text & photos Ricardo Rodriguez-Long
Architect Cesar Pelli created a special place in 1975. The fourteen-acre space in West Hollywood is already an architectural icon of Los Angeles. Completed in 2012, with the final "red" building, the Pacific Design Center is the west coast leading resource for traditional and contemporary furnishings, fabrics, and architectural products. Designers, decorators, and architects visit this fantastic place to get ideas and see the upcoming new trends.
Chevrolet picked the right place to introduce a new vehicle with outstanding design to the world. The 2024 all-new Blazer EV rolled quietly into a stage before the iconic building. This is an all-electric car that fits into the midsize segment. As the Blazer EV moved into the center stage, my first impression was positive as the look, and athletic profile give the car a strong personality. Phil Zak, who was involved in designing the Blazer, said: "It has the sort of passionate proportions and feel that make you want to slide behind the wheel." I could see some styling touches from the Camaro, and something unique to push interior design further.
The international press could not wait to touch the car, so within seconds of Scott Bell, Chevrolet VP, wrap-up speech, they all rushed to the stage to meet the Blazer EV face to face. Once the crowd calmed down, I did slide myself behind the wheel and found quite a lot of exciting things. The turbine-like vents of the climate system reminded me of the fifties cars. But these "rockets" are graciously integrated into one of the largest digital screens on the market (almost 18 inches). This touch screen is a fully customizable infotainment system that allows you to easily navigate all apps, radio, a/c, car settings, and much more that I could get my head around. This screen is cleverly annexed to another eleven-inch driver screen behind the steering wheel. This one provides all information about the car itself.
The Blazer EV is much more than just a well-designed car. It hides a lot of technology, including Hands-free Super Cruise, Advanced Park Assist, and the latest electric platform, Ultium, from GM. The vehicle will be available with one or two electric motors, and the range with a full battery charge will be around 320 miles.
There will be a SS version as well. The sporty model will have an exclusive AWD configuration to handle 557 horsepower and 648 ft-lbs of torque. "The Blazer EV SS has the soul of a true sports car," said Bell.
The EV segment continues to grow, and the Blazer EV has become a very styling option backed by GM's latest tech. The American company has committed to the EV market, and if the Blazer is an example of future things, I welcome the styling approach.