Midnight package, and this past week, I also got to spend time in the Suburban version, which is 20.3 inches longer than the similarly equipped Tahoe.
The Suburban is Chevrolet’s original sport utility vehicle, introduced in 1935 and a star of the Chevy lineup ever since — particularly in Texas, where it’s among the most-popular motor vehicles ever.
Like its siblings, the Suburban has great road presence, and is quite hard to ignore. That’s made even more so by the Midnight Edition’s jet-black exterior color, along with blacked wheels and body trim.
The Suburban essentially is the same vehicle as the Tahoe, except at the rear. The cargo compartment is extended, giving the Suburban 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat — 24 cubic feet more than the Tahoe, at 15.3 cubic feet.
The Tahoe/Suburban and its siblings received their last full makeover for 2015, and the Midnight Edition package was added a year later. It’s also available on the Silverado Crew Cab pickup, which is almost the same vehicle underneath as the Suburban and Tahoe — it just has the cargo area turned into an open truck bed. The Silverado Midnight Edition has much the same look as the Suburban and Tahoe versions, with the same black wheels and trim.
Our Suburban tester was the four-wheel-drive LT trim level, with a base price of $58,280 (plus $1,295 freight) before adding the Z71Midnight Edition Package ($2,285). With the package came the 18-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, blackwall all-terrain tires, black tubular assist steps, black roof rack, tow hooks, underbody skid plate package, 3.42 rear axle ratio, Autotrac active two-speed transfer case, hill-descent control, front and rear black Chevy bowties, Z71 grille decals, high-capacity air cleaner and Z71 rubber floor mats. The vehicle came with a black interior, too.
Also included on our tester was the Suburban Luxury Package ($2,860), which added passive entry with remote keyless start, heated second-row seats, third-row 60/40 split bench seat with power fold, power tilt/telescopic steering column, heated steering wheel, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change alert with side blind-zone alert, power/heated outside mirrors with turn signals, hands-free power liftgate, front and rear park assist, and front fog lights.
We also had a Chevy MyLink audio/navigation system with eight-inch color touch screen ($495) and a power sunroof ($995). Dealer-installed wheel locks were an additional $70.
Our Suburban was powered by a 5.3-liter Ecotec3 V-8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque. It was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, although Chevrolet now offers a 10-speed automatic with the optional 6.2-liter V-8.
With three rows of seats, the Suburban can carry up to eight passengers — two up front, and three each in the middle and third rows. But our tester came with power second-row bucket seats ($795), which replaced the second-row bench seat, and cut the passenger capacity to seven.
The 39.3 cubic-foot cargo area behind the third row is big enough for luggage and sports gear for a long family trip. With the third row folded, it expands to 76.7 cubic feet; and with middle and rear seats folded, there is 121.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
For 2018, Suburban prices begin at $50,200 (plus freight) for the base rear-wheel-drive LS model. It’s available with four-wheel drive at all trim levels. There is a rotary dial on the dash to the left of the steering column that has setting for 2WD, Automatic, 4WD High or 4WD Low, which is a low-range setting for serious off-road driving.
The Suburban is a very pleasant highway vehicle, with a quiet cabin, smooth ride, and a more-efficient powertrain than the previous generation.
With $7,500 in options and the freight charge added to the base price, the total sticker price for our 2018 Suburban LT Z71 Midnight Edition four-wheel drive was $67,075.
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Nearly four months into 2018, General Motors has put production of the Chevrolet City Express small cargo van on hold.
We still have the Chevy City Express in stock. Call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 before they are gone for good!
GM had contracted Nissan to build the van, a rebadged Nissan NV200. Both are built at Nissan’s factory in Cuernavaca, Mexico, but the City Express is sold by Chevrolet through its own dealer network.
The Chevrolet City Express went on sale in late 2014 but has never been a big seller. The automaker sold 5,712 of the vans last year. Nissan, by comparison, sold 18,602 NV200s last year. Other competitors include the Ford Transit Connect — 34,473 units sold in 2017 — and the Ram ProMasterCity, which sold 15,584 units.
“The last 2018 model year units were produced in February 2018. Chevrolet and GM Fleet believe 2018 production, combined with existing inventory and factory orders, will be sufficient to meet demand this year,” a GM spokesperson told Trucks.com.
The City Express never came off as a wholehearted compact work van effort, said Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at the AutoPacific consulting firm.
“It was a true badge engineering exercise,” Kim said. “It seemed like there was not-invented-here syndrome going on, with relatively little marketing investment in the vehicle.”
The disappearance of the City Express from the compact commercial van market will probably not be felt much in the marketplace, he said.
Ford leads the market, having leveraged its sales efforts across a full range of commercial vehicles that starts at the Transit Connect and goes up through Class 7 heavy-duty trucks.
Chevrolet appears to have scrapped the van as it gets ready to roll out a slew of electric vehicles, said
Sam Abuelsamid, a senior analyst at Navigant Research. He said one vehicle is likely to be a small electric cargo van.
“Such a vehicle is ripe for electrification since they mainly operate in cities and don’t generally get used for long-haul routes,” he said. “Another thing to watch for is a bespoke autonomous vehicle that follows up the Bolt AV. This is likely to be a flexible type of vehicle that can be quickly adapted from carrying passengers to cargo as needed during the course of the day.”
Chevrolet has a 150-day inventory of the City Express, so it has plenty of vans to sell for the rest of the year, said Eric Anderson, an analyst at IHS Markit.
“The cancellation of the Chevrolet City Express will allow inventory to be depleted and to focus on higher volume vehicles as this remained more of a niche offering in the segment,” Anderson said.
For its part, Nissan said it was happy with sales figures for the NV200.
“NV200 experienced a record-setting 2017 and is excelling again in 2018, with sales up 6 percent year-over-year through February,” a spokesperson told Trucks.com.
The 2018 City Express starts at $22,855. Chevrolet has not yet updated its City Express product page with information about the 2018 model.
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Time for a new school year. And new brake pads. Get some peace of mind at Ron Westphal Chevrolet – your Chevy Certified Service dealer. https://goo.gl/pBTJPL
Or, you can call our service department at 630-598-1029. They are open Monday through Friday from 7-7 with pickup until 9 pm. And, on Saturdays they are open from 8-4 with pickup until 6 pm.
We are proud to be your Chevy Certified Service dealer. Ron Westphal Chevy is located on the corner of Route 30 and 34 in Aurora, IL.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE can’t be called a muscle car. It’s got so much rework going into its aerodynamics, suspension setup and construction that the car is more of a track-day machine than a raw muscle car built for straight-line blasts.
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And to prove that the ZL1 1LE is something that the Europeans, the Japanese and the Italians should be scared of, Chevrolet unleashed their track monster on the Nürburgring. The car didn’t disappoint at all. Posting a lap time of 7:16.04, the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is now the fastest Camaro around the Green Hell. That’s 13 seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1.
The lap time places the Chevy at the 14th spot on the Nürburgring’s Top 100 leaderboard. The Camaro ZL1 is at seat number 36 and the spots between those two are populated with the likes of the Nissan GT-R, the Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren MP4-12C, Porsches and the Chevy Corvette ZR1 among other fast cars.
So how does the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE turn out to be much faster around the German track when its 650 hp L4 supercharged V8 powerplant is more or less the same as the one found under the regular ZL1? To begin with, the aero kit is not for endowing the ZL1 1LE with menacing looks. Everything from that massive rear wing to the front dive planes work to create downforce strong enough to keep the car glued to the road and the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R summer-only tires do the rest. The Multimatic DSSV suspension is far superior to the Magnetic Ride Control setup found in the standard ZL1 and is better for the role of a track-day car. It’s also lighter than the ZL1 by 27 kg.
Chevrolet has released the onboard video of the lap and the driver toils a lot throughout the run since the car has a 6-speed manual transmission (Thank you, Chevy!) The driver’s right arm is extremely busy as seen in the clip. Err… that didn’t sound right, did it?
Watch this home-made You Tube Video of the 2018 Chevy Traverse Redline Series Exterior at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.
Hello! If you would like to see the all new 2018 Chevy Traverse in person, feel free to visit the Ron Westphal Chevrolet showroom weekdays 9-9 and Saturdays 9-6. If you have any questions or concerns our Customer Care Team can be reached at 630-898-9630. We also have a website at http://www.WestphalChevy.com that’s open 24 hours a day.
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On the outside, it looks like a sporty version of a mid-sized Chevrolet pickup.
But the Army has little interest in its camouflage-chic paint job, its custom wheels or its knobby tires. The Army wants what’s under the hood. It is not a motor.
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Meet the hydrogen-powered ZH-2, an experimental truck built by General Motors and recently tested by the Army at Fort Carson. It has no pistons, no cylinders. Instead it has a space-age fuel cell crammed under the hood that turns pure hydrogen into electricity to run the rig and water vapor that surges out its exhaust.
“One of the things you notice is how quiet it is,” GM’s Chris Colquitt, the lead engineer behind the truck said last week as the ZH-2 quietly whirred behind him.
The fuel cell has essentially no moving parts. It works like a battery that never runs flat because a constant flow of hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen keeps the juice flowing.
