Ever thought about converting an old school project car into an electric car? While it may be seen as sacrilege to not put a good old engine in a classic vehicle, automakers like Aston Martin and Jaguar have been doing it in a bid to (or maybe just to help) keep classic cars on the road.
Not only is it better for the environment, but it also makes these classics road-legal and roadworthy in certain cities that plan to ban cars with internal combustion engines.
Chevrolet seems to have the same idea when they decided to make an all-electric version of a classic truck, the K5 Blazer. That's right, the guys over at Chevrolet Performance just turned a classic gas-guzzling Blazer into a zero-emissions truck and called it the Blazer-E concept.
Using a 1977 K5 Blazer as a base, the team first removed the original 400 cubic-inch (6.5-liter) V8, three-speed automatic transmission, fuel-delivery system, as well as the exhaust system. They then installed a Bolt EV electric motor under the hood of the K5 Blazer which makes 202 PS and 360 Nm of torque.
While this may seem like a downgrade, the electric motor actually makes more horsepower than the original V8 which only made 175 PS. On the flip side, the stock V8 does make more torque at 393 Nm. Supplying power to the motor is a 400-volt Bolt EV battery pack with 60 kWh hours of usable energy.
The powertrain is then paired to an electronically-controlled four-speed automatic made by Chevrolet Performance. But don't think this Blazer is no longer a 4x4 truck because the team retained the original transfer case, driveshaft, and axles. Other upgrades present on this K5 Blazer are an electric power steering kit, an electric controller that manages the vintage gauges, and an electric pump that provides a vacuum to the stock braking system.
Some of you might be asking why Chevrolet did this in the first place. This is actually part of the company's eCrate EV conversion plan. The bow-tie brand first demonstrated it with the eCOPO Camaro in 2018, and the E-10 in 2019.
With it, Chevrolet plans to make the Electric Connect and Cruise package available to customers sometime in 2021. Participating Chevrolet dealers and aftermarket companies will receive the necessary training, tools, and equipment needed to work with high-voltage systems and charging stations to service customers’ vehicles.
The package itself will be comprised of a 60-kWh battery pack, a 202 PS electric motor, DC-to-AC power inverter for the electric motor, a DC-to-DC power converter for the low-voltage systems, a wiring harness, and water pumps for heating and cooling the onboard battery.
"As GM introduces a new fleet of electric vehicles, it creates an exciting opportunity to bring EV technology to the aftermarket," said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. "Our vision is to offer a comprehensive line of Connect and Cruise systems from Chevrolet Performance – delivering a solution for every customer ranging from LSX V8s to eCrate conversions."
With Chevrolet setting its sights on making more EVs, it might not be long before we see a classic Camaro, Impala, or Corvette running on pure electricity in the not so distant future.