Increasing numbers of the Avalanche have been seen rolling around at shows, dirt roads, and freeway stops. With the newness of this crossover SUV from Chevy, enthusiasts are anxiously waiting to see what becomes of the Avalanche when the aftermarket becomes involved. Sport Truck went on a search to find the latest and greatest trends of building these beasts. Luckily, a few choice builds popped out of the woodwork and demonstrated what ideas and products meld well with the new Avalanche.

Chevrolet started fresh on the drawing board for this one. Although the Avalanche has virtually the same undercarriage and suspension as a Suburban, engineers went to great lengths to improve upon an already great design. Factory coils in the rear and torsion bars up front make the 5.3L-powered 1/2-ton version ride like a dream. The upgraded hauling version comes with an 8.1L engine, leaves out back, and a capacity of 3/4-ton. With existing components on the market for Suburbans, it’s only natural that many bolt right up.

On the inside, Chevy has offered four levels of trim ranging from the basic cloth to a full-tilt North Face leather edition. While this isn’t the cheapest SUV on the market, its unique convert-a-cab system justifies the expense. With this industry-first design, Chevrolet has again placed itself in the forefront of design and capability. The unseen benefits of the Avalanche design only come through while driving. Streamlined cab support, hydro-formed frame, and a full isolated suspension make the Avalanche a quality and quiet ride, whether at 80 mph with the windows down or jumping about canyons.

The outright simplicity and ruggedness of design make this a great base for customization. Suspension geometry gives an advantage with lifts and lowering alike, while the stout cab body and frame provide a strong base for heavy use (running 70 mph on a dirt road). In our Aug. ‘01 issue, we featured a full road test on the Avalanche. Now get ready, hide your checkbook, and turn the page to get a feel for some of the exciting modifications being done to the Avalanche.