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250px-Chevrolet TrailBlazer -- 06-05-2010
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File:99-02 Chevrolet Blazer TrailBlazer.jpg

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is an SUV that was produced by the Chevrolet division of American automaker General Motors. It was introduced in 1999 as an upscale trim line of the Blazer. In 2002, the TrailBlazer was upgraded to a new platform (GMT360 for 5 passenger models, GMT370 for 7 passenger, and GMT305 for the Envoy XUV). Production of the Blazer overlapped with the TrailBlazer until 2005, when the 2-door was sold at dealers while the 4-door was fleet only (until the 2004 model year). The TrailBlazer won the North American Truck of the Year award in 2002. The 4.2 L I6 Atlas LL8 appeared on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list from 2002-2005 with innovative features such as DOHC, Variable Valve Timing (VVT) on the exhaust camshaft, and GM's patented "Lost-Foam" casting process. The TrailBlazer is based on a truck platform called GMT360, with all models having four-wheel drive as an option with both automatic engagement and the more traditional "4 High" and "4 Low" gearings, except the SS model which features an All wheel drive system. The TrailBlazer features and independent front suspension, and a five-link rear suspension. A G80 locking rear differential is available as an option on all models except for the SS which has a G86 LSD standard.

File:06-08 Chevrolet TrailBlazer .jpg

The TrailBlazer was facelifted for late 2005/early 2006. A new front fascia and interior trim were included with the refresh, but only apply to the upper-level LT models. The LS trim still has a similar front and rear fascia to the 02-05 models. The SS gets trim-specific front and rear fascias plus colormatched side skirts. The TrailBlazer comes with a Template:Convert Template:Convert all-aluminum 4.2 L "Atlas" LL8 inline-six engine standard and an optional Template:Convert Template:Convert aluminum small-block 5.3 L V8 with Active Fuel Management. The inline-six makes the TrailBlazer the most powerful six-cylinder SUV in its class. The Active Fuel Management system on the V8 engine shuts off 4 of the 8 cylinders during highway travel and idle to save fuel. The 6-cylinder versions of the TrailBlazer get up to Template:Convert highway, according to refreshed United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ estimates.

EnginesEdit

  • 2002–2009 LL8 4.2 L I6
  • 2003–2004 LM4 5.3 L V8
  • 2005–2009 LH6 5.3 L V8
  • 2006–2009 LS2 6.0 L V8

EXTEdit

File:'03-'04 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT.JPG

One unique element of the TrailBlazer line was the availability of a 3-row, 7-passenger EXT version. This vehicle was 16 in (406 mm) longer and had a higher roofline to allow easier access to the third row of seats. This roof was disguised by standard roof racks. Production of the EXT model was handled by the Oklahoma City Assembly plant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The last TrailBlazer EXT rolled off the assembly line on February 20, 2006, because GM had reportedly closed that plant, making 2006 the final year for the TrailBlazer EXT. The EXT could be identified by its much straighter rear doors (which were not in-line with the rear wheel arches), as well as by the circular, metal cap on each of the quarter windows where the opening mechanism attaches.

SSEdit

File:Wikitbss.jpg

An SS model was introduced for the 2006 model year. This was the first time a production SUV wore the Super Sport badge.[1] This TrailBlazer came standard with a 6.0 L LS2 V8 based on the same engine that comes standard in the 2005-2006 Pontiac GTO. The LS2 is rated at Template:Convert with Template:Auto ft.lbf of torque and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.8 seconds with quarter mile times around 13.5 seconds at Template:Convert. Other differences entail the use of a 4-speed automatic transmission, a cold air intake package, a 4.10 ratio limited slip rear differential, a ZQ8 sport suspension, specially designed front brakes with brake pads similar to those found on the Corvette, and optional all-wheel drive (via a Torsen T-3 center differential).

SafetyEdit

IIHS tests give early Trailblazers a Marginal overall rating in the frontal offset test while 2005-2009 models get an Acceptable rating. For 2008 models side curtain airbags became standard but the Trailblazer gets a Marginal overall side impact rating regardless of airbag configuration. Torso type side airbags were unavailable.[2] 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Crash Test Ratings:[3] Frontal Driver: Template:Rating Frontal Passenger: Template:Rating Side Driver: Template:Rating Side Rear Passenger: Template:Rating Rollover 2wd: Template:Rating Rollover 4wd: Template:Rating

Yearly American salesEdit

File:PCPD-Truck.JPG
Calendar Year Total American sales
2001[4] 115,103
2002 249,568
2003 261,334
2004[5] 283,484
2005 244,150
2006[6] 174,797
2007 134,626
2008[7] 74,878
2009[8] 8,829

DiscontinuationEdit

The next generation TrailBlazer was to be built on an upgraded version of the current GMT360 platform called the GMT361. It was scheduled to be launched in spring 2007, but in January 2006, GM decided to just refresh the current platform and call the vehicle a GMT360NG. However, in June 2006, GM announced that the GMT360NG program was also canceled due to the large investment. GM decided to keep the current TrailBlazer until the 2009 model year (2008 in Mexico), although it is still available in Russia as of 2010. Buick instead got the Enclave, a GM Lambda platform-based crossover SUV to replace the Rainier (along with the Rendezvous and the Terraza minivan), while GMC will get the GM Lambda platform-based crossover SUV Acadia to replace the Envoy. Also, Saab will replace the 9-7X with the 9-4X. The Trailblazer, along with the Chevrolet Uplander, will be replaced by the Chevrolet Traverse. GM had closed the Moraine plant on December 23, 2008, ending production of all GMT360 products.[9] The last Chevrolet TrailBlazer rolled off the Moraine line on December 16, 2008, a week before the plant's closure. The closing of the last factory that manufactured the trucks was the subject of a 2009 HBO documentary “The Last Truck: Closing of a G.M. Plant”.[10]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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