This Chevrolet Suburban you see right here costs around US$3.64 million each (or about PHP181 million), more than an ultra-rare hypercar like the Bugatti Chiron. Even in the Philippines, the current Suburban costs at most P5.339 million, and with the all-new model coming here soon, it will most likely retain that price tag.
But why is this particular Suburban priced astronomically high? GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, just recently won a contract from the U.S. Department of State to develop and validate their next generation Large Support Utility Commercial Vehicles (SUV) for future fleet production in support of the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
As part of the total development contract valued at $36.4 million, GM Defense will create a purpose-built Heavy-Duty (HD) Suburban, building 10 vehicles over the next two years. Divide this by 10, and you get value of US$3.64 million or PHP181 million for each SUV.
Apart from the obvious differences like the police lights, this isn’t actually your usual Chevy Suburban under the skin. Thanks to heavy-duty parts and a unique body-on-frame costruction developed from its heavy-duty pickups like the Silverado HD (basically the rival to the equally-large Ford F-250), the new and bespoke Chevrolet Suburban HD will have nearly the same toughness that meets the U.S. government’s requirements.
“We’re excited to be developing a fully-integrated, purpose-built HD Suburban in partnership with the U.S. Department of State,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense. “The Chevrolet Suburban has been an iconic name in commercial transportation since 1935. Our development contract win speaks to our long-standing legacy of exceeding transportation capabilities and our new, HD Suburban will deliver government-specific advanced mobility solutions to meet the needs of DSS.”
GM Defense will deliver the vehicles in two phases, the first delivery of which will be next spring. A production contract to build a fleet of 200 HD Suburbans per year for nine years is expected to succeed the completion of the development contract in or about May 2023.