Chevrolet has just given the world a first look at the three-row version of its Blazer. The 7-seat SUV will make its official debut next week at the Guangzhou auto show in China.
Exciting, no? Well, hold that emotion. The variant will not be sold on the North American market. Buyers here who want a seven-seat SUV from General Motors will have to choose from the likes of the Chevrolet Traverse, Tahoe or Suburban. Meanwhile in China, the new 7-person Blazer will become the brand’s largest SUV available in that market.
Predictably, production of the new version will take place in China itself. There are rumours that Chevrolet might be tempted to export it to some Asian or South American markets.
Would this model make sense in our market? It could be argued some buyers might want a 7-person people-mover that’s smaller than the Tahoe, for instance, but even there, there’s a lot of choice for consumers here already.
We’ll be watching to see if the longer Chinese version of the Blazer will get a different powertrain. Here, the Blazer can be had with a 2.5L 4-cylinder (193 hp, 188 lb-ft of torque) or a 3.6L V6 (305 hp, 269 lb-ft of torque); both are matched with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
At the Guangzhou auto show, Chevrolet will also be looking to make a splash with its new Menlo. The compact hatchback will be the company’s first all-electric vehicle in that market; it comes with a range of 200 miles, or 322 km.
In fact, the Menlo is a virtual copy of the Buick Velito 6 that debuted earlier this year. Tat model is in turn a variant of our market’s Chevrolet Volt. Which is why the Menlo is worth mentioning, of course. We could be looking at the progenitor of the Bolt-based electric SUV that Chevrolet is working on.
We’ll be returning to these models if and when further details are known.