GMC Envoy may be resurrected using the new Chevrolet Trailblazer platform

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 29, 2011

General Motors recently introduced the all-new Chevrolet Trailblazer intended for global markets. This definitely isn’t a crossover as it is based on an all-new body on frame chassis that will be used on the next Chevrolet Colorado truck. GM internally refers to this new platform as "31xx".

The Trailblazer isn’t one of the models that will be available in North America (U.S. and Canada) but it’s possible that this will change especially since the 31xx platform has a production outlet in Wentzville, MO. There isn’t a lot going on with the GMC brand.

It has recently launched the Terrain and the updated HD trucks but no new product has been released in the past few years. This has led to speculations that GMC should consider making a 31xx-based Envoy for itself. It is obvious that Chevrolet’s focus is on small cars as part of efforts to raise its “green” reputation.

This suggests that the Chevrolet brand may not be thinking about adding a BOF SUV to its lineup anytime soon. On the other hand, GMC is a truck brand and will benefit from a "Professional Grade" midsize SUV. It’s believed that rather than offering the Trailblazer in the country, it will work on an Envoy and allow GMC to sell it exclusively.

It won’t be hard to swap out the Trailblazer front end for the GMC since there will be a GMC small truck built on the same platform. Another aspect to consider is that a new Envoy would sell higher than the Trailblazer. The lone obstacle would be if GMC's crossover lineup would cannibalize sales. It’s possible that by the time this Envoy could launch, GMC would already have a smaller Terrain and smaller Acadia. This means that Envoy would have to theoretically be positioned between the Terrain and Acadia.

A highly skilled team of GM engineers was responsible for developing the new Trailblazer along with new Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck. This team took great effort to infuse passenger vehicle characteristic to the midsize truck platform. Thus, they came up with the Chevrolet Trailblazer that is desirable for family transport and urban commuting, and is also capable of traversing highways and off-road trails.

According to Apfel, the new Chevrolet Trailblazer will appeal to customers not only in Thailand and Southeast Asia, but also in markets where it will be sold. During the development of the Trailblazer and the Colorado, team members lived in Thailand, allowing them to closely observe how customers use their trucks and SUVs as well as driving conditions in this location.

The team gained enough insights to come up with a Chevrolet Trailblazer model with two specification levels: the mid-level LT and the range-topping LTZ. Serving as the core of the new Chevrolet Trailblazer are any of GM’s new family of Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines, with displacements of 2.5 liters and 2.8 liters. Customers could choose between a five-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift-control and clutch-to-clutch capability, as well as an electro-hydraulic control module.

The 2.5L Duramax engine could provide up to 150 hp (110 kW) of output and 258 lb.-ft. (350 Nm) of torque. On the other hand, the 2.8-liter engine could develop up to 180 hp (132 kW) of output and 346 lb.-ft. (470 Nm) of torque when paired with an available six-speed automatic gearbox. The torque figure is at 324 lb.-ft. (440 Nm) when the 2.8L engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission.

These new engines are available with an array of technologies that allow them to deliver a great blend of power, performance and fuel economy. The 2.8L Duramax engine is specified with a variable-geometry turbocharger that allows it to deliver optimal power and efficiency across its revolution band.

It is also specified with a balancer-shaft for smoother power delivery. Both the 2.5L and 2.8L engines are provided with components that could endure up to 240,000 kilometers, which guarantee the durability and reliability of the Trailblazer while reducing its cost of ownership.

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