The Army has long coveted the technology because it brings a combination of desperately-needed fuel efficiency and near-silent operation to the battlefield.
The American military is the world’s largest consumer of diesel fuel, running up a tab at the pump as high as $13 billion per year.
In battle, fuel costs go up astronomically. Pentagon officials told congress in 2009 that diesel fuel at remote locations in Afghanistan runs more than $400 per gallon when transportation costs are added in.
Brian Butrico, an Army engineer overseeing the ZH-2 said the fuel cell sips fuel at less than half the rate of a Humvee. And unlike Army trucks that guzzle fuel while idling, the fuel cell shuts down.
“The feedback is positive so far,” he said.
Hydrogen used to power the truck isn’t something you can pick up at the neighborhood 7-Eleven. To go along with the truck, Butrico’s colleagues at the Army Tank and Automotive Research and Development Center in Michigan are building a “reformer” that can produce the hydrogen by refining other easily-available fuels.
The hydrogen-maker will be about the size of an Army trailer and could be hauled straight to the battlefield to fuel next-generation rigs.
Butrico said the utility of the fuel cell goes far beyond vehicles.
One of the military’s biggest gas-guzzlers overseas is the generator. At the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army generators at forward bases converted 357 million gallons of diesel into electricity and ear-splitting noise each year.
In Baghdad, soldiers could determine their proximity to an American base by listening for the generators’ roar.
A fuel cell could kill the noise and cut the fuel consumption by half or more, the Army estimates.
The ZH-2’s fuel cell generates about 50 kilowatts of power that can be fed into its hulking electric motor or fed to other equipment thanks to handy power outlets in the bed.
“It’s the electrification of a vehicle,” Butrico explained.
The ZH-2 is no tree-hugging Tesla, though. It weighs in at more than 3 tons and its electric motor produces a transmission-shredding 256 pounds of torque, politely managed by several internal computers.
For its girth, the truck is surprisingly nimble, gliding easily over Fort Carson’s tank trails and gullies.
For all its charm, though, the ZH-2 will never wear Army green into battle.
The truck is an experiment designed to examine the fuel cell itself rather than the sheet metal and drive train around it.
Colquitt said GM engineers put the truck together in about a year by marrying the car maker’s experimental fuel cell to parts from several vehicles in its stable. The one-of-a-kind ZH-2 is about a quarter Chevy Colorado, part Camaro, part Corvette and part Volt, too.
The fuel cell itself was used in a wider consumer market experiment based on the Chevrolet Equinox, a vehicle commonly spotted on the sidelines of youth soccer games.
“We’ve pushed the boundary with this,” Colquitt said of the ZH-2.
The ultra-green pickup could be the progenitor for generations of hydrogen powered military vehicles.
“We’re investigating it,” Butrico said.
Read more about Chevy’s Hydrogen-Fueled Future at the Source: Colorado’s Fort Carson Pioneers Hydrogen-Fueled Future
U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, and the military depend heavily on a fleet of toughened Chevrolet Tahoes to help them get around safely.
Watch any recent American war-based action movie or high-level governmental drama on TV and you’ll notice there’s almost always a convoy of Chevy SUVs whisking VIPs around with heavily armed escorts on board. It’s actually one of the things Hollywood gets right. Far from product placement, the real life U.S. federal, state, and municipal governments, the military, and various security services depend heavily on a fleet of toughened Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans to help them get around safely and effectively.
Looking for your own undercover ride? Visit us online or drop by our showroom. Or, call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 to schedule your VIP test drive.
And the specialized use of one of GM’s most successful model ranges in its history isn’t just confined to American soil. Wherever the U.S. has an official presence internationally, you can bet there’s a fleet of Tahoes and Suburbans at their disposal. Take the Army’s elite Delta Force, for example. When they’re deployed on a high-value target security detail or other special ops mission, chances are they rely on said fleet to accomplish their objectives.
In an effort to underscore how effective their vehicles are in intense, real world situations, Chevrolet invited us to The Range Complex (TRC) in North Carolina, about two hours outside of Raleigh. Set in between the Army’s Fort Bragg and the Marines’ Camp LeJeune bases on 978 acres, TRC is a special-ops training facility founded by Delta Force veterans, many of whom have some 20-plus years of experience in the field under their belts. The military’s most elite fighters and other special operatives train at TRC to prepare for highly dangerous, highly classified missions and other security operations, like the raid by the Navy’s SEAL Team Six that took out Osama bin Laden, or the defense of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, during the siege of the facility in 2012. These guys are the real deal, and so are the Chevys they drive.
Read More from the Source: Midnight Mission: Training with Chevy Tahoes and the Delta Force | Automobile Magazine