There’s so much that could happen but there’s no telling what will happen

In the world of today where SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne or the Alfa Romeo Stelvio act more like sports cars than utility vehicles, we Americans have to keep up. We have been doing so with the likes of the insane Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk or some “spirited” versions of other large SUVs. Yet, it seems that manufacturers here lack the conviction of the Audi S division, or the Mercedes-AMG division to make high-performance versions of basically every car they sell, SUVs included. With the introduction of the new Chevrolet Blazer, I was curious about the possible prospects of a performance version, or a “soft, off-road” knockoff. Not that the Blazer name is entirely dissociated from that kind of thing. Looking back in past, we have the Blazer Xtreme Sport or the Blazer ZR2. One of these was a sporty version, while the other a rather interesting, off-road-focused machine. Can Chevrolet bring any of these back?

Can Chevy Make the 2019 Blazer Sporiter?

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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They kind of did with the Blazer RS, but in a sea of similarly styled crossovers, this one doesn’t exactly stand out

They kind of did with the Blazer RS, but in a sea of similarly styled crossovers, this one doesn’t exactly stand out. Zooming through the offerings of other manufacturers, I found that the new Blazer RS will simply drench, never having an opportunity to come into its own. In short, Chevrolet needs to do something far more extreme than dress the Blazer in pretty red and black out everything else on it. We need some meaningful changes done to it. Maybe a High-output engine, suspension upgrades, and a bit more grunt. That would be the spirit. After all, the Blazer does sport some clear Camaro-style cues.

Can it pull it off without a conventional weapon under the bonnet?

Ironically, this may be the biggest problem Chevy is facing! Considering GM based the new Blazer on top of the C1XX platform, we are yet to see any high-performance engines offered that is compatible with this architecture. Right now, the Acadia, the XT5, or the Traverse make do with a four-cylinder (NA or turbocharged) or a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine. They are much the same for all applications. If Chevy is about to give us something more than a Blazer RS V-6, the company would have to ignite a revolution of a sorts. Luckily, GM knows a thing or two about the awesome V-6 engines. Remember the Cadillac ATS-V? The one using 464 horsepower turbocharged V-6? That engine made the ATS-V faster than the BMW M3.

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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Chevrolet needs to do something far more extreme than dress the Blazer in pretty red and black out everything else on it

The Blazer won’t be getting anything that exotic, but having 50-80 horsepower more compared to the current, top-notch V-6 would mean business.

Going back to 2001 can give us a glimpse of what the sporty Blazer character may be like. Back then, Chevy smartly introduced the Blazer Xtreme Sport - an SUV tailored to bring in new younger customers by cashing in on the modified-car craze of the time. That Blazer was lowered compared to the standard model, it was rear-wheel drive, had sports suspension, low-profile tires, flared arches, and tinted windows. Cheezy? Not really. That was what younger buyers wanted at the time! And the body-on-frame Blazer is what buyers of today want. See, you’d have been mad about some Blazer prospects even back then.

Can we Expect a True, Off-Road Capable Blazer ZR2?

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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The new Blazer will never be as madly off-road capable as the old, body-on-frame model

With a unibody construction geared towards improving driving characteristics, safety, fuel economy, and convenience, the new Blazer will never be as madly off-road capable as the old, body-on-frame model. Regardless, Chevy can do a thing or two to move it past the usual CUV limitations. With features like beefier tires and new shocks, a bit more clearance, underbody protection, arch claddings, and rugged bumpers, the Blazer could give an impression (and be a bit more suited, really) of an off-road worthy machine. It wouldn’t exactly be ready for an off-road trail the likes of the Wrangler or the Defender would conquer, but the imagined Blazer ZR2 could make us want it even more.

Previously, the ZR2 denomination on it meant “a wide stance frame, stronger gears and axles, heavy-duty shocks and springs, skid plates, and a brush guard,” as Edmunds reports. It was a true off-road package. Even if Chevrolet decides to bring back the Blazer ZR2, which would make some sense in the world of today if we think about the Colorado ZR2, some would be furious. The ZR2 package on an SUV without body-on-frame construction is a sacrilege. Chevy would be scaling back another important name in its “marketing arsenal”.

What Can We Realistically Expect from the 2019 Chevy Blazer?

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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As it seems, the Blazer is left with only one option - to become an SS

Maybe a Chevy Chevy Blazer RST? Nope; Chevy is smarter than that. The RST stands for Rally Street Truck and the Blazer, as we’ve established, is not a truck or even an SUV - It is a crossover built on a unibody platform. Sure, the RST Performance package is a sports package of choice for the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe and the Chevy Suburban but they are at least full-fledged, body-on-frame SUVs.

As it seems, the Blazer is left with only one option - to become an SS. True, Chevrolet limited production of SS (Super Sport) cars after all that SS frenzy in the 2000s, but, honestly, it is hard to think of a better name to bring back on the grand scale again. No one knows if this would be feasible or if the Chevy team actually ponders doing something of the sorts, but the Trailblazer, although not linked with the current one, actually did have an SS badge. That one used the 6.0-liter, LS2, V-8 picked up directly from the Chevrolet Corvette. The Trailblazer SS was definitely adapted for the performance side of things - all with special wheels, a special differential, and a different transmission.

Finaly Thoughts

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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We do not even know if Chevy is working on one, but if so, the 2020 Blazer SS does sound awesome.

All in all, the new Blazer is still six months shy of showrooms. The performance version a lot more. We do not even know if Chevy is working on one, but if so, the 2020 Blazer SS does sound awesome.

Right not, the Blazer RS is the only sporty Blazer available. Interestingly enough, Chevrolet did not offer it with the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, engine with 250+ horsepower. Rather strange as the Traverse RS, which was, interestingly enough, revealed in red and black like the Blazer RS,does have one.

We can perhaps expect this engine to land in the Blazer some time in the future.

Further reading

Will There Be a Performance Chevy Blazer or an Off-Road Capable Chevy Blazer ZR2?
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Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.

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Read more Chevrolet news.

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