• 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept

Previews Colorado-inspired facelift for Asia

With an annual output of more than 1.5 million vehicles, Thailand has one of the largest automotive industries in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. So it’s not exactly surprising that several important carmakers build vehicles over there. General Motors, for instance, has been doing it since 2000, especially under the Chevrolet badge. But, on top of getting a number of affordable, locally produced cars, Thailand is also enjoying a few nameplates that GM isn’t selling in the U.S. One of them is the Trailblazer.

While U.S. production of the said SUV ended in 2008, the nameplate was revived in 2012 for markets in Southeast Asia and countries such as South Africa, Saudia Arabia, Brazil and Australia. It was developed on the same platform as the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado and offered with a pair of Duramax diesel engines in Thailand, where it became the largest SUV wearing a "bowtie" badge. The Trailblazer became an instant hit in Southeast Asia, and Chevy is now looking to build on its success with the Premier concept.

Unveiled at the 2016 Bangkok Motor Show, the Premier concept looks like a fancied up Trailblazer with new features inside and out, plus an exclusive, glossy paint. More importantly, the concept’s front fascia is heavily based on Chevrolet’s new design language, which means that this show truck could preview a facelift for the four-year-old, second-generation Trailblazer. Although GM didn’t say whether all those fancy features will become available in dealerships or not, chances are that the Trailblazer Premier also previews a range-topping trim for the local market.

“This show car is a result of strong collaboration to ensure we understood the demands of each market. Our research told us that our customers, particularly in the Thai market, appreciate luxury, upmarket finishes and sophisticated detail. Therefore, our focus was on ensuring we enriched the driver and passenger experience," said GM International Vice President of Design, Michael Simcoe.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    Six-speed automatic (Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    197 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    369 (Est.)
  • Energy:
    Diesel (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    2.8 L (Est.)
  • body style:


2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The first thing that catches the eye is the revised front fascia. Worthy of being called a redesign, it brings Chevrolet’s updated styling language to the Trailblazer, including new headlamps and engine hood, a revised bumper with larger foglamps, and a new grille. The latter ditches the Trailblazer’s familiar mesh grille for horizontal bars and features significantly more chrome for a more upscale look. In many ways, the new fascia is identical to the U.S.-spec Colorado.

Worthy of being called a redesign, it brings Chevrolet's updated styling language to the Trailblazer

Onto the sides, the concept received fewer modifications compared to the standard model, but there a few details worth mentioning. First up, there’s the 22-inch wheels wrapped in low profile tires, a feature Thai customers aren’t yet able to order on the production model. Chevy also added an integrated, body-colored side step with bright chrome molding. Paired with the new wheels, the side step also gives the Trailblazer a more premium appearance, especially when compared to the more rugged entry-level version. A less noticeable touch is the new "Trailblazer" badge on the front doors. The new one is larger and sits closer to the side step, a position reminiscent of the first-generation, U.S.-built version.

While the front is all-new, the rear end is identical to the SUV found in Thai showrooms, save for a slightly larger spoiler atop the tailgate and a thicker chrome insert above the license plate recess.

The package is rounded off by the Velocity exterior paint, a silvery shade of blue finished in a high-gloss clear coat. Needless to say, the color works well with the bright chrome elements and has a rich finish that contributes to the SUV’s premium appearance.


2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Interior
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The concept’s interior is a significant departure from the Trailblazer’s current cabin. Just like the front fascia, the changes are worthy of a redesign, with the concept featuring a new dashboard, updated infotainment system, and a new instrument cluster. However, the layout is far from futuristic. The update simply puts the Trailblazer in line with newer Chevrolet products.

The concept features a new dashboard, updated infotainment system, and a new instrument cluster.

To stay true to the premium look of the SUV, the dashboard is finished in three different colors. The upper and lower sections are black, while the center fascia features cream and gray elements separated by double stitching. The A/C outlets are now larger, while the chrome is brighter for a stronger contrast with the overall black theme. The revised center stack has a cleaner layout and includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen equipped with Chevy’s latest MyLink infotainment system. The steering wheel is the only element that’s not new in this area.

Moving over to the seats, they are wrapped in premium brown leather with bespoke piping, white stitching, gray inserts on the front seating area, and handmade netting on the back. The redesigned door panels also feature premium appointments in the form of wooden appliques with steel inserts, the kind of details usually offered in significantly more expensive vehicles. Finally, the concept received floor mats with brown edges and stitching that matches those on the seats and dashboard.


2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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There’s no word as to what’s under the hood, so it’s safe to assume that Chevy didn’t prepare a special drivetrain for this concept. The standard Trailblazer can be ordered with one of two diesel, four-cylinder engines. The entry-level unit is a 2.5-liter, Duramax with direct injection rated at 163 PS (161 horsepower) and 380 Nm (280 pound-feet) of torque. The four-pot mates to a six-speed manual transmission.

The second choice is a 2.8-liter Duramax similar to the one offered in the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. This mill features variable-turbo direct injection and cranks out 200 PS (197 horsepower) and 500 Nm (369 pound-feet) of twist. Power travels to the wheels through a six-speed automatic.

While the 2.5-liter model can only be had with two-wheel drive, the 2.8-liter is also available with an AWD system in the range-topping LTZ1 trim.


