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Chevrolet Blazer History

Chevrolet Blazer

The Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Jimmy names were used on two different early SUV models:

  • The full-size K5 Blazer and Jimmy were produced from 1969 on the C/K pickup truck chassis.
  • The smaller S-10 Blazer and S-15 Jimmy used the compact Chevrolet S-10 truck chassis and were produced from 1983 through the early 2000s.
2004 Chevrolet Blazer and 2001 GMC Jimmy

First generation Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1988 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1993 GMC Jimmy (seen with a 2/3 drop)

Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

The Chevrolet S-10 Blazer (4WD model T-10) and the similar GMC S-15 Jimmy (4WD model T-15) were mid-size SUVs from General Motors. Production began alongside the larger K5 Blazer and Jimmy in 1983 and lasted through 2005. In the United States retail sales after 2001 were limited to two-door Blazer models, all other models being sold to fleets, until April 20, 2005. Retail sales of the (two-door) Jimmy were limited to the Canadian market after 2001.

The S-series SUVs, so named because they were based on the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15 pickup trucks, were produced in Moraine, Ohio and Sao Paulo, Brazil (the Brazilian version is based on the second-generation S-series; even though production ceased in the U.S., new Blazers are locally produced in Brazil with their own sheetmetal stampings).


See also GMC Typhoon and Oldsmobile Bravada.

Upon the introduction of the S-10 pickup truck in 1982 to replace the Isuzu-based Chevrolet LUV, the S-10 Blazer was introduced for the 1983 model year, along with the GMC S-15 Jimmy.

Styling cues were based on the first generation K5 Blazer and Jimmy (such as the angled C-pillars and lift glass panel); the S-series Blazer and Jimmy did not feature removable hardtops like their full-size counterparts.

Notably, the new, smaller Blazer and Jimmy were only offered in a two-door bodystyle, like their larger antecedents.

Base power was provided by GM's 2.0 L OHV four-cylinder engine, producing a meagre 83 hp. A 2.8 L, 110 hp V6 was offered as an option (coincidentally this engine was also used in archrival Jeep's Cherokee until 1987). A gasoline-powered 1.9 L I4 built by Isuzu was offered as the base model engine in California in place of the 2.0 L engine, whilst a 2.2 L diesel engine producing 58 hp was offered as an option.

The 1.9 L, 2.0&nbspL and 2.2 L diesel were dropped after 1985, replaced by the larger 2.5 L "Iron Duke" engine. The V6 was refitted with a throttle-body fuel injection system for 1986, in order to improve performance and fuel economy.

Jeep replaced the Cherokee's 2.8 L V6 with a new, more powerful 4.0 L, 173 hp I6 in 1987. To keep competitive the Blazer and Jimmy received a new 4.3 L V6 option in 1988, based off of the ubiquitous Chevrolet Small-Block V8 engine, producing a respectable 150 hp. Power output was increased to 160 hp in 1989.

In March 1990, 4-door versions of the S-10 Blazer and Jimmy were introduced; the 4-door had a 6.5 in longer wheelbase (2-doors had a 100.5 in wheelbase - six inches longer than the Ford Bronco II) and a one-piece front grille (1990 2-door S-10 Blazers and Jimmys had the 3-piece grille). This came just months ahead of the introduction of the Ford Explorer; six-and-a-half years after the segment-leading Cherokee debuted with four doors.

The upscale Oldsmobile Bravada appeared the next year. Although the first generation S-series Blazer and Jimmy were initially sold as 2-doors upon its original introduction, an episode of Motor Trend TV (c. 1991) stated that the thumbs up was for the introduction of the new bodystyle, and the thumbs down was that the 4-door bodystyle was based on the first generation model, which was in the process of a makeover.

All 4-door S10 Blazers and Jimmies came with anti-lock brakes as standard equipment; unlike the 2-door model, only two 4.3 L engines were optioned - the base TBI and the CPI (introduced in 1992 for the S-series and Chevrolet Astro vans; these engines had the "Vortec" logo on the intake plenum). Some consider the CPI as the ancestor of the Vortec engine later introduced in 1996.


