The Callaway Cars name is known far and wide for its high-performance Corvette variants and other specialty sports cars over the years, but you may not know that Callaway offers similar supercharger upgrades for GM Trucks and SUVs. So when we hear calls from Corvette enthusiasts clamoring for a Corvette-branded SUV, we say “Well, what about Callaway?”
Our friend Chris Chessnoe from Callaway was driving through Florida a few months back and let me know he would be passing through Tampa. So we grabbed a quick dinner at a Portillos and then headed out to the parking lot to check out his latest ride.
We are used to seeing Chris at all the various Corvette shows with a Callaway Corvette, but this trip through Florida he was driving a supercharged Callaway Tahoe.
Like their Corvette program, Callaway also offers packages for the Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban and Escalade SUVs through a select number of authorized Callaway dealers that brings a variety of upgrades to both the 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines.
I’ve been daily driving SUVs for the past 20 years and I always enjoy any opportunity to get behind the wheel of any of the SUV/Truck offerings from GM, but I wasn’t prepared for the level of performance and sophistication offered on the Callaway Tahoe.
The version I drove featured the SC560 package on the 6.2L V8 which adds the Callaway GenThree TVS2300 supercharger with its triple-cooled intercooler system, a high-flow “Honker” cold air intake, and a low restriction exhaust system that boosts the Tahoe’s horsepower to 560-hp and torque to 553 lb-ft!
We took the Tahoe out to the busy streets of Brandon and the Callaway didn’t disappoint. The engine offers unexpected power on-demand with no hesitation from the supercharger when called for. The Tahoe’s 10-speed automatic transmission produced smooth shifts while the exhaust sound produced a rich V8 rumble that you sometimes find your foot easing onto the accelerator just to hear the sound. And speaking of sounds, under regular driving, you can catch just the hint of the GenThree supercharger “wine” emanating from under the hood. That power on demand is very intoxicating indeed!
Those that pull up next to the Tahoe may not realize there is a performance car lurking under that SUV chassis, and the ability to drive a high-performance
sportscar SUV in stealth mode may be just the ticket for more than one soccer mom or dad that wants the same level of performance from their ‘Vettes in their SUVs as well.
That’s not saying that the Callaway Tahoe is devoid of exterior styling cues. Callaway adds a special SC560 badge to the Tahoe’s grill and rear hatch while CALLAWAY is spelled out on the driver and passenger doors. The Callaway name can also be found etched on top of the low-flow exhaust tips, and it’s also featured on an under-the-hood plaque with the Vehicle Identification Number. Inside are Callaway floormats and there are several optional interior upgrades that add a Callaway sport steering wheel or a pedal package. How far you take it is your choice.
Owners can also select between two optional wheel packages that outfit the SUV with 20″ 9-spoke Anthracite or 22″ 10-spoke Black Chrome forged aluminum alloys. Both wheel packages are lighter than the stock wheels which helps to reduce the unsprung mass and improves handling.
Callaway also offers some impressive handling packages for the more adventurous among us. The SUV handling package lowers the Tahoe by two inches in the front and three inches in the rear and the suspension is updated to create a firm, but not harsh ride. Larger front and rear anti-roll bars keep the body roll under control. You can also check the box for a Le Mans GT Brake Package that further reduces the stock weight and increases the stopping power dramatically.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Rough Terrain Package option which increases the ride height of the SUV by two inches and adds Callaway’s rough terrain dampers and Callaway 20″x9″ FlowForged wheels that are wrapped with Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrack 33″ tires that meet severe snow standards. So now you can drive a performance vehicle all year round!
You own a Corvette so we know you like to drive a car that is powerful and responsive, yet comfortable and easy to handle. Callaway offers the level of performance you’ve come to expect out of the sportscar, so let them show you what they can do with your daily driver SUV. With the SC560 package in place, the Callaway Tahoe RST runs 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and can do a quarter mile in just 13.1 seconds at 107 mph! And if that isn’t impressive enough, the supercharged Tahoe can also take seven people out for a night on the town or haul some lumber home from the hardware store.
I think of Corvette Racing’s Doug Fehan who always gives a few minutes to promote GM’s vehicles during his Corvette corral talks. He knows that for most of the people in attendance, the Corvette is a specialty car and that the garage is also shared with a pickup truck, SUV, or sedan, and why those others should be GM vehicles. Let me take it a step further and ask this. Wouldn’t you want an SUV that offers performance on par with your Corvette? So why not a Callaway SUV?
Callaway’s supercharged packages for the Tahoe begin at $17,995 for either the SC480 (5.3L) or the SC560 (6.2L) and the work is performed at Callaway’s locations on the East and West Coast. There’s also that network of authorized dealers who service and support your Callaway ownership after the sale.
While there may be other performance SUVs available today, there really is no other company that has the street credibility that Callaway brings to the table. All their vehicles offer a 3-Year/36K mile limited warranty on top of GM’s bumper to bumper coverage so you’re performance upgrades from Callaway are covered.
Two of the Chevrolet dealers that are sponsors of CorvetteBlogger are also authorized Callaway dealers. Criswell in Gaithersburg, Maryland has Callaway Tahoe and Suburban SC560 models available right now, ready for delivery. MacMulkin in Nashua, New Hampshire has an Escalade SC560 which will be in stock shortly and we’re told that it’s an awesome luxury performer!
For more information about Callaway’s Truck and SUV offerings, visit CallawayCars.com or call 860-434-9002 to get started!
Neither the author or the website were compensated for this review. All words are the author’s own.