The Electric Connect and Cruise system is essentially a plug-and-play crate engine version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s powertrain that allows buyers to easily convert classics into EVs, but how does a modern-day propulsion system like this perform in a vintage SUV like the K5 Blazer? Thankfully General Motors gave us a little more insight into the performance of the Chevy K5 Blazer-E in a recent video posted to the Chevrolet Performance YouTube page.
“This truck we took a bone stock K5 blazer and truly just did a propulsion swap,” Russ O’Blenes, director of performance and racing at Chevrolet, explains in the video. “What we’ve done with this e-crate is really give the customer another option so he can take his classic vehicle and convert it over to a fully electrified vehicle.”
O’Blenes also points out that the Electric Connect and Cruise system is more powerful than the Bolt EV’s powertrain, even though they are essentially the same. This helps it motivate heavier classics like the Blazer along a bit better.
“You look at the production engine with approximately 175 horsepower. With our e-crate we have over 200 horsepower on hand to be able to motivate the Blazer,” he said.
While the Blazer-E certainly won’t be setting the timing charts alight at the local drag strip, this modest 200 horsepower setup is great for cruising and light off-roading. The electric motor is linked up to a new electronically controlled Chevrolet Performance four-speed automatic transmission, however the SUV’s original transfer case, driveshaft and axles all remain.
That all sounds great, but the Electric Connect and Cruise package isn’t very useful if doesn’t have a usable amount of range. It uses mostly production-ready Chevrolet Bolt EV components, though, so it’s similarly as efficient. In the rather heavy and aerodynamically challenged Chevy K5 Blazer-E, GM hopes the setup will provide between 100-150 miles of real-world range.
“You know one of the things that have a big impact on range is obviously the weight” O’Blenes explained. “Also tires, where we put off-road tires on it. You know that slows the range down a bit. We’re digging in more but we believe it will be somewhere between 100 to 150 miles of range using the 60 kWh battery out of the Bolt.”
The Electric Connect and Cruise package is only the start for GM’s e-crate offerings. The automaker hopes to one day integrate its new Ultium Drive line of electric motors and its Ultium modular battery system into the Chevrolet Performance e-crate lineup, as well, giving buyers new high-performance options, among more.
Hear what else O’Blenes has to say about the Chevy K5 Blazer-E in the video embedded below.