Chevrolet wants you to have your cake and eat it too. The tasty treat is the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, an electric SUV that keeps the edgy look of the Blazer but gives it greater performance, the first electric SS, more interior room, and lets the customer choose the configuration of the powertrain, a unique proposition in an industry where every nameplate is fighting to stand out.
By powertrain configuration, we mean the buyer can not only choose trim, color and features—but also whether their Blazer is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. That is highly unusual in the retail world. Closest example we can think of is commercial customers in Europe who can choose a front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive Ford Transit commercial van.
We’ll get back to the surprising powertrain flexibility. But first let’s get an overview of the electric SUV that Chevy felt deserved to be equipped to appeal to a wide consumer base globally, including those yearning for the first electric SS.
Blazer EV is Whole Different Animal from Current Blazer
For starters, the Blazer EV sprang from a clean sheet. It may share the Blazer name and spirit, but does not share architecture, panels or components with the conventional Blazer with an internal combustion engine, says vice president of Chevy Marketing Steve Majoros. The wheelbase was extended by 231 mm (9.1 inches) to fit the largest battery size in, making it the longest entry in the midsize-SUV segment.
The Blazer will be the second Chevy on GM’s Ultium electric vehicle architecture which underpins the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup and SUV, and the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq midsize crossover. The first electric Chevy from Ultium is the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV full-size pickup due in spring 2023, followed by the Blazer next summer, and the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV compact crossover in the fall of next year. We will get our first full look at the Equinox EV in September.
When the current Blazer hit streets in 2018, it ushered in a new design ethos, complete with Camaro and Corvette touches, that carries over to the EV. In this age of dynamic lighting, the Blazer EV is no exception with LED lights that travel to and from the illuminated bowtie in the middle of the light bar for a bit of theater when you approach or walk away from the vehicle. It is most dramatic on the SS with its two-tone color scheme with black fascia and top. The lighting also conveys the vehicle’s state of charge: lights dance faster and shine more intensely as the battery’s charge increases.
Interior Roomier Than the Current Blazer
The architecture and battery pack give the Blazer EV a lower center of gravity and floor which yields more interior space and options for storage areas and clever packaging.
Inside the cabin feels airy, with lots of headroom even with the optional sunroof. The low floor and extended wheelbase mean more cargo room, we await specs for the exact amount. Screens in the cockpit are angled and oriented to the driver. There is a 17.7-inch OLED free-form center touchscreen with dimming back light for crisp graphics that fill the screen to the edges—no large areas of dark screen. The driver display adds another 11.0 inches and there is a 3×7-inch head-up display that is standard on the SS, optional on the high-volume 2LT and RS trims. A video display enhances the rearview mirror.
The Blazer EV SS we saw was telltale red and black, both inside and out. The red leather seats in both rows are heated and cooled and the cabin benefits from contrast stitching and higher-end materials. Rear seat passengers get vents which are controlled from up front, and two USB outlets. Not surprisingly, the Blazer EV has Camaro-style round air vents. The SUV also has an ionizer to purify the air. You can look up the air quality and some models will have a sensor to automatically turn on the filter to scrub when poor air quality requires it, especially useful for markets such as China.
Back to That Powertrain
The Blazer will be offered with a front-wheel-drive unit, a choice of two rear-wheel-drive units, standard and performance all-wheel drive, and three battery sizes.
Standard AWD has front drive unit and smaller rear unit. RWD offers more power than FWD and a more dynamic drive. FWD has smaller motor and choice of small or medium battery packs.
Here is how the trims play out:
1LT: This monochromatic base trim with cloth seats has standard FWD with a small motor in front, standard 19-inch wheels and a range of 247 miles from a single charge. Horsepower and torque figures have not been released, nor have details of the motor and the small and medium batteries expected to be on the base model.
2LT: Standard FWD, optional AWD using the smaller of the two rear motors. It will have a range of up to 293 miles. No performance specs yet.
RS: Choice of standard FWD with a midsize battery pack or RWD with the larger motor and medium battery pack—you choose where you want the motor—with optional dual motors for AWD. This is the trim with the longest range, up to 320 miles per charge. The RS rides on standard 21-inch wheels and has a heated flat-bottom steering wheel.
SS: Standard higher-performance AWD with the larger motor on the rear axle and largest battery. This electric beast will have 557 hp, 648 lb-ft of torque which should propel it from 0-60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds, GM says. It has 290 miles of range, a sport tuned chassis, Brembo brakes, standard 22-inch wheels and the performance required to warrant the SS badging. We are assured it is a true SS. It easily becomes the quickest Blazer.
Charging the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV
Depending on the trim, the Blazer EV has DC public fast-charging capability of up to 190 kW which Chevy execs say will add 78 miles of range in 10 minutes.
The EV has hands-free start, which means no button to push. Close the door, tap the brake, and the key fob authorizes the SUV to go. The fob also talks to the sensors at the rear of the vehicle to open the tailgate hands-free.
The vehicles offer one-pedal driving, activated via a button on the touchscreen. The driver can choose how aggressive the regenerative braking is and can pull on a shift paddle on the steering wheel to make small adjustments to braking strength. Wide Open Watts or WOW is the Chevy family friendly version of the Watts to Freedom or WTF launch mode on the GMC Hummer, a maximum power model to get more current to the inverter for more power to the wheels for takeoff.
Super Cruise is standard on the SS; optional on lower trims. Advanced Park Assist does the work for you, and other advanced driver assist systems include reverse automatic braking, forward collision alert, automaker emergency braking, and lane-keep assist with lane departure warning. Ultify allows over-the-air software updates to improve and personalize the vehicle over its lifetime. The Blazer comes with standard and all-season tires, with optional summer tires for performance.
2024 Chevrolet Blazer Pricing and On-Sale Date
The Blazer EV will hit the market in summer 2023, launching initially with the most popular trims: the 2LT that starts at $47,595 and introduces leather seats, and the sportier RS with a $51,995 starting price. They will be followed by the high-performance SS with standard AWD ($65,995), and before year’s end Chevrolet will add the base 1LT that starts at $44,995. Don’t count on federal tax credits to reduce the cost; GM has used up its allotment. But Chevy does throw in free installation of a home charging unit.
The Blazer EV will be built in the same Ramos Arizpe plant as the current Blazer, even though they are completely different vehicles and EVs undergo a different build process. GM is spending $1 billion to prepare the Mexican plant. Majoros said it is hard to gauge what the take rate will be of the EV; he just knows Chevy has to be ready when the market moves. “We see this initially as additive volume, so Chevy share should grow.”
And criminals beware, Chevy will do a Police Pursuit Vehicle model of the Blazer EV that will essentially be a modified SS with the largest battery and a choice of rear-drive or performance AWD, and Brembo brakes.
|2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV Specifications|
|LAYOUT||Front engine, FWD/RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|MOTOR||557-hp/648-lb-ft AC DC] permanent-magnet electric|
|L x W x H|
|0-60 MPH||3.9-8.5 sec (mfr est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON|
|EPA RANGE, COMB|
|ON SALE||Summer 2023|
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