General Motors has never offered its modern-day full-size SUVs with a diesel powertrain, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Apopka, Florida based shop Duraburb specializes in converting GM full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban into Duramax diesel-powered beasts. The shop is owned and run by Erich Swanson, a former automation engineer at Walt Disney World who couldn’t figure out why GM wasn’t offering diesel power in its big SUVs. He saw that as a business opportunity and in 2007 started Duraburb – a company that now pumps out over 50 trucks a year from its relatively tiny six-lift shop in the Sunshine State.
Duraburb has been building vehicles for the Secret Service, Border Patrol, and Department of Defense over the past few years, meaning Swanson couldn’t talk much about his business. He recently received an order from a private buyer for to convert a silver 2017 Chevrolet Suburban to 3500 Heavy Duty Spec and shared a video and photos of the completed SUV, giving us a rare look at the company’s work.
Thanks to a few upgrades, the Duramax Suburban makes around 550 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. According to Motor Authority, the owner reports an average fuel economy rating of around 21 MPG. That’s far from the craziest build Swanson has put together, though. That designation belongs to a customer who dropped a 1,050 horsepower, 1,900 lb-ft Duramax V8 in a 2005 Suburban, which is used for the daily school run. Talk about overkill.
Swanson’s conversions will run you about $45,000, with the 2017 Suburban pictured here costing around $135,000 total.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Discuss this story on our General Motors forum.