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Our Exclusive Details Explain Exactly What’s Going On

2021 2022 2023 2024 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury Platinum Sport
Photo Copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

A bombshell report last week claims that General Motors will soon offer a dealer-installed supercharger package for its line of T1 platform full-size SUVs. Per Motor Trend, a $10,000 kit will add up to 200 horsepower on 6.2L V8 powered Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and/or Cadillac Escalade SUVs. The kit would also include brake and suspension upgrades.

However, the report is largely untrue.

2021 2022 2023 GMC Yukon AT4 SUV
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Here’s what’s really happening: the Cadillac Escalade is getting a supercharged V8, from the factory, and that’s so far been the only approved supercharged V8 project for the T1 platform. MC&T first reported this so-called Cadillac Escalade-V back in 2019, and if you’ve been keeping up with us, you already knew this.

Since our original report, rumors have percolated that General Motors is supercharging its pickup trucks to compete with the Ram TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor, which we had to clarify hasn’t been approved for production. It’s a product offering that’s been explored. Not approved.

The same goes with allegations of GM fixing to supercharge its Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs via a dealer-installed supercharger kit. It’s been an explored possibility, like the trucks, but remains on hold, at best. According to our network of sources, there’s a stronger possibility that the proposal went stillborn. Much like the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

In other words, a dealer-installed supercharger kit for GM SUVs isn’t “happening,” as the report suggests. And as General Motors plunges deep into a fully electric vehicle portfolio, a dealer-installed supercharger upgrade for V8 SUVs seems to go against current marching orders, as well as a budget, one might say.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban GM SUV T1 Platform
Photo by Chevrolet

The original report also cross-wires the reason as to why GM’s T1 platform SUVs feature encrypted ECUs stemming from GM’s new Global B electrical architecture, AKA the GM Vehicle Intelligent Platform (VIP), and why GM’s T1 pickup trucks do not currently have the same levels of cybersecurity. It’s not to corner the aftermarket, as the report claims. That’s merely a consequence.

The only reason is because the neural systems of the T1 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks simply do not yet operate on GM VIP. They still run on a previous generation hardware, which does not yet support the processing power, OTA updates, higher resolution screens, or encrypted control units.

However, this changes with a coming 2022 model year refresh for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Again, you read it here first a while ago.

The MT report is also incorrect about the engine under the hood of GM’s SUVs. The 6.2L V8 is the L87, not the LT1. Yes, there are engineering differences. The only GM vehicle offering an LT1 at the moment is the Chevrolet Camaro, while the C8 Corvette exclusively utilizes the LT2.

All of this isn’t to say that General Motors shouldn’t supercharge its SUVs. Anybody with a good read on the pulse of the market knows that plenty of deep-pocketed customers would gladly pay up for more power in these full-sized behemoths. We’d wager the company is leaving piles of money on the table if they don’t. But since we’re in the business of reporting facts, we thought you’d like to know that you shouldn’t be planning on it happening.

Whipple Supercharger
GM T1 Truck supercharger. Image via Whipple.


Written by Sam Krahn

Sam graduated with a communications Degree from Wayne State University, where he was also a member of the swim team. He's interested to see how new technology will affect the American performance vehicle landscape.

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