A nameplate once synonymous with an SUV will no longer be an SUV.
It’s been nearly a year since we first learned Chevrolet plans to bring back the iconic Blazer, an SUV built from 1969 till 2005. The nameplate is synonymous with off-roading and just about everything else a true SUV is capable of. Unfortunately, it does not appear Chevrolet has plans for its reborn Blazer to compete head-on with the also reborn Ford Bronco SUV. That’s because the Blazer is coming back as a crossover. Our spy photographers caught what appears to be an advanced prototype in southern Europe undergoing hot weather testing.
Sources claim the new Blazer will fill the slot between the Equinox and the Traverse, and is built on the same platform, known internally as Chi, as the latest GMC Acadia and the just revealed Cadillac XT4. It’s also expected to be a five-seater with two rows. Under the hood there’ll likely be a choice of two familiar engines, the entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the optional 3.6-liter V6. If you recall, these are the exact same engines available in the Acadia, though there’s one interesting change: a nine-speed automatic transmission is expected to replace the Acadia’s six-speed unit. The Blazer will go head-to-head against the likes of the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.
Thanks to platform sharing and common engines, the new Blazer mainly required only a new design inside and out. It’s no longer badge engineering (old GM), but rather platform engineering (nearly the entire auto industry today). An official debut is expected to happen at either Los Angeles in November or in Detroit in January.