2017 Trailblazer Z71 Preview – GM Holden Announces Special Edition for Australia

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Chevrolet has a habit of bringing back discontinued vehicle names. Impala, Malibu and Camaro were gone, but certainly not forgotten, only to be reborn for new generations of buyers. What about TrailBlazer? Actually, it’s already back, if you happen to live in Australia, Thailand or Brazil.

The new model went on sale in Brazil last summer wearing a Chevrolet bowtie. In Australia, it was launched last fall under GM’s Holden brand, while in Thailand it’s sold as a Chevrolet. The new SUV is an evolution of its recent predecessor, called the Colorado 7 in Australia, which of course, is related to the midsize pickup.

Now, Holden has announced its adventure-ready 4×4 SUV will receive the “Z71” treatment (above) with an initial run of just 400 Special Edition vehicles.

Inspired by the success of its Colorado Crew Cab pickup sibling, the Trailblazer Z71 is based on the top-of-the-range LTZ (shown above and in the photos below) and gains a long list of styling enhancements to give it a sporty look.

The Z71 adds exterior upgrades including 18-inch black painted alloy wheels (from the Z71 pickup), black bodyside and beltline moldings, black grille inserts, mirrors and door handles plus Z71 hood decals.

Inside Trailblazer’s seven-passenger cabin, heated front leather-appointed seats are upgraded with Z71 headrest embroidery. A wide range of high-tech features are available including front park assist, electronic climate control, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Trailblazer offers connectivity delivered through the next generation of Holden’s MyLink infotainment system. An 8-inch color touchscreen with mobile phone projection via Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ is available across the range. Features within the system are accessed through a simple and intuitive icon-based user interface or by Siri Eyes Free and Smartphone Voice Recognition Pass-Through, offering drivers seamless connectivity and use of a wide range of in-car apps.

Developed in collaboration between Holden and GM Brazil and alongside the 2017 Holden Colorado, Trailblazer is designed to blend 4×4 capability with refined and confident on-road performance.

Trailblazer’s 2.8-liter 4-cylinder DOHC Duramax 2 diesel engine is said to be certified to Euro 5 and includes a diesel particulate filter. The turbocharged direct common-rail injection engine is rated at 147kW and a stout 500 Nm of torque.

The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission coupled to an electronically actuated part-time transfer case that’s controlled via a rotary switch positioned in the center console.

Trailblazer rides on an independent double-wishbone coil spring front suspension and five-link live-axle rear suspension. While plenty of crossover style SUVs are sold in Australia, the rugged body-on-frame construction used in Trailblazer remains a popular choice.

It would be great to see the Trailblazer return to the U.S, yet that’s not likely to happen. Chevrolet has its bases covered with the larger Tahoe and Suburban along with an array of midsize and compact crossovers. (Holden does supply American Chevrolet dealers with the SS performance sedan that unfortunately won’t be around much longer.)

Holden’s Trailblazer is built at General Motors’ Rayong manufacturing facility in Thailand. Features and specifications for Australian market models are subject to change without notice by the automaker.

News source and photos courtesy of GM Holden Ltd.

Story (commentary) © 2017 CarNichiWa.com