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A red 2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition is shown after leaving a Chevy Tahoe dealer.

Chevy Brings Law Enforcement Experience to New Tahoe RST Performance Edition

Drivers might not typically be drawn to the full-size SUV segment when they have high performance in mind, but Chevy is hoping to change that with the new 2023 Tahoe RST Performance Edition. Offering more pure power than any Tahoe model before it, the RST is the perfect way to inject the reliable daily drive with a little bit of a high-octane edge.

To that end, Chevy has loaded the RST Performance Edition with a number of upgrades to the chassis, suspension, and engine. While these types of performance-minded upgrades might seem like an odd pairing for a full-size SUV, there’s a clear precedent in the automotive world: pursuit-rated models produced for the nation’s law enforcement agencies. Chevy has long been supplying police departments, highway patrols, and the like with beefed-up versions of their full-size offerings, which come in particularly handy when it comes to high-speed chases and other emergency scenarios. Before you head out to your local Chevy Tahoe dealer, let’s take a closer look at the 2023 RST Performance Edition and see why law enforcement agencies across the country have made the full-size SUV their go-to choice when it comes time to protect and serve.

A grey 2021 Chevy Tahoe PPV is shown parked on a bridge.

The PPV and SSV

The partnership between Chevy and the nation’s law enforcement agencies stretches back decades. General Motors has long provided fleet vehicles for local police departments, federal agencies, and the like, but the RST traces its lineage back to 1997 when Chevy rolled out the Pursuit-Rated Package for law enforcement. The offering proved a success and initiated a close relationship between the automaker and law enforcement that continues to this day. Chevy actively seeks input from the community, introducing new features in response to feedback received from those on the front lines. General Motors even formed a Law Enforcement Product Council in the early 2000s, creating a platform where ranking law enforcement officers and civilian fleet managers can have a hand in designing future pursuit-rated models.

Chevy currently makes two law enforcement-focused versions of the Tahoe: the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) and Special Service Vehicle (SSV). While the SSV is designed for off-road and towing purposes, it’s the PPV that provides the blueprint for the new RST model. Engineered for high-speed driving without sacrificing any of the handling necessary to perform highly technical takedown maneuvers, the PPV sees a number of upgrades over the base model Tahoe.

It all starts with the SUV’s 5.3-liter V8 engine, which is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission to deliver 355 horsepower (380 hp when using E85) and 383 lb-ft of torque (416 with E85). The PPV version of the Tahoe also borrows the rocker covers from the Chevy Camaro ZL1 LT4 engine, which goes a long way towards improving crankcase ventilation and allowing the Tahoe to keep pace when it’s most important. The PPV Tahoe also sees the addition of a new, heavy-duty cooling system designed specifically for the law enforcement model, which keeps engine oil and transmission fluid temperatures at an ideal level.

Chevy collaborated with Bridgestone to give the pursuit-rated Tahoe the right tires for its demanding role, and the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tire is the result. Mounted to 20-inch wheels, this all-season tire went through extensive testing that saw dramatic improvements to its stopping distance. The Firehawk Pursuit tires shave 11 feet off the Tahoe’s 62-to-zero-mph stopping distance: an important metric that is especially vital when it comes to law enforcement applications.

In addition to its tires, rocker covers, and heavy-duty cooling system, the PPV and SSV feature an overhauled suspension with monotube dampers, coil springs and stabilizer bars, a robust braking system with Brembo monoblock calipers on 16-inch rotors, a heavy-duty clutch-type limited-slip rear differential, and a lower ride height for improved aerodynamics and stability. With a speedometer rated to 140 mph, the law enhancement version of the Tahoe is surprisingly fast for its large size, so scofflaws should take note.


With the 2023 Tahoe RST, Chevy is bringing some of the best features of these law enforcement-focused models to the civilian market. The full-size SUV takes more than a few pages from the PPV and SSV, with the same engineering team contributing to its high-performance design. “The 2023 Tahoe RST Performance Edition is designed for those who want the best of both worlds––the everyday comfort and capability of a full-size SUV along with the driving excitement of a true performance vehicle,” said Chevrolet vice president Scott Bell.

It all starts with the RST’s 6.2-liter V8, which is even larger than the engine found on the PPS and SSV models. By introducing Chevy’s performance induction and exhaust systems to the mix, the Tahoe is able to squeeze 433 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque out of the engine––a 13 horsepower and 7 lb-ft increase over the regular 6.2-liter V8. That’s powerful enough to allow the RST to achieve a zero-to-sixty time of just 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 124 mph, which is a 12 mph improvement over the base model. Best of all, these performance upgrades don’t come at the cost of the SUV’s towing and hauling prowess, which remains at an impressive 8,300-pound maximum when equipped with the 6.2-liter engine.

“We have carefully tuned this vehicle to handle speed with confidence and control that is immediately apparent behind the wheel,” said Dominique Lester, chief engineer of the RST. “The pursuit-rated driving dynamics inspire excitement and confidence on the road, and we’re proud to have achieved this level of ride and handling in a full-size SUV largely through performance calibration and tuning.”

In addition to its performance-tuned engine, the RST also features all the top-tier components one would expect from a law enforcement-inspired model. From police-spec springs, dampers, and chassis to Brembo front and rear brakes with Torch Red calipers that are 25 percent larger than previous RST offerings and the same Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires from the PPV and SSV models, the RST Performance Edition is basically a high-end police SUV is a plainclothes getup. Of course, Chevy has gone to lengths to set it apart from feeling too utilitarian, with a full suite of active safety and driver convenience features thanks to the Luxury Package that’s included as standard.

A red 2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance is shown from the rear driving on a city highway.

A Sporty Yet Functional Full-Size SUV

For drivers seeking a sporty alternative to the stolid full-size SUV, the 2023 Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition provides the perfect compromise. While just as capable as the rest of the full-size competition when it comes to towing, hauling, and cargo duties, the Tahoe RST Performance Edition takes the everyday driving experience to the next level with a full complement of performance-tuned components and heavy-duty gear all backed by Chevy’s reputation for reliability. We might normally write off such models as little more than the latest marketing gimmick, but with Chevy’s long-standing relationship with some of the country’s top law enforcement agencies, the RST Performance Edition is a different beast altogether.

Chevy’s close relationship with law enforcement and the experience gleaned from the brand’s Law Enforcement Product Council allows Chevy––and GM as a whole––to become an expert in the unique demands of such a role, and now that expertise is being passed on to every driver. The civilian version might lack the flashing blue lights and decals of on-duty models like the PPV and SSV, but it folds in many of the best features of those taxpayer-funded Tahoes to give regular drivers a truly unique SUV experience.

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