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CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER Z71 4X4 CONCEPT EXTENDS TRAILBLAZER’S OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY

Off-road capability has always been a stronghold of Chevrolet trucks and the Z71 package epitomizes that ability. The TrailBlazer Z71 4x4 concept shown at this year’s SEMA show takes off-road prowess up several notches.

TrailBlazer is already quite capable of traversing off-road situations in its production form. The Z71 4x4 concept increases road clearance 2 inches up front and an additional inch in back, thanks to larger 18-inch wheels/all-terrain tires and the relocation of the front spring perch to the strut. Aluminum skid plates provide underbody protection of the front differential, engine oil pan, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank, while a locking rear differential enhances TrailBlazer Z71 4x4 concept’s off-road aptitude.

Additional performance – both on- and off-road – is provided by a 6.0-liter LQ9 V-8 engine that produces 345 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. Power is transferred to all four wheels via the Hydra-Matic 4L65-E heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission. A GM air box that has been modified for increased airflow and a K&N Filtercharger rechargeable cloth air filter enhance induction, while a Corsa Performance free-flowing stainless steel muffler and Corsa Performance cat-back stainless steel exhaust system with polished dual 4-inch outlet tips improve exhaust capabilities.

Outside, the production Z71 package has been modified specifically for this vehicle. OEM body-side moldings have been removed and bright silver aluminum tubular side assist steps that are integrated into the rocker moldings have been added. Also added is a bright silver aluminum tubular rail, roof-mounted luggage carrier. In addition, TrailBlazer Z71 features front and rear wheel flares, body-color exterior rearview mirrors and door-release handles.

Up front, TrailBlazer Z71 features chrome tow hooks and Granite Metallic front grille center bar. Specific Z71 body-side and tailgate badging completes the exterior styling elements of the TrailBlazer Z71 4x4 concept. It’s finished in PPG Pewter base coat with Granite Metallic accent color wheel flares, rocker moldings and fascias.

Inside, TrailBlazer Z71 4x4 concept is ideally configured for four passengers, with front- and second-row bucket seats that are finished in two-tone Pewter and Ebony leather. Ebony leather is also found on the door trim panel inserts. TrailBlazer Z71 further features a black-on-white instrument panel gauge cluster faceplate and a General Motors Service Parts Operation rear cargo management system.
 

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This shows what can happen with an idea that sounds good in theory. The paint job is meant to look tough, and harken to the 1500 Z-71's, and S-10 ZR2's, smoked flared fenders, but they clutter likes that are already thrown out of proportion.

I think those wheels are chrome, and they add to the TrailBlazer's ruggedness in the same way that the retractable running boards add to the Lincoln Navigator's ruggedness. The horizontal grille bar can't decide what color it wants to be, and chrome wouldn't look right either, what with the chrome wheels and all. The polished aluminum side steps and matching roof panel don't go with anything else on the vehicle.

If I went to our staff and told them I had pics of a TrailBlazer Z-71 concept, their ears would all perk up. This one, though, looks surprisingly not good.

Fix, Rex. Fix.

Ghrankenstein
 

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I like it. I think the proportions are spot on. It's a good lookin SUV and lets face it, if you want rugged, get a Hummer. I could deal with 345 horsepower. Until someting like this hits the showrooms, I can't see trading in my Blazer and pick up car payments. Lets just hope Gm finds the cajones to put some of these trucks into production. Maybe they can start a high performance truck division or atleast sell me the parts to build one up myself.
 

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finally they did somehtng about that Trailblazer exhaust.. why didnt they touch it up and make it look nice in the first place.. like the Infiniti FX45 for example
 

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Originally posted by kdeatrick@Oct 29 2003, 02:42 PM
Here is a Trailblazer SS I found in the SEAM 2003 information at wieck.com



Pretty nice looking!
why dont they build this car

reasons to build

1. gives trailblazer better image (comes with Ss name)
2. looks great
3. they'd have the segment to themselves
4. look at how fast the sport truck segment is growing (went from 1-3 cars this year) don't u think that the more suvs would have an even bigger interest in performance versions
5. spreads the SS title to another worthy recipient
 

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Many good, legitimate points Hockey, but I give you a 5-minute major in disagreement:

1. gives trailblazer better image (comes with Ss name)
While the TrailBlazer Z-71 concept at SEMA doesn't exactly fit my wish list, the TrailBlazer is a chevy TRUCK, and the Z-71 name has more brand equity than the SS name when it comes to trucks. While I love the Silverado SS, most feel that "SS" should stand for pure high-output performance, and not a styling excercise. If the S-10 "SS" and Monte Carlo SS (despite the -vehicle's- merits) are any indication, styling matters little in the SS equation. The LQ9 in the concept TrailBlazer Z-71 is a good start, though...

2. looks great
I think it looks more aftermarket than Chevy. From a marketing standpoint, an SS TrailBlazer should compete with the BMW X5 for performance and handling, and it should be able to win those buyers over with its styling. Granted, the SS TrailBlazer is definitely "American" in its styling, but class takes precedence over gigantic chrome wheels in this game. A classier, more subtle TrailBlazer SS would be better than the SEMA-style concept that's pictured.

3. they'd have the segment to themselves
Again, the BMW X-5 pretty has already claimed the segment, with the 315 hp QX45 staking its position as a sporty SUV. A 350-400 hp TrailBlazer SS would certainly be able to embarrass them, but its non-premium status would make it a competitor, not a standard-bearer, unless current premium-level issues such as the interior design and reliability could be addressed.

4. look at how fast the sport truck segment is growing (went from 1-3 cars this year) don't u think that the more suvs would have an even bigger interest in performance versions
absolutely, though I'll still throw in a boarding major, just to make my point. :D

5. spreads the SS title to another worthy recipient
Again, I'd really like so see something more in tune to the original TrailBlazer 4200 Twin-Turbo concept to take on the likes of the X5 and Cayenne.

Further discussions await from the penalty box. St. Louis Blues in 2004! :D

Ghrankenstein


3. they'd have the segment to themselves
4. look at how fast the sport truck segment is growing (went from 1-3 cars this year) don't u think that the more suvs would have an even bigger interest in performance versions
5. spreads the SS title to another worthy recipient
 

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In my own defence, after midnight even, that's pretty good for all of the DARN good beer I've had.

Eh?

Ghrankenstein
 

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When I first heard about a Z71 version of the Trailblazer I was VERY excited.

I have called GM over half a dozen times asking them to create a Z71 Trailblazer with a V8.

I was thinking about buying a TB but decided not to because the current one has NO offroad ability (I know because my company uses them as pool and technician vehicles). I wanted a TB with at least 3 inches more height, a less severe rake angle, and a V8.

Instead what they created is a pimped up version of the current TB!

CHROME?!?! When has there been CHROME on a Z71?!?!

I'm glad I decided to get a Z71 Tahoe instead of waiting for this POS.
 
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