2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Granted, the Trailblazer Premier isn’t much of a concept. At least not in the true sense of the notion. A quick look at it is enough to notice that Chevy slapped the U.S.-spec Colorado’s face to the SUV and sprinkled both the exterior and interior with a few premium features. But I’m not criticizing. Actually, I think that the Colorado design works well with the boxy lines of the Trailblazer and gives the SUV the facelift it duly deserves. And, in case you have doubts that this concept car will go into production with that front end, the fact that Chevy also showcased a Colorado concept with U.S.-spec styling at the Bangkok Motor Show is a clear signal that both vehicles are about to get a makeover. Hopefully, Chevy will also introduce a new, more expensive trim level inspired by the Premier show car for customers that want an SUV that’s capable, stylish, and luxurious at the same time.

  • Leave it
    • Some premium features might not make it in showrooms
    • New trim could be pricey compared to existing models
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Today at the 37th Bangkok International Motor Show, Chevrolet took the covers off two exciting new show vehicles – the Colorado Xtreme and Trailblazer Premier. The vehicles, which explore two very different directions for the popular pickup truck and SUV segments, give customers a strong hint at Chevrolet’s future design direction.

Unveiled by Marcos Purty, managing director of GM Thailand and Chevrolet Sales Thailand, the show vehicles were created to gauge interest and receive valuable feedback from customers.

“The Bangkok International Motor Show is one of the most important shows in the region and one of the most critical markets for these vehicles, so it provides us with the perfect platform to test new ideas,” Purty said. “These show vehicles were created with the intent of injecting excitement and passion into their critical segments while reinforcing Chevrolet’s commitment to the Thai market.”

2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Demonstrating the platform’s significant potential and versatility, the two multifaceted vehicles are very different, with two very distinct personalities offering customers unlimited possibilities.

GM International Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales Mike Devereux said the show vehicles are proof that Chevrolet is constantly exploring how it responds to the maturing market.

“We want to continue to lead the charge in these segments in what is one of the most important markets in the region. We think these two vehicles are clear demonstrations of that,” he said.

“The Colorado Xtreme is the ultimate tough American pickup truck that Chevrolet is famous for all over the world. An integrated accessory range enables our customers to customize their pickup truck for the most challenging environment. It is an off-road vehicle that not only looks tough but can absolutely tackle any challenge thrown its way.

“While the Trailblazer Premier remains just as capable for the adventurous family, it explores a different side of its persona. It responds directly to the growing desire for a more luxurious and sophisticated SUV, one that boasts premium appointments inside and out.”

Chevrolet has a long history of designing tough, durable and serious off-road vehicles, which embody the best of American automotive ingenuity.

GM International Vice President of Design Michael Simcoe explained that show vehicles are created for numerous reasons. Some look years into the future, some are pure expressions of creativity and others, like the two Chevrolet show cars, push the boundaries within reality.

“We’re calling on Chevrolet’s rich history and know-how to demonstrate our leadership in these segments and announcing where we hope to take these exciting vehicles in the near future,” Simcoe said. “Our design focus was about pushing these vehicles in two completely different directions, ensuring they are standalone vehicles in their own right.”

He added, “It is great to have the opportunity to showcase design possibilities today that could be developed and seen in the cars and trucks of tomorrow.”

2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Trailblazer Premier is an SUV designed for families that love to escape the beaten path but in the comfort of luxurious sophistication. With premium appointments, it is just as comfortable doing the school pick-up as it is tackling harsh and rugged terrain.

“The brief was simple,” Simcoe said. “We wanted to dial up the refinement to make sure the vehicle would be as luxurious as it would be capable. Like every Chevrolet, the vehicle has head-turning good looks with striking Chevy DNA and global appeal.

“This show car is a result of strong collaboration to ensure we understood the demands of each market. Our research told us that our customers, particularly in the Thai market, appreciate luxury, upmarket finishes and sophisticated detail. Therefore, our focus was on ensuring we enriched the driver and passenger experience.”

He added, “Unlike the Colorado Xtreme, which is bold and tough, the Trailblazer Premier is subtle and softer in terms of color and materials. This is emphasized through the use of bright chrome and premium materials such as Australian timber that was hand-picked and crafted.”

With driver and passenger comfort at the forefront, the interior of the Trailblazer Premier takes trim and execution to the next level. The unique use of color, texture and materials creates a premium feel not usually found in the segment.

New trim techniques and processes such as bespoke piping on seat trims and handmade netting on the back of the driver and front passenger seats add to the tailored and premium feel of the vehicle.

The Velocity silvery blue exterior color has smoky oil blue undertones, finished with a high-gloss clear coat to give it an ultra-sleek and rich finish, particularly when paired with bright chrome exterior décor accents.

2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Technology and connectivity remain critical, with both vehicles boasting a contemporary infotainment panel that houses the latest MyLink technology. The advanced infotainment system allows customers to remain fully connected, with access to a world of applications at the touch of a button or a voice command.

Highlights include:

Velocity custom exterior color
22-inch wheels and tires
Rear spoiler
Rear fascia protector
Integrated side step with bright chrome moulding
New interior theme
8-inch color touch screen equipped with the latest MyLink system
Premium leather seats with handmade netting
Wooden door applique with steel inserts
Two-tone instrument panel inserts with detailed stitching
Chrome details
Matching floor mats that complement the detailed stitching of the seats and instrument panel insert

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