AD #2381 – Blazer Back from the Dead, Toyota Upgrades the Century, Volvo’s Autonomous Technology for Boats

June 22nd, 2018 at 11:31am

Runtime: 8:26

0:30 GM Shakes Up Executive Responsibilities
1:04 VW Gives Regional Authority to Brands
1:45 Blazer Back from the Dead
3:26 Volvo’s Autonomous Technology for Boats
4:09 Toyota Upgrades the Century
5:45 PSA Thinks It Can Make Big Money with Ride Sharing

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31 Comments to “AD #2381 – Blazer Back from the Dead, Toyota Upgrades the Century, Volvo’s Autonomous Technology for Boats”

  1. David Sprowl Says:

    Is Mark assuming responsibility for crash testing too? I think he would do a bang up job!

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Glad to see the Blazer name returning but I really would have liked it to have the removable top to tie it a little closer to the original. This Blazer just looks like another version of the Traverse with slight changes in dimensions and fascias.

  3. Ron Paris Says:

    OK, so I have a question for John/Sean. If we’re now referring to the “kick-up” over the rear quarter panel (such as that of the new Chevy Blazer) as a “shark fin”, what are we calling the roof antennae cover used by many manufacturers which has heretofore been referred to by the same name?

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    So why is the new Blazer an SUV as opposed to a CUV; the base is FWD (with optional AWD) and I don’t think it is body on frame. Anyone else have info or clarification.

  5. John Faulkner Says:

    I was hoping the Blazer would have a turbo diesel option. Maybe even a mild or full hybrid. Ford is on to something with their plans for future SUV/CUV models to have some sort of electrification.

    Ron Paris is right. Shark Fin is an antenna and kick-up is a design feature. Who comes up with these descriptions and why do people start using them? And don’t get me started on shooting brake vs. station wagon…geez!

  6. BobD Says:

    Disappointing that the Blazer was not true to its roots as a SUV based on the Colorado/Canyon body-on-frame. I understand the numerous reasons for not doing that, but still disappointing. I also wonder on the economics of building this in Mexico with the potential trade wars. I guess GM is planning for the long run (beyond 2020).

    I saw the press photos of the Blazer yesterday and my first impression was, Ugh!!! Not a rip-off of Lexus’ spindle grille. I guess I’m not the only one to see the resemblance. Not a fan. Of course I don’t like the new/larger grills on the 2019 Cruze and Malibu either. Too much black plastic up front.

  7. Lisk Says:

    I am disappointed in Chevy’s use of the name Blazer and their positioning it as only a 5 seater. If it’s roughly the same size as the GMC Acadia, why not make it a 6-7 seater? And Why choose Mexico? The Spring Hill, TN plant where the sibling Acadia and XT5 are built seems the obvious choice?

    I like PSAs thoughts on reentering the US market as a ride sharing service. They will be able to control the quality ratings by not getting bad pub (should there be issues) right out of the gate. I’m not sure if they will be profitable, but it’s an eventual doorway into the market.

  8. Lambo2015 Says:

    In the not so far past automakers were making grill openings as small as possible while still providing adequate cooling. This was done in order to achieve better aerodynamics.
    So do these new humongous grills adversely affect aerodynamics? Is this no longer important or does styling trump efficiency? As every maker is trying to provide the most fuel efficient SUV it seems that styling could give that same appearance without actually having the gaping grill opening.

  9. Lisk Says:

    8) The engines of today do require greater cooling than cars of the past due to the power ratings. You don’t produce as much heat with a 85hp as you do with a 150hp unit of the same capacity. I know GM specifically was more interested in fuel economy and better aero than horsepower in the 80′s than today. The 1984 Corvette had no grille at all, it was a “bottom breather.” If you look at the SCCA Corvettes form the 80′s & 90′s, the park/fog lamps were usually removed and the license plate pockets were opened up for cooling. When the C5 arrived, it only had small grille openings but this actually hampered the C5.R racing development as it didn’t provide enough cooling . That’s why the C6 had such a big grill opening. Another thing is even though there are huge grilles on todaya cars, a sizable portion is blocked off. I know my Cruze has about 70 sq. inches of grille and only about 40 sq. in. of opening.

  10. Fred Schmidt Says:

    The Blazer front styling is ugly in my opinion. Now they have two 5 seat suv/cuv with the Equinox and Blazer. The Equinox used to have the engine choices now in the Blazer. More choices in the showroom will bring in more sales, they hope. After boating 20 or so year ago I had a 42 foot aft cabin boat with twin inboards. Had a lot of wind exposure but docking was never a problem. I did see so many who had no clue on docking but had a big enough checkbook to buy a large vessel. Bow thrusters would help these poorly trained Captains. we will see what this Volvo system will do.

  11. Lisk Says:

    10)Same can be said about folks buying bus like RVs and Trucks that can tow 20,000 lb trailers and think they are just big Fusions…

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To the general public, all of these tall body, lifted wagons are SUV’s. The term CUV is mainly used by we car nuts.

