After months without pictures, we now finally know what the Chevrolet Blazer SS will actually look like thanks to a Twitter post from General Motors CEO Mary Barra. There’s a lot going on here, so let’s unpack the Blazer’s design a touch and recap what we know about Chevy’s future midsize electric crossover.
Let’s start at the front of the Blazer. The full-width front light bar looks great with the daytime running lights on, so hopefully it still looks great when the low-beam headlights are on. Moving down the fascia, there’s a lot of dark-colored plastic here with little actual grille surface area. It’s en-vogue and should age quite well, although it’s rather unnecessary considering an EV’s cooling needs.
Moving along to the side of the Blazer, you can’t help but feel that this thing’s a bit like a layer cake – black, body color, more black, some sort of skirt package. The first layer of black lowers the roofline, the second layer of black shrinks the visual height of the body, while the weird faux-splitters ooze the eBay-sourced false bravado so popular in modern performance cars. Like heartbeat graphics on Geo Trackers, these oddly-contoured bits of plastic imply a certain sportiness. On the plus side, the sharp character lines over the fenders are very Audi, and the steady roofline actually looks like it should allow for a rather usable cargo area.
Of course, while we’re at the side of the Blazer, we must address some weirdness. Oh Blazer! My, what large gills you have. Yeah, the fish-like apertures on the front fenders are a bit strange, but they’re likely placed there for a purpose. See, the Blazer rides on the BEV3 architecture that also underpins the Cadillac Lyriq, and the Lyriq has its charging port right on the left front fender. Judging by the fender cut line, there’s a solid chance that the Blazer’s left gill opens up to reveal a CCS port. Add in how the scalloping into the door tricks viewers into believing the Blazer’s dash-to-axle ratio is longer than it actually is, and there’s good reason for Chevrolet’s stylists to pull this trick.
So how about underpinnings then? With Detroit’s pony car wars seemingly shifting into, um, Clydesdale wars, the Blazer takes aim squarely at Ford’s Mustang Mach-E electric crossover. How do we know for sure? Two little letters tell us so. While Juicy sweatsuits and trucker hats are back, this isn’t the 2000s when Chevrolet would slap an SS emblem on everything from the Silverado pickup truck to the Malibu midsize rental car. Over the past decade, the SS emblem has been applied to Camaros, rebadged V8 Holden Commodores, and that’s about it. Proper high-performance vehicles, so this Blazer must be packing some serious heat.
As a sign of Chevrolet’s seriousness, take a look at the Blazer SS’ tires. They’re Continental’s DWS06 Plus performance all-seasons, a rather interesting potential choice that seems to imply a few possibilities. See, the DWS06 Plus is quiet, grippy, and a solid all-season choice, but it isn’t the most crossover-focused tire on the market. The only off-the-shelf 20-inch size that would fit a typical modern crossover in a square fitment application is a 255/50ZR20. Everything else is either really wide or doesn’t have the sidewall. With a load index of 109 in 255/50ZR20 sizing, assume a total load rating of 9,084 pounds assuming even weight distribution. It’s no secret that electric vehicles are heavy, so the possibility of a 109 load index might somewhat kneecap the Blazer SS’ towing capacity. Of course, there’s also the very substantial chance that the Blazer SS won’t use a size or tire carcass off the shelf.
See, GM works quite extensively with tire companies to develop high-performance tires for GM vehicles, with each high-performance GM OE tire often coming stamped with the characters TPC SPEC. Goodyear makes original equipment tires for high-performance Camaros like the ZL1 1LE, Michelin makes original equipment tires for Corvettes, so this could be the first time in recent history that Continental has been an OE tire supplier for a high-performance Chevrolet vehicle. Continental does offer a TPC Spec SportContact 6 SSR for the all-wheel-drive variant of the Cadillac CT4-V, so this should be a good connection to leverage. If the Blazer SS does end up with a bespoke tire, I assume several crossover owners with direct fitment options will be pretty excited.
A six-lug hub pattern is also a fairly interesting choice. GM’s no stranger to six-bolt-hubs on cars that shouldn’t need them like the first-generation Cadillac CTS-V, so it shouldn’t be hugely surprising that both the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Blazer feature six fasteners. Hey, EVs are heavy and torque-rich, more clamping force likely isn’t a bad thing. However, it does mean that future Blazer SS owners who want a separate set of winter wheels might have to look harder for wheels than anyone with a common 5×114.3mm or 5x112mm bolt pattern. Of course, the brakes will also likely be a complicating factor. If we crop in to the front wheel and lighten the image, we can see a pretty beefy brake caliper peeking out from behind the spokes. A rather nice thing to see, if I’m being honest.
