China, crossover, electric vehicle, suv

Chevy teases three-row Chinese Blazer ahead of Friday reveal


Chevrolet has released a teaser image of the seven-seat, three-row Blazer it plans to sell in China ahead of its official reveal Friday at the Chevrolet Gala Night in the city of Hefei. That’s also where the brand plans to debut its first electric vehicle for the Chinese market, the called the Menlo.

First the Blazer XL, as it will reportedly be named. The darkened image gives us our best look yet at the three-row SUV after a series of spy shots of the vehicle wearing camouflage. It gives a good sense of the added length and the up-sweeping shoulder and belt line in the rear. What’s less clear from this teaser and previous spy shots is how the door creasing compares with the five-seat U.S. version.

Chevy previewed the three-row Blazer with the FNR-CarryAll concept shown at an auto show in China last year.

The Menlo, meanwhile, is based on the Chevy FNR-X concept that was shown in Shanghai in 2017. Like that “all-purpose sports concept,” and despite its description as a sedan, the Menlo appears to be more of a plug-in electric crossover, as evidenced by a teaser image of what is clearly a rear hatch and images that leaked this summer on CarNewChina’s Facebook page. It reflects design influences from the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid — which preceded it in China in 2011 — the Blazer and the Chevy Bolt EV.

CNET reports that the Menlo is built on the China-only Buick Velite 6 platform and makes 176 horsepower. Chevy’s China PR unit describes the Menlo as a “sporty-looking sedan that leverages GM’s highly efficient and reliable electric propulsion and intelligent connectivity technology,” so we’ll look forward to learning more later this week.

Chevy of course already sells a three-row SUV in the U.S. in the Traverse. But as we’ve previously pointed out, that’s technically bigger than the Blazer XL, and the latter is undoubtedly a more stylish vehicle that might appeal to U.S. buyers. Not to mention, it’s a sport utility vehicle. Do automakers really care anymore whether they have too many of them?

In China, anyway, the Blazer XL will be available in two trim levels, RS or Redline. It joins the compact Trailblazer, midsize Equinox and Tracker small SUV as the flagship in the brand’s lineup of utility vehicles in its second-largest market.

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