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SEMA Live: Chevrolet Suburban 4.5L Duramax HD Z71 [Update]

This Suburban packs GM's shelved 4.5-liter diesel motor under the hood. Could it be headed to production?

Chevrolet unveiled the one-off Suburban HD Z71 today at the SEMA show in Las Vegas to celebrate its 100th anniversary. But this 'burb is more than just a crazy paint job; it combines the basic body of a standard Suburban with GM's shelved 4.5-liter Duramax diesel and heavy-duty components from the automaker's Silverado HD trucks.

Look beyond the airbrushed paint job showing the history of the Chevrolet division and you'll find the Silverado HD's fender flares and front end, plus a Duramax badge.

Update: 4.5-liter Duramax Diesel

Underneath the higher-than-stock hood, as the badge indicates, sits the 4.5-liter diesel V8 that GM had previously put on hold back in 2009 due to financial constraints and other issues. GM wasn't talking specifics concerning power output, but the engine likely makes in excess of 300 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque.

Other modifications include the front-end assembly from a Silverado HD and a 9.5-inch, 14-bolt rear axle. Aesthetic touches include 20-inch chrome wheels, a billet fuel door and an imposing tailpipe.

Clearly, this Suburban would make a superior tow vehicle compared with a run-of-the-mill gas-powered Suburban, but the bowtie brand hasn't offered a diesel-burner from the factory in more than a decade.

Special oversized alloy wheels complete the look. To us, this Suburban looks just about ready to go into production... but Chevrolet still needs to hear that there's enough real demand to produce it.