While car makers are shucking the frames and moving all of our favorite SUV’s to car based crossover platforms, the rest of the world continues to get the good stuff. Chevrolet us showing off an all-new Trailblazer in Bangkok this week based on their new mid-size truck chassis.
Read that, body on frame construction with a rugged off-road capability and powered by a fuel efficient diesel engine to boot. All these traits are things that off-road enthusiasts here in the States would drool over, but we can’t have them here largely due to the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards that have been rammed down our throats.
The new Trailblazer for Asian and emerging markets has a tough stance and modern style that is concurrent with models like the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan X-Terrra. It will be offered in both two and four-wheel drive and comes exclusively with a pair of Duramax turbo-diesel engines.
The Trailblazer was developed in tandem with the all-new Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck. A global project, the new Colorado is said to go on sale here in the States but we aren’t likely to see the Duramax engines or the Trailblazer variant here.
Those engines are an all new series of four-cylinder turbo-diesels. Sizes are a 2.5 liter with 150hp and 258 lb.-ft of torque or a 2.8 liter that can put down 180hp and 346 lb.-ft or torque. Both incorporate a host of technologies aimed at delivering an optimal balance of power, performance and fuel economy. Engines can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
And though these SUV’s are built for emerging markets they aren’t chicken haulers in the chassis category. They feature all the same modern brake and suspension technologies for handling and safety we expect. The Trailblazer has a modern five-link rear suspension, a feature found in more upmarket, premium SUVs.
“Our objective when developing the Trailblazer was to achieve ride and handling dynamics that match, and in many cases exceed, those of similar-size crossover vehicles,” said Brad Merkel, GM’s Global Vehicle Line Executive for Midsize Trucks and SUVs. “The Trailblazer will cater to a wide range of driving styles and requirements. It is car-like responsive and premium in its ride quality while offering the off-road capability that our customers demand. That makes it the complete SUV package.”
Too bad they don’t feel Americans would appreciate one.