RS combines turbo power with blacked-out styling

Chevrolet pulled the covers off the all-new second-generation 2018 Traverse crossover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Now, a year later, Chevy is finally making the Traverse RS available to customers. The news happens as Chevy officially pulls the covers off the sporterized SUV at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.

The Traverse RS takes cues off other Chevy RS models by adding blacked-out styling cues, larger 20-inch gray wheels, and those red RS badges. The Traverse RS even gets blacked-out Chevy bowties. The overall look isn’t terribly different than the Traverse’s other trim levels, but it’s just enough to justify the special badging.

But the outward appearance is only half the story. The big news is what’s under the RS’ hood.

Chevy has dropped in its familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This marks the first time the Traverse has used forced induction since its introduction in 2009. The engine uses direct fuel injection and variable valve timing on its dual overhead cams to deliver 257 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, 90 percent of which is available at only 2,100 rpm. The engine pairs exclusively with GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission that powers the front wheels. Unlike the V-6 Traverse, AWD is not available.

Continue reading for more information on the 2018 Chevy Traverse RS.

Turbo-Fueled Torque Monster For Families

The 2018 Chevy Traverse RS Gets Ready for Chicago Exterior
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The 2.0-liter has 29 pound-feet more torque than the V-6. Unfortunately, horsepower is down by 53 horses.

While a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder might sound far too small for a three-row full-size crossover that weights no less than 4,362 pounds, Chevy somehow was able to squeeze more torque from the four-pot than what the V-6 engine achieves.

Yep, the Traverse’s 3.6-liter V-6 makes 310 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm. That means the 2.0-liter has 29 pound-feet more torque. Horsepower is down by 53 horses compared to the V-6, however. The interesting power figures certainly spark a debate over horsepower, torque, and engine revs.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of daily diving by regular people is done well below an engine’s peak horsepower. Even when merging on to an interstate, the average person probably won’t squeeze every last revolution from their engine. In the V-6’s case, peak horsepower happens at 6,800 rpm – well above what most people would ever use – and what the nine-speed automatic would allow before upshifting to a higher gear.

As such, the 2.0-liter turbo-four and its 29 more pound-feet of torque would likely feel more powerful during daily driving. That’s especially true since the 2.0 offers 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,100 rpm. That’s smack in the middle of usable revs.

The 2018 Chevy Traverse RS Gets Ready for Chicago Exterior
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The 2.0-liter turbo-four and its 29 more pound-feet of torque would likely feel more powerful during daily driving.

Then there is fuel economy. Chevy says a FWD Traverse with the V-6 will get 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway while the FWD Traverse with the 2.0-liter turbo is expected to achieve 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. While the V-6 does best the I-5 by one mpg on the highway, city fuel economy is better by two mpg with the 2.0-liter.

Standard Equipment with the Traverse RS

The RS trim level is one step above the LT Leather trim in the 2018 Traverse’s wide range of trims. At $43,095, it splits the cost between the LT Leather at $42,195 and the Premier at $45,495.

Since the RS is based on the LT Leather, it means it comes pretty well-equipped. It also means the second-row bench seat is replaced with captain’s chairs. The list of standard equipment includes the upgraded HID headlights with LED daytime running lights; the larger 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi; heated front seats; tri-zone climate controls; universal home remote for garage door and gate openers; the premium Bose sound system with 10 speakers; a power liftgate; and keyless entry with remote start and passive entry.

The 2018 Chevy Traverse RS Gets Ready for Chicago Exterior
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Standard safety items include Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert; Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Surround View 360-degree camera system; Rear Camera Mirror; Rear Seat Reminder; and Teen Driver.

And because the RS is basically an appearance package, it includes black leather seats and a choice between five exterior colors. These include Mosaic Black Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Cajun Red, and Iridescent Pearl.

The 2018 Traverse goes on sale now for $43,095. That includes Chevy’s destination fee, but of course, excludes things like tax, tag, and other ancillary fees dealerships tend to charge.


Chevrolet Traverse

2018 Chevrolet Traverse High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse.

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Read more Chicago Auto Show news.

With turbocharged performance and aggressive, blacked-out styling cues, the 2018 Traverse RS injects a distinctive dose of fun-to-drive sportiness into the midsize SUV segment.

Based on the redesigned 2018 Traverse, which offers best-in-class maximum cargo room (98.2 cubic feet1), more technologies than the previous model and an enhanced roster of available active safety features, the Traverse RS is part of an expanded six-trim lineup focused on capability, convenience and choice.

“The 2018 Traverse offers a full product lineup positioned to effectively compete across the segment,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “By offering customers more choice with higher-end entries like the RS, which has a more street-inspired look, and top-of-the-line High Country, Chevrolet now offers a comfortable and connected Traverse for every lifestyle.”

The RS’s unique styling elements include a black grille, black window trim, black roof rails and black bowtie emblems, along with 20-inch aluminum wheels featuring a Dark Android finish.

The RS is also the first Traverse model to offer turbocharged performance, delivering a spirited driving experience that is unique within the lineup. A power-dense, direct-injected Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine generates up to 257 horsepower (192 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). Ninety percent of the peak torque is available at only 2,100 rpm, for a confident feeling of power on demand at all speeds.

A nine-speed automatic transmission is matched with the engine, contributing to EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway.

Additional standard content on the Traverse RS includes:

HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps
Upper and lower active aero shutters
Chevrolet MyLink radio with 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen and navigation
OnStar® 4G LTE and available built-in Wi-Fi® hotspot (3-month/3GB data trial)2
Multicolor driver information center display
Jet Black leather-appointed seating surfaces
Heated front seats
Universal Home Remote
Tri-zone automatic climate control
Bose premium 10-speaker audio system
Power liftgate
Keyless Open with extended-range Remote Keyless Entry
Remote start
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert3
Rear Cross Traffic Alert3
Rear Park Assist3
Surround Vision3
Rear Camera Mirror3
Rear Seat Reminder4
Teen Driver3

The Traverse RS is on sale now with an MSRP of $43,095. The price includes the destination charge but excludes tax, title and other dealer fees.

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