2018 Callaway Tahoes
The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier RST was already the hottest Tahoe you can get direct from Chevrolet; with their new 10-speed automatic transmission and a high-capacity air cleaner, along with an available Borla exhaust system to get the most out of its 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8.
That clearly wasn’t enough for Callaway of course, so they added their SC560 package; which includes their GenThree TVS2300 Supercharger, a TripleCooled intercooler system, a high-flow intake, and low restriction exhaust. Collectively, all of that whips up 560-horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque from the EcoTec3 L86 V8.
Eager to see what the results would be, we quickly headed to our test track. No major problems getting a clean hole shot, as the Callaway snaps off the line. Then, amid a raucous V8 roar and brutal sounding exhaust, the SC560 leaps to 60 in just 4.8-seconds, a noticeable half second quicker than the stock RST.
Smooth and rapid shifts from the 10-speed automatic keep the party going the entire ¼-mile; ending in 13.1-seconds at 107 miles-per-hour.
But this is no straight-line only, one trick pony. Callaway also sweetens up GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension. The results were a tight and firm trip through our slalom course.
There is a brake upgrade, and we recommended it for hard chargers; although with average stops of a fine 126-feet from 60, the standard Chevy binders worked quite well. The pedal just feels vague and not attached.
Now, in hot pursuit of this SC560 was… surprise, yet another Tahoe. This one a PPV, or Police Pursuit Vehicle; to which Callaway has added their SC480 package. They dropped it off for us to play with for a few days, before delivering it to a police department somewhere down South.
The SC480 package consists of mostly the same hardware as the SC560, but things are just not tuned quite as drastically.
Output here is “only” 480-horsepower and 477 lb-ft. of torque. But Callaway is working with the standard Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8 here, which starts out at 355-horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque.
And it gets off the line plenty quick itself; accompanied by a vicious and intimidating rumble from the exhaust, as you romp to 60 in 5.7-seconds; over a second faster than stock.
Chasing down hooligans a ¼-mile at a time, takes just 14.0-seconds at an even 100 miles-per-hour.
Just a 6-speed transmission here with the 5.3-liter, and unfortunately it didn’t feel quite as ready to handle all of the additional power. There was a definite hiccup when shifting from 1st to 2nd. But, it smoothed out as you moved up gears, and this Tahoe certainly feels nice and stable at high speeds.
Callaway offers plenty of ways to spruce your ride as well. But our SC560 kept things pretty tame; sporting just the optional 22-inch tire and wheel package outside and the Sport Pedal package inside.
Those are of course, in addition to the usual Callaway branding.
Meanwhile, our SC480 PPV was accessorized with police car accoutrements. So, if you see these flashing in your rearview, do everyone involved a favor, and pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Or, you might end up experiencing just how roomy the Tahoe’s rear seat is on your way to central booking.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for 4X4 Tahoes are 14-City, 22-Highway, and 17-Combined with the 6.2-liter V8; 16-City, 22-Highway, and 18-Combined for the 5.3-liter.
The Chevrolet Tahoe Premier RST 4X4 is already a pricy proposition, at $71,945; so adding all of these Callaway goodies will put you close to 100Gs. If you wish to add the SC480 package to a standard Tahoe, and no it doesn’t have to be a police special, it will cost you about $18,000 over the Tahoe’s base of $49,290. To us that’s a bargain.
“Powerfully engineered automobiles” is Callaway’s creed, and they’re preaching it loud and clear here. Amen, brother! Message received, with this pair of 2018 Tahoes. A hell-raising RST SC560 that’s looking to get you into trouble, and a PPV SC480 that’s ready to catch you in the act.
- 2018 Callaway Tahoe RST SC560:
- Engine: 5.3 liter
- Horsepower: 480
- Torque: 477 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 14.0 seconds @100 mph
- EPA: 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
- 2018 Callaway Tahoe PPV SC480: