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The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS trim.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Chevrolet is expanding its electric vehicle lineup, adding the 2024 Blazer mid-size SUV, which will start in the mid-$50,000 range when it arrives next summer and travel more than 500 kilometres on a full charge. Chevy has already announced that electric versions of the Silverado pickup truck and Equinox SUV are coming next year. It’s all part of GM’s plan to inject $35-billion into EV and autonomous vehicle product development globally and introduce 30 new EVs by 2025.

“We’ve been in the market delivering electric vehicles for well over a decade and during that time we gained invaluable experiences,” said Scott Bell, vice president of Chevrolet, ahead of the unveiling of the electric Blazer in Los Angeles Monday night.

The Blazer EV will enter a competitive and fast-growing segment with players like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volkswagen ID.4 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 already on sale – although not easily available, yet. But Chevrolet officials believe GM’s new Ultium battery platform will give them an edge over the competition – the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EVs and Blazer will all be powered by the battery platform. The Ultium technology, which is manufactured in Lordstown, Ohio as part of a joint venture with LG Energy Solution, will be the building block for every GM EV moving forward from mass market crossovers to high-performance trucks and SUVs. The flexible architecture allows the batteries to be stacked vertically, which creates a flat cabin floor and more interior space.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV SS trim interior boasts a 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen tilted toward the driver and an 11-inch colour driver instrument cluster. It was revealed in Los Angeles on July 18.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Like the current gas-powered Blazer, the EV will be built in Mexico at GM’s Ramos Arizpe manufacturing facility. It’ll be offered in several trims as well as front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive configurations. GM estimates it’ll have an electric range of up to 515 kilometres on a full charge. And you’ll be able to charge using a 11-kilowatt Level 2 (AC) charger or a DC fast-charger with capability of up to 190 kilowatts – estimated charging time with the fast charger is approximately 125 kilometres in 10 minutes.

The vehicle that stole the show during the reveal was the first-ever SS (Super Sport) badged Blazer EV, which will be the most powerful Blazer in the family. The SS trim will have an exclusive performance all-wheel-drive configuration and a unique WOW, short for Wide open Watts mode similar to the GMC Hummer’s WTF or Watts to Freedom mode; it’ll pump out up to 564 horsepower and 648 lb.-ft. of torque, and propel this model from a standstill to 96 kilometres per hour in less than four seconds.

The trunk of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS trim has extra space for storage and cargo.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Design wise, both the RS and SS trims displayed look sharp and sleek, but the SS with its unique touches like faux grates on the front face, 22-inch wheels, and a two-tone colour scheme in bright red with a contrasting black roof and A-pillars make it stand out on stage. Similar to the Cadillac Lyriq, it has a dual-element LED exterior lighting signature with a choreographed lighting sequence, which activates when the driver approaches or walks away, and illuminates Chevy’s trademark bowtie emblem and a horizontal light bar that stretches across its entire face.

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will come in multiple trims, including this RS trim, priced at $61,298.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Inside, it’s a haven for tech lovers with a huge 17.7-inch infotainment touchscreen tilted toward the driver and an 11-inch colour driver instrument cluster. The red theme continues inside the SS with plush leather seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sculpted vents inspired by turbines and plenty of smart storage compartments. Noticeably absent is a push-button start. Instead, it uses a hands-free start system so the driver doesn’t need to touch a button – press the brake pedal after closing the door and the EV comes to life. With the absence of a transmission tunnel, the floor is flat and there’s extra space for passengers and cargo. A dual fixed sunroof lets natural light in both rows of seats.

The Blazer EV has a claimed range of 515 kilometres.Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Safety features include GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving technology, which allows drivers to travel hands-free on specific divided and compatible highways in Canada and the United States, as well as reverse automatic braking and advanced park assist systems. The Blazer EV will also have regenerative braking and one-pedal driving, which allows the vehicle to slow down or come to a complete stop using only the accelerator.

The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV will go on sale in the summer of 2023, starting with the 2LT and RS trims, priced around $56,598 and $61,298, respectively. The SS trim, approximately $80,998, will arrive in late 2023, followed by the base 1LT trim in Q1 of 2024, starting at $51,998.

Electric vehicles are now heading into the heart of the U.S. auto market - the compact SUV.

The Associated Press

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

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