Word on the street is that the all-new independent rear suspension that premiered on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban is up to the task of working in GM pickup trucks, as well. According to a recent report from CNET’s Roadshow, the new IRS could “absolutely” handle the workplace abuses required of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, according to chief engineer Tim Asokolis, but would require separate validation testing.
Considering the utilitarian benefits of a live rear axle that keep them relevant in the pickup truck space, we could see this setup find its way into GM’s upcoming electric pickup trucks on the specialized BT1 platform. These trucks, while they will likely demonstrate groundbreaking capabilities for electric vehicles in terms of capabilities, are unlikely to replace ICE trucks anytime soon, just by their nature.
A solid axle is normally more strong than an IRS and can therefore handle more loads when performing tasks like hauling and towing. Its simple design also tends to make it lighter and easier to produce than an independent rear suspension. However, the benefits that come from the integration of an IRS could outweigh the costs of added weight and reduced payload and towing capabilities if the objective was to improve ride quality and handling dynamics.
There are added benefits in the off-road truck and SUV space also. While more complex and expensive, a well done independent suspension could make for a pickup truck or SUV that can traverse multiple surface types more effectively, as the articulation of the suspension is independently handled wheel-to-wheel. We know that Chevrolet is currently working on a rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor currently believed to be called the Silverado ZRX. And while we saw an early teaser with the Hall Racing Silverado with Multimatic DSSV dampers at the 2019 SEMA Show, General Motors likely didn’t show its full hand.
We hope to bring you more detailed information on the viability and the validity of a possible independent rear suspension system coming to the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in the coming days.