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Road Test: 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer SS

More power; more SS flavor

Mark Williams
Aug 19, 2005
Photographers: The Manufacturer
For those who care about the car side of the world, you know GM is expanding the legendary SS badge to vehicles like the Malibu, Cobalt, Impala, and Monte Carlo. Elsewhere in this issue, we've highlighted some of the power changes in the Silverado SS and SSR. Now, GM is reintroducing the TrailBlazer SS. Offered in all-wheel or rear-drive, the TrailBlazer SS uses the Corvette LS2 6.0-liter V-8, which puts out 391 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. Backed up to the new motor are a redesigned 4L70-E four-speed transmission, a new all-wheel-drive transfer case, and a stronger rear axle, the last sporting a strengthened 9.5-inch ring and pinion.
The new setup is reported to send the sporty SUV to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which would make it one of few SUVs to run that low. And to make sure we know this vehicle isn't just about straight-line capability, GM did all the final suspension testing on the famed 12.5-mile Nuerburgring racetrack in Germany. GM tells us the stiffer springs, grippy Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires, as well as specially tuned shocks, combine to bias this track racer for energetic romps. The ride height and center of gravity was lowered by almost two inches with a combination of springs and low-profile tires. Larger stabilizer bars and a newly calibrated StabiliTrak program keep the wheels spinning and gripping when pushed, while 12.8-inch rotors and twin-piston calipers give the SS its needed high-performance stopping power. Estimated braking distances from 60 are reported be near 130 feet. With these numbers, expect the TrailBlazer SS to compete with vehicles like the BMW X5, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 (see our "First Look" in this issue), and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Although pricing has not been announced, expect a hefty premium for the sporty engine and trans combination.
Given how other SS packages have been priced above their respective up-level-equipped models, the TrailBlazer SS will start somewhere around $38,000 and be in showrooms late this fall. For those looking for the perfect hot-rod tow vehicle, you'll be happy to know the TrailBlazer SS retains its full towing capacities of 6700 pounds for two-wheel-drive models and 6500 pounds for all-wheel drivers.
Photo 2/3   |   Interior styling is driver-oriented with thickly bolstered seats, a T-shaped brushed-aluminum shifter, and easy-to-read silver-face gauges. Other details include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and SS logos embroidered on the seatbacks.
Photo 3/3   |   Even though this is a new engine for the TrailBlazer, engineers decided to keep the trademark halfshafts-through-the-oil-pan (for AWD models) feature to keep the center of gravity of the SS as low as possible.

Chevrolet Trailblazer SS
Location of final assembly Moraine, Ohio
Body style 4-door, 5-pass SUV
EPA size class Midsize utility
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD, AWD
Airbags Dual front
Engine type 90o V-8, all aluminum
Bore x stroke, in 4.00 x 3.62
Displacement, ci/L 366.2/6.0
Compression ratio 10.9:1
Valve gear OHV, 2 valves/cyl
Fuel induction Sequential
SAE horsepower, hp @ rpm 391 @ 5400
SAE torque, lb-ft @ rpm 395 @ 4400
Transmission type 4L70-E 4-speed auto
1st 3.06:1
2nd 1.62:1
3rd 1.00:1
4th 0.69:1
Reverse 2.29:1
Axle ratio 4.10:1
Final-drive ratio 2.83:1
Engine redline, rpm 6500
Recommended fuel 90 Octane min
Wheelbase, in 113.0
Length, in 191.8
Width, in 74.6
Height, in 67.8
Track, f/r, in 63.1/62.1
Headroom, f/r, in 40.2/39.6
Legroom, f/r, in 46.9/37.0
Shoulder room, f/r, in 58.5/58.5
Hip room, f/r, in 56.0/58.2
Cargo volume, back row seat up, cu ft 41.0
Cargo volume, back row seat down, cu ft 80.1
Ground clearance, in 7.8
Base curb weight, lb 4552
Payload capacity, lb 1450
GVWR, lb 6001
GCWR, lb 12,700
Towing capacity, lb 6700
Fuel capacity, gal 22.0
0-60 mph, sec 5.7 (mfr est)
60-0 mph, ft 130 (mfr est)
Suspension, f/r IFS, double A-arm, coil springs/live axle, coil springs, five-link
Steering type Hydraulic assist rack and pinion
Ratio 16.1:1
Turns, lock to lock 3.0
Turning circle, ft 36.4
Brakes, f/r 12.8-in vented discs/12.8-in discs
Wheels 20x8.0-in cast aluminum
Tires 255/50R20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A
Load/speed rating 104V
Base range $38,000-$40,000 (est)
- OF



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