General Motors confirmed Wednesday what TheDetroitBureau.com first reported last year; a battery electric version of the midsize Blazer SUV is coming, adding that the BEV will be available Spring 2023, and will be called the Blazer SS, the first time that Chevrolet’s legendary SS performance badge has been applied to an EV.
The information was announced in a newly released teaser video.
The announcement gave further insight into GM’s evolving EV product plans, which call for a portfolio of 30 electric vehicles to be introduced by 2025.
Other Chevrolet EVs
Those include a 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV in LT and RS trim levels, and priced from $30,000. It will be joined by the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which will be offered in Fall 2023 with a Crew Cab body and up to 400 miles of range and 660 horsepower. It uses GM’s “Ultium” platform, which positions motors, batteries and other drivetrain components below the load floor.
This is in addition to the Bolt EV and EUV, which starts at $31,500 for the former, and $33,500 for the latter. The EV provides an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range, the EUV, 247 miles of range. Both are expected to go back into production the week of April 4, after GM recalled more than 141,000 Bolts for battery fire risk and stopped manufacturing of all Bolts, according to The Detroit News.
The Blazer SS’s competition
The announcement comes in the face of stiff competition from the Ford Motor Co., which has seen booming sales of its Mustang Mach-E, which sold 27,140 units in 2021. That’s a far cry from the Blazer’s 70,325 units in 2021, but EVs typically don’t garner the sales of their ICE siblings, if only due to ongoing component shortages and lack of consumer acceptance.
But the Blazer also faces competition from the Bronco. While a hybrid version is already under development, CEO Jim Farley signaled an all-electric version of the rugged SUV could be coming. As part of a series of tweets, a Ford shareholder directly raised the question, asking CEO Farley If Ford “is truly committed to EV in the future, why don’t we have an EV opinion on the new product like the Bronco?”
“Why do you think we don’t?” Farley replied.
While the Ford Bronco managed to find a mere 35,023 buyers in 2021, it was only in production for a half-year. If an electric version of the Bronco appears alongside the Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet will have its hands full meeting the Blue Oval’s competition.
And it remains to be seen whether Chevrolet will modify the existing Blazer, or create a new model using the Ultium platform, which seems more likely given the age of the current Blazer’s platform. Or perhaps the two could co-exist, with the current model receiving a name to distinguish it from the newer EV.
Blazer receives updates for 2023
Whether the Blazer will be redesigned remains unknown, although the current Blazer, a storied nameplate in the Chevy arsenal, has been around in its current form since 2019 and employs the regular-wheelbase GM C1 platform also used for the 2016-19 GMC Acadia and the 2017-19 Cadillac XT5.
Chevrolet bestows the 2023 Blazer with a new front fascia, grille design, LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, taillamps and 18-, 20- and 21-inch wheels. All models now come with a larger 10-inch-diagonal infotainment touchscreen, and wireless charging is standard on RS and Premier models, while optional on 2LT and 3LT trims.
And uniquely, a Nightshift Blue interior available on the RS. Another hot option? A 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot. On the performance side of the ledger, Adaptive Cruise Control is now availabile on the Blazer 2LT and 3LT.
But space remains intact, with a 30.5-cubic-foot cargo hold that expands to 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
2023 Chevy Blazer’s powertrain line-up
Until the arrival of the Blazer SS, drivelines remain unchanged.
Offered in ascending 2LT, 3LT, RS and Premier models with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, power comes from a turbocharged DOHC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It’s standard on 2LT, 3LT and Premier models, and produces a respectable 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates this powertrain at 24 mpg in combined city/highway driving with front-wheel drive, and 25 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.
There’s also a more powerful engine, a DOHC 3.6-liter V-6 with 308 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque that’s optional on 3LT and Premier trims and standard on the RS. It returns 22 mpg in combined city/highway driving with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg with all-wheel drive. A 9-speed automatic is standard on all Blazers.
The Blazer nameplate debuted in 1969, created to take on the Ford Bronco, International Harvester Scout and Jeep Cherokee and was built on Chevrolet’s full-size pickup frame. The Blazer name was dropped in 1995, when Chevrolet opted to use Tahoe instead