LS9-Powered Chevrolet Tahoe is One Wicked Sleeper

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Other than some subtle aesthetic tweaks, no one would be any the wiser as to what’s going on under the hood of this Chevy Tahoe.

While there are some fast examples of the GMT400-based Chevrolet Tahoe, this might be the most interesting. While flipping through the Chevrolet listings on Bring-A-Trailer, we came across this unique SUV that packs well over 650 horsepower from a worked LS9.

An Unexpected Beast

Imagine that you are sitting at a stop light in your newer Camaro SS when a 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe rolls up alongside. It has a unusually healthy rumble coming from the exhaust and as the cross-traffic slows, the big SUV rolls forward like he wants to race you. You reply by inching forward, eagerly waiting for the green light and your chance to put bus-lengths on this fool and his big, heavy SUV.

LS9 Tahoe Front Driver

The light turns green, you hammer the throttle of your muscle car and within seconds, the big Tahoe is several lengths ahead of you. As you try to catch up, the full-size family hauler just keeps on pulling away. Confused, you wonder what has happened, but little did you know – you just got beaten down by an SUV with the heart of the Corvette ZR1.

LS9 GMT400

That’s right – this average-looking Chevrolet Tahoe is powered by an LS9 GM crate engine. In the C6 Corvette ZR1, this engine would have delivered 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, but that wasn’t enough for the owner. This LS9 is fitted with a Lingenfelter pulley kit, a tuned ECU, headers and a full custom exhaust system, so it is likely making considerably more horsepower than a stock C6 ZR1.

Ls9 Tahoe Engine Bay

All of that supercharged power is sent to all four wheels via a built 4L80 transmission, a GM performance front axle assembly, a Dana 60 rear axle assembly and 3.73 gears in both housings. On the ends of those differential housings is an Baer big brake setup with 14-inch rotors up front and 13-inch rotors in the rear, but those bigger brakes required more clearance than the stock wheels offered – hence the decision to swap to the newer chrome rollers.

LS9 Tahoe Passenger Side

Finally, the LS9-powered Tahoe has been lowered with a custom suspension setup while traction bars help to make the most of all of that supercharged power.

LS9 Tahoe Under

With no real exterior changes shy of the newer wheels and brakes and a fully-stock interior, this 1998 Tahoe looks like your average GM SUV, but with all of that power, it will outperform many high performance cars – making this one incredible sleeper.

Ls9 Tahoe Interior

Check out the video above for a look at this machine in action and if you are in the market for an LS9-powered Chevy Tahoe, this could be your next daily driver.

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A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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