    Interesting, our group seems to think that a unibody vehicle like the upcoming Blazer isn’t “trucky” enough to be an SUV, but that applies only when the vehicle is transverse engine, and the 2wd version is front drive. I hear little whining about the Grand Cherokee and Durango being unibody.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    #10 Maybe they can offer AV technology where if you dont have a dock slip you can get off the boat and have it park itself in the harbor without having to use a ferry service. Same for retrieval when your ready to go. Use phone app to have the boat pull up unmanned to you can board.
    I wish AV cars and trucks would get a valet feature before managing the highways. Drop me off at the door and park out to the far end of the parking lot. Especially on a rainy day.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does the Volvo boat have azipods like cruise ships? The video makes it look that way.

  15. Fred Schmidt Says:

    The video shows backing into a slip/dock. Many marina’s have docks where boats moor battleship style and that is how my dock was, I wonder if their system will do that style of docking. With twin inboard engines and ample sized rudders, using the engines together split directions with rudder input or the same direction, you can walk a boat sideways right into a slip/dock. Even if this system becomes available I don’t see many marina’s investing into installing the equipment. Here is a video showing walking a boat sideways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W36rDKl4T5s And thats how its done.

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    When winds (as already mentioned), and don’t forget tides, or river current, then, then a self docking software would merit its usefulness. A good captain has to take all those things into consideration (when docking). So one wonders; what requirements are needed so ‘it’ to work: thusters, twin engines, azipods, etc.

  17. Fred Schmidt Says:

    14 I doubt boats that size would be anything other than twin inboards or twin inboard/outboards.

  18. Tom Cain Says:

    If it’s not a K5, it’s not a Blazer.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #15 Thanks for the link. That is impressive. It looks like there is a lot of skill involved, in doing that just with throttles, gear changes, and rudders.

  20. Albemarle Says:

    John, you said in the last Q&A video that BMW was the main culprit of underpaying auto workers in Mexico. If GM is also doing it, no wonder the unions are upset. This issue of pay might be the undoing of Mexico in NAFTA as far as the auto industry in concerned.

    All major marine power companies have simple to use joystick systems for manoeuvring. The addition of self-docking seems a whole bunch of added on sensors and cost for very little benefit.

    PSA has been doing a lot of talking. What do they uniquely bring to the party? They don’t even sell cars here!

    Finally, I love that Toyota. What a beautiful car. Here’s your Lincoln Town Car, John.

  21. Drew Says:

    I am surprised the rear end of the new Blazer hasn’t received as much or more criticism as the front.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This article is strange, saying that the new Blazer will compete with Grand Cherokee. The must have meant that it would compete with non-grand Cherokee. http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/ct-chevy-brings-blazer-20180622-story.html

  23. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Like Kit, I can’t figure how anyone would compare this to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Let’s see: Front vs. rear drive. Base engine 195 vs. 290 with up to 707 optional. Air suspension available? Trail Rated? Seems more to compete with the other 5 passenger CUVs like the Edge or the 2019 Cherokee. And styling. Not a good view front rear or side. Note the Camaro-like slit side windows!

  24. wmb Says:

    I think that they are comparing it to the Grand Cherokee, due to its size/foot print, being only 5 passenger and so much bigger inside and out them the Cherokee. While it may not be trail rated, much like the GMC Acadia, it is meant to compete with other versions of the Grand Cherokee. It seems like the ground clearance is too high, but may be the paint job and lighting is playing tricks with my eyes. Even though I know most will hate even the suggestion of this, personally, I would have like to have seen this as a four door coupe! This way it would not compete with the Equinox, nor the Acadia. Right now, from what I can see, it looks like a shorten Traverse with a Camaro-look kit glued to it. From what can be see, its hard to say if I like it or not.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24. To me, the new Blazer does NOT compete with Grand Cherokee for the reasons Don states in #23. It’s too early to know how much room it has.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I hope that, with Mark Reuss’s new responsibilities, they have told him not to drive pace cars. That was an embarrassment to him, and to GM. Still, with his apparent experience, i suspect it was a major case of bad luck.

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m generally a GM fan (Chevy, since childhood), but I’m not quick to give a nod out to the new Blazer. It looks like a contrived vehicle; instead of a ground-braking one; were is it better than what’s already out there.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #27, Chuck
    I feel the same way. I think they just wanted to offer another CUV, figuring that the more different vehicles they have available, the more total vehicles they can sell.

    According to Autoweek, the Blazer has about the same amount of cabin space as the Equinox. One clear difference between the two is engines. The Equinox uses 1.5 liter and 2.0 liter turbo fours, while the Blazer will use a couple naturally aspirated engines.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chuck, maybe you have some clues. Why is McLaren F1 so BAD? Wouldn’t last year’s cars with the Renault engines they’re using now, do better?

  30. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Kit, surely don’t know; they were starting to make some ‘rumblings’ for the good, then, not so much. Might be some solace that the middle of the pack has gotten a lot more competitive (and maybe, they McLaren, just having some bad luck).

  31. Dan Says:

    What do I like about the re-imagined Blazer? Ah, um, well, ah… I’ll have to think on that for a while and get back to you.