Mystery SUV spotted wearing Chevy grille

It appears Chevrolet is preparing a mid-size crossover based on General Motors’ new C1XX, or “Chi” platform. Spy shots of the vehicles were recently captured, pouring fuel on rumors of the Blazer nameplate returning to Chevy’s lineup. Could we really see a Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco matchup by the decade’s end?

The photos come by way of Automotive News, whose photographer caught a test mule roaming the streets of Michigan. The three-row crossover will be a corporate cousin to the new 2017 GMC Acadia and slot between the upcoming 2018 Chevy Equinox and full-size Traverse.

This would give Chevy a huge boost in crossover offerings, allowing it to strongly compete in the exploding crossover and SUV market. With the Blazer in place, Chevy would have six vehicles in the category. The upcoming Blazer also answers questions on why Chevrolet decided to downsize the Equinox for 2018.

As for the test mule itself, it clearly shares its platform with the Acadia. This is most evident in the lower portion of the body, with the fuel tank skid plate hanging below the unibody chassis, the area between the rear door and wheel well, and the rear lower rear bumper area. Each is all nearly identical to the 2017 Acadia.

As for its Chevy trimmings, the grille features horizontal chrome slats like the Traverse, the LED headlights look similar to the 2018 Equinox, and the rear tailgate has chrome trim just above the license plate. Dual exhaust tips give the crossover a sporty flair.

The Blazer is expected to debut sometime in 2017, perhaps at the Detroit Auto Show, ahead of its 2018 release. And like its size, Its price will slot between the Equinox and the Traverse.

So will Chevrolet bring the Blazer back for a fight with the upcoming Ford Bronco? Keep reading for more.

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Chevy brings back an iconic name

Chevrolet has its share of iconic vehicle names, but perhaps no other strikes such “Oh yeah… I loved those things” as the Blazer. The Blazer debuted for the 1969 model year and lived a long and successful life before its transition into the S-10 Blazer and then the Trailblazer. Chevy hasn’t used the name since production of the Trailblazer was nixed in 2009.

Originally, the Blazer was an answer to Ford’s popular Bronco, itself an answer to the Jeep CJ and International Scout. Needless to say, the Blazer/Bronco matchup has deep roots.

Sadly though, the Chevy Blazer – or whatever this test mule is – won’t compete with the upcoming Ford Bronco. That’s because Ford is expected to base the Bronco off the also-upcoming mid-size Ranger pickup. The Ranger will ride on a traditional ladder-frame chassis. As such, the Bronco will be a high-riding SUV with rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. It’s expected to offer outstanding off-road capability in line with the upcoming Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited.

So no, don’t get too excited about the revival of these iconic nameplates. Sure, it’s great to see them again, but the Blazer won’t have the chops to compete directly with the sixth-generation Ford Bronco.

Source: Automotive News

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