By on March 18, 2019

Image: GM

Indeed, so jazzed are these enthusiasts, they’ve created a rendering of a hypothetical Blazer SS to compete with the very real Ford Edge ST. If you’re already thinking this vehicle boasts canary yellow paint with wide, black striping, fear not — your assumptions were bang-on.

It’s an interesting idea, given that Ford’s Edge blows the existing Blazer out of the water in ST guise, but the merits of waging a hot tweener crossover war are debatable. And the vehicle itself might not be doable.

You can see renderings of the Blazer SS at the chevyblazer.org forum. The author envisions a vehicle endowed with the power of Cadillac’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, which would place more than 400 horsepower in the hands of what we can only assume is a thirtysomething family man who once played in a garage band before going to work for an insurance company. This, after lamenting that the 6.2-liter LT1 found in the Camaro SS is a no-go. Dream on.

Memories of the long-departed TrailBlazer SS still loom large in the minds of GM superfans, it seems.

While surely some buyers will pine for more oomph than the Blazer’s uplevel 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp, 269 lb-ft) can muster, one wonders if the Edge ST is really a vehicle in need of a rival. The gap-filling Blazer is designed to make GM money in the most efficient way possible.

Cadillac’s 3.oTT, found in the CT6 and upcoming CT5, would definitely give a Blazer driver a kick in the pants. However, while the engine was designed for transverse and longitudinal positioning, the Caddy’s 8L45 transmission is designed for rear-drive, longitudinal applications. The Blazer, riding on GM’s C1 platform, is a front-drive, transverse-engined vehicle. As well, the V6 version’s nine-speed 9T65 transmission doesn’t seem up to the task of managing the 3.0TT’s torque, assuming the thing could bolt to the hi-po mill.

Were we to cobble together a Blazer SS ourselves, a possible powertrain option would be the one found in the Cadillac XTS V-Sport. That seldom-spoken-of front-drive sedan uses a twin-turbo version of the 3.6-liter found in the Blazer, mated to a 6T75 six-speed transmission. Unfortunately, as the XTS bites the dust this year (joined by the all versions of the ATS and CTS), it’s uncertain whether St. Catharines Propulsion will continue building this engine variant. As well, the home of the 6T75 — Warren Transmission Operations — is one of the five North American plants expected to close this year.

The possibility of a Blazer SS that’s anything more than a glorified appearance package is indeed dim. This might not make readers sad.

[Image: General Motors]

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28 Comments on “Some Enthusiasts Are Hot Under the Collar for a Chevrolet Blazer SS...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “The gap-filling Blazer is designed to make GM money in the most efficient way possible.”

    Exactly. While Ford is hot-to-trot with performance versions of much of its portfolio, it doesn’t seem like GM has the same enthusiasm. There was never a hot Cruze (to fight the Focus RS and ST), nor was there any recent performance-oriented Malibu (like the Fusion Sport), and no new Impala SS (to answer the Fusion SHO). The lowliest version of the Aviator pulls 400 HP and is RWD, but GM’s competing XT6 uses a FWD architecture and Ye Olde 3.6-liter, sporting a horsepower figure that will get you up to speed, but is well short of enthusiastic.

    All that is to say that GM doesn’t seem interested in making too many performance cars outside of the Camaro, Corvette, and Cadillac V-series pipelines. So, don’t count on an actual Blazer SS, even if the Blazer does look like it was inspired by the Camaro.

  • avatar
    whynot

    I completely forgot this existed. I guess Chevy is following the “don’t advertise it for several months” strategy they did with the new Silverado (but at least that was a truck with plenty of recognition and older models on the lot).

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The original SS package was nothing but a chrome and trim option that could be ordered with any engine from stovebolt 6 with powerglide to a 4 speed, dual quad, positraction 409. I say bring back the hidden headlights of the late 60s Camaro and Impala SS.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    When I saw the headline I thought it had been suddenly decided that the Trailblazer SS was collectible.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’m surprised at how many I see driving around actually, in the past month I distinctly remember seeing a few. Also got to see a 9-7X Aero 5.3i on blown out rear air suspension fly out of the corner combination hair-and-weave place+convenience store gas station this weekend.

      • 0 avatar
        saturnotaku

        The 9-7X Aero was separate from the 5.3i. The former had the 6.0-liter LS2 V8 from the TrailBlazer SS. The latter was the same 5.3 V8 that was in everything else at the time (TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender). I’ve only ever seen two 9-7X Aeros ever. I wonder what the actual production numbers on that model were. I thought it was both cool and amusing that the interior of the 9-7 was more distinctive than the other BoF GM utilities with the 9-3/9-5 style air vents and ignition on the center console.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      What was funny about the TrailBlazer SS was that it was a powertrain and appearance package, not a trim. Thus, you could have an SS that was otherwise a base model, or one that was fully-loaded, or anything in between.

