Oct 19, 2012
GM unveils SUV aimed at challenging Japan’s market dominanceBack
Africa|Diesel|DIESEL ENGINES|Engines|Flow|General Motor South Africa|General Motors|GM Do Brasil|Motors|Road|Safety|System|Toyota|Africa|South America|South Africa|Thailand|Flow|Motors|Products|Alastair Ironside|Dagoberto Tribia|Edgar Lourencon|Motors|Power|Chevrolet Trailblazer|Motors|Trailblazer|Eastern Europe|Middle East|Pacific Rim|South Africa|Automatic Transmission|Bluetooth|Diesel |Electronic Stability Control
© Reuse this
“We are going after Toyota’s Fortuner. It’s the Trailblazer’s reason for being,” says General Motor South Africa (GMSA) marketing GM Alastair Ironside.
“The Trailblazer is coming in a segment of the market we are not currently competing in,” adds GMSA president and MD Edgar Lourencon.
He says he is confident the seven-seater SUV has the characteristics to be a success in the South African market, offering “outstanding comfort, an outstanding interior and great performance”.
Ironside also notes that the Trailblazer offers more standard features than rival products, as well as a 15 000 km service interval as opposed to the 10 000 km often seen in this segment. This means the General Motors (GM) SUV is 12% to 18% less expensive when it comes to service, maintenance and collision parts, he says.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer was developed by GM’s Brazilian subsidiary, GM do Brasil, for markets in Africa, the Pacific Rim, the Middle East, South America and Eastern Europe. It is manufactured in Thailand.
“The Trailblazer had to appear agile and athletic,” says GM do Brasil design director Dagoberto Tribia. “It had to be powerful, but nimble in an urban environment, but also superbly capable in an off-road rock-climbing role. This had to be backed up by a high level of refinement, comfort and safety for the occupants.”
Inside, load space ranges from 205 l with all seats upright, to 1 830 l with seats folded flat.
The seven-passenger seating configuration, with all seats suitable for adults, offers three-row tumble and fold-flat versatility to grow luggage space if necessary.
The Trailblazer design team adopted a high-to-low, theatre-style seating arrangement for the second and third rows of seats.
Some 32 individual compartments of varying size are located throughout the interior. These include a covered centre storage bin, a dual glovebox, and a storage space large enough to accommodate a jumbo-sized golf bag.
Useful amenities include auxiliary 12 V power points and USB and Bluetooth connectivity through the infotainment system. A separate heat, ventilation, and air-conditioning control system is mounted in the roof of the rear compartment to provide rear seat passengers control over their own ventilation flow.
The body-on-frame Chevrolet Trailblazer is offered with a choice of 2.5 l or 2.8 l Duramax diesel engines, or a 3.6 l V6 petrol 24-valve engine.
The 2.5 l diesel engine produces maximum power of 110 kW with peak torque of 350 Nm, while the 2.8 l Duramax engine delivers 132 kW with 470 Nm of torque when mated to the six-speed automatic transmission, and 440 Nm of torque when coupled to the manual five-speed transmission.
GMSA says fuel consumption for the combined cycle has been measured at 8.2 l/100 km for the 2.5 l diesel and 8.8 l/100 km for the 2.8 l manual diesel. When supplied with the automatic transmission option, fuel consumption for this model is an estimated 9.8 l/100 km for the combined cycle.
The 2.5 l engine option drives via a five-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive. The 2.8 l diesel engine is available with either five-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmissions, the latter featuring driver shift control. There is a choice of either two- or four-wheel drive.
The part time four-wheel drive system offers a choice between two-wheel drive motoring (2H), high-ratio four-wheel drive (4H), or low-ratio four-wheel drive (4L), for when the going gets really tough.
The mode required is selected via an electronic switch mounted on the centre console. The transfer case can be shifted on-the-fly between 2H and 4H modes, at speeds up to 100 km/h.
The Trailblazer’s 3.6 l, four-camshaft V6 engine produces maximum power of 176 kW, with peak torque of 329 Nm. It achieves this with claimed fuel economy of 11.9 l/100km in average use.
The 3.6 l V6 engine is mated to an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with driver shift control.
Towing capacity on the Trailblazer is up to 2 950 kg, making use of the 2.8 l derivative.
Driver aids on the SUV include a traction control system, hydraulic brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, panic brake assist, electronic stability control, cornering brake control, hill descent control, and hill start assist, which prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards when pulling away on a steep uphill gradient.
The LT specification level is offered as a base line on just one model, the 2.5 LT Diesel 4X2. It includes body colour side mirrors and door handles; front fog lamps; electrically activated rear lift-gate latch; six-speaker audio system with front loading CD, MP3 compatibility and iPod functionality; satellite controls for radio and cruise control; tilt adjustable steering wheel; power windows; remote keyless entry; power steering, air-conditioner with driver control for rear ventilation; 16-inch aluminium wheels; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution; front airbags for driver and front passenger; curtain side airbags; side-mounted running boards; ultrasonic rear park assist retractable cover for cargo area; and underbody shields for the fuel tank and transfer case.
The LTZ specification is available with either the 2.8 l diesel power or V6 petrol engine, and adds, among others features, projector lens-type headlamps, rear fog lamps, chrome side mirrors and door handles, roof rails, 18-inch aluminium wheels, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, multiple information display, leather trim, eight-speaker audio system, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Warranty cover on the Trailblazer is five years/120 000 km. Roadside emergency protection is provided for the full warranty period.
Pricing starts at R364 000.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Automotive News
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...