  • 1983-1984 - 2.0 L OHV I4, 2-barrel carbureted, 83 hp (62 kW)/108  ft·lbff (146 N·m)
  • 1983-1985 - 1.9 L Isuzu I4, 2-barrel carbureted, 84 hp (63 kW)/101  ft·lbff (137 N·m) (California)
  • 1983-1985 - 2.2 L diesel I4, 58 hp (43 kW)/93  ft·lbff (126 N·m)
  • 1983-1985 - 2.8 L LR2 V6, 2-barrel carbureted, 110 hp (82 kW)/148  ft·lbff (201 N·m) (VIN B)
  • 1985-1989 - 2.5 L Tech IV I4, TBI, 92 hp (69 kW)/132  ft·lbff (179 N·m) (VIN E)
  • 1986-1993 - 2.8 L LL1 V6, TBI, 125 hp (93 kW)/150  ft·lbff (203 N·m) (VIN R)
  • 1988 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, TBI, 150 hp (112 kW)/230  ft·lbff (312 N·m) (VIN Z)
  • 1989-1992 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, TBI, 160 hp (119 kW)/230  ft·lbff (312 N·m) (VIN Z)
  • 1990-1993 - 2.5 L Tech IV I4, TBI, 105 hp (78 kW)/135  ft·lbff (183 N·m) (VIN A)
  • 1992-1993 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, CPFI, 195 hp (145 kW)/260  ft·lbff (353 N·m) (VIN Z)
  • 1994 - 2.2 L L43 I4, MPFI, 118 hp (88 kW)/130  ft·lbff (176 N·m) (VIN 4)
  • 1994 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, CMFI, 195 hp (145 kW)/260  ft·lbff (353 N·m) (VIN W/Z)


1995 was the introduction of an all-new Blazer. This time, it lost the S-10 prefix and became its own model based on the second generation S-10/Sonoma pickups introduced a year earlier (the K1500 Blazer was rebadged as the Chevrolet Tahoe. Upon introduction of the 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy, production continued after their successors came to the market, with the Jimmy only being sold in Canada and 4-door models sold to vehicle fleets.

The Blazer was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1995.

Another upscale model was the 1998 GMC Envoy. It used the same engines and had many of the same upgrades as the Bravada.

A Blazer Xtreme (only on the 2-door model) was added to the lineup in 2000, based on the S10 Xtreme. At the same time, a TrailBlazer appearance package (with gold-accented alloy rims and trim) was marketed until the introduction of the GMT360 series for the 2002 model year.

This generation was phased out in 2001 to make way for the new GMT360 models such as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and the GMC Envoy. However, production of the Blazer and Jimmy continued until April 20, 2005, in Linden, New Jersey, despite slow sales, and the plant located there then closed. A white Chevrolet Blazer became the last of the series, and the last vehicle produced in New Jersey. Although production ceased, the second generation bodystyle is still being produced in Brazil.

The spiritual replacement for the Blazer was the Chevrolet Equinox, a mid-sized 4-door SUV.


  • 1995-1998 - 2.2 L L43 I4, MPFI, 118 hp (88 kW)/130  ft·lbff (176 N·m) (VIN 4)
  • 1995 - 4.3 L LB4 V6, TBI, 155 hp (116 kW)/235  ft·lbff (319 N·m) (VIN Z)
  • 1995 - 4.3 L L35 V6, CMFI, 191 hp (142 kW)/260  ft·lbff (353 N·m) (VIN W)
  • 1996-1998 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, CSFI, 175 hp (130 kW)/240  ft·lbff (325 N·m) (VIN W)
  • 1996-1999 - 4.3 L Vortec 4300 V6, CSFI, 180 hp (134 kW)/245  ft·lbff (332 N·m) (VIN X)
  • 1999 - 2.2 L L43 I4, SFI, 120 hp (89 kW)/140  ft·lbff (190 N·m) (VIN 4)

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