Honestly, we don’t know much more than this about the Chevrolet Blazer EV. What we can tell you for sure is that the full reveal is set for July 18, with an on-sale date in the Spring of 2023. While this first look is certainly promising, it’s worth mentioning that the SS won’t be the only Blazer on the market. GM hasn’t yet released photographs of lower-trim models which will likely receive different cosmetic treatments from this high-performance trim.
I’m quite interested in seeing where this crossover goes. More performance vehicles of any sort that aren’t from luxury brands seem like a good thing, and electric crossovers are genuinely pretty great. Take a propulsion tech that’s heavy but green, slap it in a practical but typically lumbering and inefficient vehicle, and get properly low running costs, heaps of space, and a relatively small handling penalty over a regular crossover or electric sedan. Plus, they’re great for hauling parts we can put on our fun cars. Now who’s going to be the first to pick up an LS3 crate motor in an electric Blazer?
I don’t see myself buying one, but I do like it. Maybe it’s the photos, but it looks a little more “car” and a little less “SUV”. I’m not nostalgic about the name, but the old ICE model is so typically “crossover” that I confuse it with a Kia or Hyundai on the road. The EV has some individuality and seems intent in its design. Maybe it doesn’t seriously off-road, but I bet it’s fast, and it’s a heckuva lot easier to accept an EV Blazer than if they’d called it “Super Sport-E Camaro”!
It’s that black running board, classic trick to slim down a car’s profile. See also Ferrari 512BB, NA Miata, and Audi B5 A4
So they put some batteries and fancy bits onto their box of warm oatmeal that they shit all over the Blazer name with, called it an SS, and I’m supposed to give a shit? Another swing and a big old whiff for Chevy.
My 70k mile ’92 Blazer was an utter POS and almost got myself killed.
So yeah, one can put the Blazer name on a vial of Anthrax and it’d still be an improvement.
Might not be what you’d expect from a “Blazer”, but it’s alright. There are worse cars on the road with famous names or badges on them.
I don’t hate the looks of this EV version. I find it slightly more attractive than most of the crossover things you find on the road these days. I have found memories of my old bosses K5 Blazer with a diesel (6.2?) so this iteration of the Blazer will always be a letdown by comparison.
I am interested, will see what the final result is.
At least they didn’t call it the Camaro SUV, unlike what Ford did.
I think they should have saved the Blazer name for the relaunch of the Bolt.
Like most modern vehicles, the front end is a hodgepodge of creases and fake vents. The Mach-E isn’t all that great with it’s battering ram front end, but this isn’t the answer.
On the plus side, if this thing has any combustible battery issues like the Bolt, it will be appropriately named.
This article makes my head hurt when it comes to naming. The first sentence doesn’t even align with the headline. Reminds me of when Subaru unveiled the Wilderness and half the internet was referring to the model as the Wilderness instead of it being a trim package. So all together now….
This is the Chevy Blazer EV. In SS trim.
I really appreciate that you included a photo of the last blazer in this article. I understand there’s only so much real estate for photos in an article (especially in the old magazine days), but I hate when articles talk about the new design changes in an upcoming model and don’t include any photo references to the last model so the reader can evaluate those changes. It’s especially annoying when the new model is only incrementally changed.
There is a Jalopnik level of whining on this article.
Get over the name. 99% of buyers do not care. In the crossover segment, the Blazer is more interesting than the majority of vehicles. I think this looks good and should be more enjoyable to drive than most crossovers. Good on GM.
My 1 Boss had a Equinox…
Professionally.. she was a good solid person. But as a consumer and or someone who spent a chunk of her paycheck on a car… made a shitty decision. First one she bought.. she got stolen cause she left the keys somewhere. — Thats why I started carrying her Keys around with me. Im safer and have more of an attitude problem.. than she did.
Interesting… is truely in the eye of the beholder:
Case in point the “Chevy Captiva.” That thing is a WHORE. It was NEVER sold to the American Consumer as a new MSRP vehicle. It was only rented.. and or sold from the Rent-a-Wreck operators. — Which btw still bothers the EVER LOVING SHIT OUT OF ME… how someone could buy such a filthy Orrible piece of shit.
Then again… we live in a world where no one actually wants to drive…
Where the RCMP have arrested a dude as they did Device err Phone ticket blitzes.. and found a someone scrolling his device for CAT pictures.. cause he was that bored. Cost him 400bux… cause couldnt be attentive enough to drive.
