In the recent years, trucks and SUVs are the fastest they’ve ever been, at least as far as street performance goes. GM is making them pretty sweet from the factory, and then owners can take them to endless levels of performance when they get them home, that’s thanks to a massive and growing aftermarket for this niche in the performance market. Hawks Motorsports shows us a nice example of that with this 2016 L83 Chevy Tahoe when they throw it on the dyno after a few upgrades.
This Tahoe came from GM with an L83 engine, which is a EcoTech Flex-Fuel 5.3L, in case you’re not familiar with the call out code. The 325ci cast aluminum block has an 11.0:1 compression ratio and direct fuel injection with Active Fuel Management from the factory, with a power rating of 355 @ 5600 horsepower and 383 @ 4100 lb-ft. of torque — keep in mind that’s not at the rear wheels, RWHP would be in the low 300s stock. Backing the sporty SUV engine is a beefy 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.
So, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the Tahoe’s are both extremely capable foundations while having a lot more potential to squeeze out of it — and this one’s owner decided it was time to start squeezing! Let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room now too — this Tahoe is dressed up an awful lot like a patrol car, with no markings, so tread lightly if you see one like it, maybe don’t mess with it.
The heart of this build is a Texas Speed and Performance camshaft and set of heads. They also added an intake, and TSP VVT/DOD delete. Exhaust flows through Kooks headers and y-pipe, and a custom PCM calibration from Hawks Motorsports brings everything together to maximize performance from the build.
An impressive 3rd gear pull demonstration shows us that this is no longer your average medium duty SUV. The results? An impressive 354 RWHP and 375 RWTQ, with a solid power band across the board.
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!