by: Jenny McLane
As the first truck developed by GM’s Performance Division, Trailblazer SS’ has a towing capacity up to 6,700 pounds with the two-wheel drive model and up to 6,500 pounds with the available all-wheel drive model. Cargo volume is 41 cubic feet (1161 liters) behind the rear seat and 80 cubic feet (2265 liters) with the rear seat folded.
GM's High Performance Vehicle Operations tuned the suspension and upgraded the brakes of the SS. It features stiffer springs, an inch lower ride height, and thicker anti-roll bars, as well as standard StabiliTrak stability control. Larger, 12.8-inch diameter front brake discs are fitted, allied to new iron twin-piston calipers, while the monster twenty-inch aluminum wheels have 255/50 V-rated tires.
The TrailBlazer SS has unique exterior styling and specific interior appointments, including prominent 20-inch flangeless wheels. Power is delivered by the Corvette-derived LS2 6.0L V-8, enabling a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. A performance suspension with lowered ride height also is part of the package and was tuned by GM’s Performance Division at several racetracks, including Germany’s legendary Nurburgring – a challenging road course that features more than 12.5 miles of turns and drastic elevation changes. The TrailBlazer SS is available in two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
The four-wheel disc braking system of the TrailBlazer SS is enhanced with larger, 12.8-inch front disc brake rotors and new, iron twin-piston calipers. The heavy-duty iron calipers are stiff and retain their shape under high pressure/high heat braking conditions, providing a linear feel and reduced pedal travel in high-energy stops. The brake pads use the same high-performance linings as the Corvette for strong fade resistance. ABS is standard. There also is an accessory front brake-cooling package available for optimized track performance.
Chevrolet's engineers did extensive chassis tuning to the Trailblazer SS where they lowered the suspension 1-inch and add 25% stiffer springs. The ride height has been lowered about an inch using 25 percent stiffer for a firmer ride and reducing body roll, and to give the TrailBlazer SS a lower, more aggressive demeanor.
The SS model remains distinct with black-diamond grille, decklid spoiler, and generally looking more like the NASCAR cars Gordon campaigns. It has 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and four-wheel disks (12.8-inch rotors at the front). StabiliTrak and a rear air-leveling suspension are also standard for the SS.
The TrailBlazer SS’s engine has a composite intake manifold used in other mid-size trucks and was adapted to the LS2 to help produce balanced torque and horsepower within packaging parameters. The engine also has the Trailblazer's trademark pass-through oil pan. The pan’s cast-in passage allows the front differential’s half-shaft to run through the pan instead of under it. This helps keep the engine mounted lower in the chassis for better balance and a lower center of gravity. There also is a stylish SS-specific engine cover, radiator support cover and coordinated air induction box.
Backing the 6.0L V-8 is a new Hydra-Matic 4L70-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. It debuts in the TrailBlazer SS and was developed to handle the high horsepower and high torque loads of performance-oriented light-duty vehicles. Special high-strength and heat-treated materials are used throughout the 4L70-E to ensure it delivers smooth, dependable shifting. Partstrain manufactures and sells aftermarket performance products and accessories for GM vehicles. Partstrain strives to be the ultimate source for performance products and accessories for most GM vehicles.
Parts train's product line-up for the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS includes Engine system, Electrical system, Header, Exhaust, Hoods, Hubcaps, multiple Body Kit designs, Suspension, Condensers, Bumpers, Radiator Support, Spoiler, Catalytic Converter, and a variety of additional upgrades that compliment the car.
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.