      It’s the equivalent of getting “The Base Model with the Big Engine and Nothing Else,” a combination that allegedly every enthusiast ever clamors for.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I keep casually running into the Trailblazer and it’s platform mates. A Buick Rainier (V8 AWD) was a desire of mine for a while, stealth speed compared the average mommy-mobile.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    oh joy, I simply cannot stand to wait for my very own automatic-only blobby transportation device that can exhibit a greater rate of acceleration with its 2.0-liter turbocharged power unit

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Advice for GM….do not use the new Edge ST as an example for anything other than what not to do.

    The Edge ST is an embarrassment. From the cheap interior to the 6-speed transmission that Ford randomly threw a couple more gears in to the fake engine noise, it’s a very sad excuse for a ST vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      While I am not a fan of it wearing ST badges, The ST brand in the US is new enough they really aren’t destroying much in the way of equity. I would hate to see SVT or SVO badges on such a vehicle. SHO would have been more fitting IMHO.

      All this of course assumes it is not good. All indications are so far that it is in fact a pretty good vehicle.

      And lets be honest, it could be great and you’d hate it.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Nah I’m just a realist. A good vehicle is a good vehicle regardless of who makes it. The definition of “good” varies however.

        But this Edge ST is not good. When you factor in price, the interior, the miserable 6-speed transmission with two gears randomly thrown in, it’s clear that for the same $50k you can get a far, far better vehicle. Like a 5.7L Grand Cherokee which, even in its dated form trounces the Edge.

        https://youtu.be/qup6s2caqRQ

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Nah I’m just a realist. A good vehicle is a good vehicle regardless of who makes it. The definition of “good” varies however.

        But this Edge ST is not good. When you factor in price, the interior, the miserable 6-speed transmission with two gears randomly thrown in, it’s clear that for the same $50k you can get a far, far better vehicle. Like a 5.7L Grand Cherokee which, even in its dated form trounces the Edge.

        https://youtu.be/qup6s2caqRQ

  • avatar
    Hummer

    What enthusaist exists for the modern new beetle? This thing is dripping estrogen.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      wow, aren’t we insecure.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        What am I insecure about may I ask? I don’t see many enthusiasts for the new beetle, simply because it doesn’t appear to gearheads which are primarily male, because it is a car marketed towards women. Similarly this was clearly designed for women as it has the design and elements that are appealing to women. Not many men would purposely buy this simply due to the design. Whether you would question their “insecurities” is up to you. The fact is, and TTAC has had stories associating just as much as I’m saying, that female designs generally only sell to woman; whereas more masculine designs are equally embraced by men and women.

        I could show you the TTAC article suggesting as such if that wouldn’t make you feel insecure?

        Realistically the heavily effeminate design of the new blazer can only stand to hurt sales.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “What am I insecure about may I ask?”

          whether a car is a “chick car” or not.” which is a load of crap. I see plenty of women driving F-150s, Silverados, Sierras, etc.

          “Chick car” (or in your code “car marketed towards women”) just means “car you won’t drive because you’re terrified people will think you’re gay.”

          some of us actually grew up after we left high school. what’s your excuse?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Wow triggered are we, I literally stated in my post what many others have said I personally agree with. You clearly did not read my post before flame throwing. I’ll repeat it, masculine cars generally attract men and women equally, feminine cars generally disproportionally attract female drivers. I’m not terrified of anyone thinking I’m gay, though if that is what comes to mind I have to imagine your projecting some insecurities of your own.

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/ttac-manly-men-discuss-girls-cars/

  • avatar
    CEO

    “…Ford’s Edge blows the existing Blazer out of the water in ST guise…”

    Nope.

    Our Blazer AWD RS tester accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 95.5 mph. Its crosstown rival, the Ford Edge ST, sports significantly more horsepower and torque than the Blazer RS (335 hp and 380 lb-ft), but it only barely keeps up, tying the Blazer’s 0-60 and quarter-mile times but actually lagging behind 2.1 mph in trap speed.

    https://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/blazer/2019/2019-chevrolet-blazer-rs-first-test-review/

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I wonder who drives for each mag. Car and Driver was a bit wider of a spread with the Edge ST at 0-60 in 5.7 with the quarter at 14.3 while the Blazer AWD RS was 6.3 and 15.0. The Ford is also cheaper by a grand (in AWD as the ST only comes so equipped).

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I have been advised by counsel to consider not naming any future automotive products after things which are on fire.

  • avatar
    amca

    My Car & Driver arrived the other day. With the Blazer ranking third in the comparison.

    I read, re-read and re-read with amazement the praise they heaped on Blazer’s driving characteristics. They all but apologized for not ranking it first, as the test was of CUVness, not sportiness.

    I’m kinda hooked on it now. Not that I want a CUV. But if I had to, I know where I’d go.

    With this, and Camaro (which is a car so good I LOVED one I rented) and Corvette, Chevrolet is developing into a brand with serious performance chops.


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