Chevy Rumored To Revive Blazer name on 2019 Crossover
Too bad Chevy isn’t making a Ford Bronco competitor…by Mark McNabb, on
Our friends over at Truck Trend say Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size, two-row crossover to compete against the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano for the 2019 model year. What will Chevy call it? Industry rumors say Blazer. Adding fuel to the (dumpster) fire are spy photos of such a vehicle trolling around public roads while covered in heavy camouflage. Naturally, the news comes as a huge disappointment – not because Chevy is developing a new crossover, but because it will carry the iconic Blazer name.
The resurrection of bygone vehicle names is in heavy swing these days. Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup to the U.S. and dusting off the Bronco name for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s almost common knowledge Ford’s upcoming Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger pickup platform and use a ladder frame and a solid rear axle. It’s expected to offer an excellent compromise between on-road civility and off-road capability while honoring its nameplate that traces its roots to the 1960s when Ford needed an SUV to compete with the Jeep CJ. Yet here we are, with Chevy about to slap the equally iconic Blazer name onto an assumably forgettable family hauler that couldn’t wheel its way over a parking stop. Why, Chevy? Of course, we should take these rumors with a huge grain of salt. No sources were listed and not even the vehicle in the spy photos show any discernable Chevy characteristics. Still, it’s hard not to criticize GM for not directly competing against the Bronco with a Colorado-based SUV wearing a Blazer badge. Chevy already has such an SUV in markets around the world. It’s even called the Trailblazer. Why not fight Ford at its own game? After all, SUV and pickup sales are booming thanks to cheap fuel and a growing economy.
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The rumored Chevrolet Blazer
Truck Trend says the 2019 Chevy Blazer will ride on GM’s new C1XXX platform that currently underpins the Cadillac XT5, GMC Acadia, and new Chevy Traverse. It’s clear Chevy is preparing for another crossover in its lineup; it’s made the Traverse larger and the Equinox smaller, creating a hole for a Goldilocks vehicle. A three-vehicle crossover lineup would allow Chevy to directly compete with Ford’s Escape, Edge, and Explorer with the Equinox, Blazer, and Traverse, respectively. And let’s not forget Ford’s new compact EcoSport that’s designed to square off with the Chevy Trax.
The Blazer rumors even extend to its powertrain. The report says three engines will be offered. The base engine will be the 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. The mid-range engine could be the 2.0-liter turbo-four used in the Equinox and making 252 horses and 260 pound-feet of twist. Range-topping trim levels might have use of the 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, which would be respectable numbers for a crossover not likely to weight over 4,000 pounds. Perhaps Chevy could even utilize its 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque found in the new Equinox. Regardless of engine, GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission is expected. FWD will be standard and AWD will be optional.
The Blazer brand should be reserved for a traditional, body-on-frame SUV with honest chops off-road and a sizeable towing capacity.
Again, this is great news with respect to Chevy’s new two-row crossover. Chevy needs to position itself well against the competition and SUVs and crossovers are the hottest-selling things short of Amazon Prime accounts.
My reservation simply boils down to Chevy’s rumored choice of names. The Blazer brand should be reserved for a traditional, body-on-frame SUV with honest chops off-road and a sizeable towing capacity. That’s especially true when Ford is unquestionably preparing such an SUV.
Follow me here: Let’s say the Ford Bronco does extremely well and is the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, Chevy will want a piece of the action and will launch its own version. But with the Blazer name saddled to a crossover, what would Chevy call its Bronco fighter? The Trailblazer? That’s too close. The Tracker? What a joke. The Cheyenne or Scottsdale? Why start from scratch in a segment ruled by emotional connections to bygone days? If anything, Chevy needs to save the naming wizards and focus groups for figuring out what to call the upcoming 2019 crossover.
Chevy needs to bring back the Blazer name, just not attached to a soft, unibody crossover. The SUV segment is ripe for a true Blazer successor.
So, what do you think? Should Chevy save the Blazer name for a Bronco fighter or should the new 2019 crossover have the honors? What about a true, body-on-frame mid-size SUV from Chevy – would it sell? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Source: Truck Trend