Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

With the return of the new Ford Bronco earlier this summer, Chevrolet has been catching some flack for bringing back its legendary Blazer nameplate as a car-based crossover rather than a rugged, retro 4×4 like the 2021 Bronco.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

But at one time it seemed Chevy was actually quite interested in reviving one of its popular off-road nameplates—at least enough to build a concept version.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

The K5 Designation

While most often associated with the square-bodied Blazers of the ’70s and ’80s, the K5 designation was used on three different generations of Blazer from 1969 through 1994. And at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show, Chevy brought back the nameplate for an off-road concept based on the beloved two-door Tahoe platform.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

Although it was based on a two-door platform the concept featured rear suicide doors for much improved passenger access. And like the K5 Blazers of the ’70s and ’80s, the concept had an open bed and was designed for a removable hardtop.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

As you can see from the photos, the K5 Concept looks very similar to the Avalanche pickup, albeit one that’s been dramatically shortened in length.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

Smaller Blazer

The idea was to show that a smaller Blazer style vehicle could be desirable and functional at a time when two-door SUVs were disappearing, but GM would soon get rid of the two-door Tahoe altogether and any chances or a K5 revival disappeared with that.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

Now though, nearly 20 years later with all of the excitement one can’t help but wonder if GM wouldn’t like to revisit the idea of a new, adventurous 4×4.

Before the Bronco Chevy's Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept
Before the Bronco Chevy’s Forgotten K5 Blazer Concept

Sure the Blazer name might be taken by the aforementioned crossover, but a simple “Chevy K5” would work just as well…

Originally written by Mike Garrett for DrivingLine