I never understood why the car-internet hates on the Blazer so much. I guess it’s the name?
I see the ICE ones around town and they are a handsome, well proportioned alternative to a RAV4 or whatever. The electric one looks pretty sweet, and frankly I like Mary Barra and hope GM can be successful with EVs.
As much as I do hate GM… and I do, they took a name that went on a medicore trucklet… that was downsized from a decently respectable shortbed Truck…
Into a vehicle that has as much go.. as a bag of strawberry farts.
I go for substance over style. I want it worth something… not to look the part.
I say burn it to the ground with all of the other new shit thats on the market.
Because it looks like all of Chevy’s other bland as hell CUVs and is just a slightly different size.
It’s interesting that GM thinks (wrongly) that people buy cars based on the name of the car.
It’s likely mostly the history and nostalgia that was completely ignored to sell a few more units.. but it’s also downright hideous. One of the ugliest CUVs on the road imo. I guess you and I cancel each other out. Anyway to each their own.
I don’t think it’s the car as much as the name. The Blazer name used to be a hallowed nameplate. It would be like calling a compact car the Suburban, an electric sedan the 4runner, or a crossover a Mustang (another party foul, imo). This unfortunate naming also intensified when Ford released the full-sized Bronco (and it lived up to the name). They should have named the Blazer something that didn’t have such a historical weight to it.
I get it, but I don’t have nostalgia of seeing K5 Blazers rolling out with the tops off. When someone says blazer, I think of my dad’s 94 S-10 based thing.
I think of these:
Was it a hallowed nameplate though?
The majority of Blazers sold were mediocre family cars that served as the precursor to the modern crossover.
But “Blazer” is the closest thing GM has to a “Bronco” or “Jeep” (as in CJ, Wrangler, etc).
Yes, it became their compeditor to the XJ Cherokee and later, the Ford Explorer, but it was still BOF and could be outfitted to go off-road, with a powerful truck V-6 and decent towing capacity (and dreadful reliability, ask me how I know).
The current debuted as a somewhat pricy FWD wagon with a standard naturally aspirated 2.5L I-4. It’s basically an updated, modernized, downsized powertrain 2022 Aztec, for all intents and purposes, even built in the same facility in Mexico.
Ford reviving the Bronco as a true off-roader just salted the wound. People would have accepted a badass 4×4 BOF Blazer as a compeditor to Bronco and Wrangler, despite its watering down in its previous life. Even an EV version later.
I don’t hate it, it’s a successful product for GM (that they needed), and so on. Besides, they killed the next-gen Colorado that would have spawned a Bronco compeditor in favor of a redesign based on the current platform. So, a true SWB BOF off-road Chevy SUV wasn’t gonna happen anyway.
Also need to clarify that I do realize the original Blazer was significantly bigger than the contemporary Jeep, IH Scout and first generation Ford Bronco. I still believe the name would have been genius on modern Wrangler compeditor.
Thank you for this. Glad I’m not the only one. It’s funny how the Blazer name wasn’t hallowed until they the current one was unveiled. When the K5 went away, it was barely missed or even noticed. Then the new one came out as a big crossover and suddenly everyone started clutching their pearls.
I own two first gen K5s, a ’70 and a ’72, and the overwhelming response to them is confusion/hazy memories at best. For anyone under 60, the name “Blazer” generally refers to a pretty bland S10 version of the 90s.
The bland S10 based version would still be preferable to many than the current one.
I can tell you’ve never owned one.
They were renowned for their unreliability.
There is a guy up the road from me.. not 5min who has a coupla K5s. His place sits in the back of his driveway.. with a raised asphalt patch and about 4-5 K5 and or Tahoe trucks on the left of his place on the asphalt, with a wheezy 2ltr car on the right.
Id never seen a well orgasnized setup as that dude.
I think it’s all to do with the Bronco. If this Blazer came out a few years before the Bronco, there would be grumbling but nothing as vocal as enthusiasts have been about “wasting the name”.
I’m sure product planners did their usual market research on this and feel safe using the name. Beyond the finite circle of Chevy truck fans, the name Blazer probably doesn’t carry that much weight, other than it rings a bell that “Chevy” and “Blazer” seem to go together. To the rest of the world it conjures up images of a navy blue sport coat more so than an iconic truck.
That is a good point. Ford came out swinging and made a real competitor to the Wrangler. Chevy meanwhile, slapped some new body panels on a 4 cylinder, FWD based crossover. They are ignoring a segment that prints money.