This Electric Chevy K5 Blazer Concept Is the Future of the Vintage Off-Roader

Chevy's eCrate motor will not just preserve vintage off-roaders, but improve them.

chevrolet will showcase a 1977 k5 blazer converted to all electric propulsion at sema360 the new k5 blazer e retains as much of the stock blazer as possible and approximately 90 percent of the new parts installed for the ecrate package are factory components from the chevrolet bolt ev

The 2020 SEMA Show is happening virtually this year for obvious reasons. But automakers are still producing their typical lineup of custom vehicles. One of the coolest and potentially game-changing for the vintage off-roader is the 1977 K5 Blazer-E, a riff on the K5 Blazer, which is fast becoming the wired SUV for swanky East Coast vacation spots.

Chevy’s K5 Blazer-E looks pretty much like the standard 1977 Blazer. But as you no doubt guessed from the “E,” it’s powered by electricity, specifically a Chevrolet eCrate motor from the Chevy Bolt EV.

the 1977 k5 blazer e uses a bolt ev electric motor, delivering 200 horsepower and 266 lb ft of torque, paired with a chevrolet performance electronically controlled four speed automatic the rest of the blazer drivetrain remains untouched, including the transfer case, driveshaft and axles

Hearing the name “Bolt” may not get you too fired up, but its electric motor puts out 200 hp and 266 lb-ft, which is more than the 1977 K5 Blazer got from its stock 175 hp V8. The battery pack is 400-volt with 60 kWh of usable energy. The Blazer gets a new four-speed automatic and upgrades to the power steering and the brakes. Pretty much everything else, including the transfer case, driveshaft, differential and axles, is stock.

GM expects the “Electric Connect and Cruise” package in the K5 Blazer-E to be available in “the second half of 2021.” They are setting up a certification program for dealers and third-parties to be able to install it — no word yet on pricing. GM is also considering higher-performance options, including potential the Ultium batteries powering the new Hummer EV and other upcoming vehicles.

power for the 1977 k5 blazer e is supplied by a 400 volt bolt ev battery pack with 60 kilowatt hours of usable energy installed in the cargo area using production controllers and wiring harnesses preserves many bolt ev features, including shock protection, battery heating and cooling, battery overcharge protection and even regenerative braking

Chevy's setup in the 1977 K5 Blazer-E isn’t perfect. Skeptics will note the batteries obtrusively take up the entire bed of the vehicle. But developments like this are the start of a bright future that may not just preserve the vintage off-roaders we love but improve them and even make them daily drivable.

This development almost makes up for Chevy reviving the Blazer as a definitively road-going (but good at it) crossover. Almost.


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