The Chevrolet Blazer has been and will continue to be the subject of many topics in the coming months. In addition to the international rollout of the 2019 Blazer model already on sale in North America, GM Authority has already pondered the viability of a three-row version, which GM previously dismissed. But now, we have discovered that General Motors is actually readying a three-row variant of the Chevrolet mid-size SUV, and that it will likely be called Blazer XL. The model is expected to debut in China in early 2020, followed by debuts in other international markets.
FNR-CarryAll Concept Comes To Life
The future Blazer XL will essentially be the production version of the Chevrolet FNR-CarryAll Concept that was unveiled last November during the 2018 Guangzhou Motor Show. The concept showcased a design almost ready for serial production, but with several modifications compared to the exterior design and dimensions of the two-row 2019 Blazer. These changes enable the addition of a third row and a total seating capacity for seven occupants.
The three-row Blazer XL will feature dimensions in line with those of the FNR-CarryAll concept. This means an overall body length 5.5 inches longer than the two-row Blazer while maintaining pretty much the same 112.9-inch wheelbase. Technically speaking, though, the Blazer XL will ride on a wheelbase that’s 0.2 inches (4 mm) longer than that of the two-row Blazer.
In other words, like the 2019 Blazer with two rows, the three-row Blazer XL will use the short version of the GM C1 platform. Perhaps it’s for this very reason that the three-row Blazer model is identified in confidential SAIC-GM documents by the same C1UC vehicle program code as the two-row Blazer.
|Dimension||Blazer Two-Row||Blazer Three-Row||Traverse|
|Length (in / mm):||191.4 / 4862||196.9 / 5000||204.3 / 5189|
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||112.7 / 2863||112.9 / 2867||120.9 / 3071|
From a design standpoint, the three-row Blazer XL will feature a longer, more traditional roofline that tapers less aggressively than the one on the two-row Blazer. It will also feature a larger rear doors with a redesigned top-end, a larger third window between the C- and D-pillars, and a more vertical tailgate.
All of these modifications allow the Blazer XL to get three rows of seating while being more functional and appealing to a wider customer base.
The future Blazer XL will be Chevrolet’s largest global crossover utility vehicle, ideal for regions and countries where the Chevy Traverse is not sold because it is simply too large. This is the case in China, the largest automotive market in the world, where Chevrolet plans to substantially increase its availability of utility vehicles, taking advantage of strong historical ties as a pioneer of the SUV segment, as hinted by the name of the FNR-CarryAll concept.
In addition to China, the three-row Blazer XL could also be sold in other global markets such as South Korea, Brazil and most countries in South America as Chevrolet’s range-topping crossover. Whether GM will sell the three-row in the United States and Canada is unknown at the moment. The model could cannibalize sales of the Chevy Traverse, as it would be offered for roughly the same price as the larger Traverse.
From a mechanical standpoint, we expect the Blazer XL to be powered by a choice of the following gasoline engines:
- Naturally-aspirated 3.6L V6 LGX making 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 269 foot-pounds (365 Nm) of torque
- Turbo-charged 2.0L I4 LSY making around 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque exclusively offered in China
Both engines will be mated to the GM 9-speed automatic transmission.
Production & Assembly
According to our sources, the Chevrolet Blazer XL will begin production in February 2020 at the SAIC-GM Jinqiao Cadillac plant in the city of Shanghai. However, we suspect that the model will also be manufactured at at least one other GM plant outside of China to fulfill demand for other regions.