In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Future Chevrolet Blazer?
- New information about the 2020 Ford Bronco?
- Cheap Jeep to wrench on?
The first question comes from a fan who is hearing things about General Motors reviving the name Chevrolet Blazer.
Hi Nathan! Love The Fast Lane car and truck and I hope you and the boys are doing well. I don’t know what to do with this information, but I hear that GM is bringing back the Chevrolet Blazer!
Now is there any validity to this rumor? I had a small blazer in the 80s and it was really reliable. I put nearly 150K on it and took it off road all the time. I know that you had a full size back in the day too, so both of us have a vested interest in it, right!?
Let me know what you think of the rumors and keep on kicking ass!
Lloyd in Tarzana, CA
A: Hi Lloyd!
According to GM Authority, way back in 2015, Chevrolet (General Motors) filed for two trademark applications with United States Patent and Trademark Office. They registered the Blazer and Chevrolet Blazer name. Since then, there have been several sightings of a variety of vehicles that some think will be christened with the “Blazer” or, possibly “Trailblazer” name.
Most of these test-mules and prototypes appear to be crossover-based while others may be based on the oversea’s Chevrolet Colorado platform – like the GM Holden Trailblazer.
There’s a lot of speculation out there, but nothing substantial yet.
We’ll definitely keep an eye on this story!
This next question comes from a viewer who wants information on the 2020 Ford Bronco.
Q:(Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Guys! Do you have any new information about the 2020 Ford Bronco?
Saw some photos but no one has anything to say about it. I know you guys are good at conjecture and get info before most. I want it to be good SO bad! Let me know what you think!
Looks like there are a few new hints that recently came from (secretive) Ford Mo Co. Judging by the covered vehicle, which seems to be the 2020 Ford Bronco, there are a few things that are, or appear to be immediately clear:
- It will be square: The body lines are very straight, similar to the original Ford Bronco. It looks like it has an exterior-hanging rear tire and similar proportions to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – that’s a good thing.
- The massive wheel wells are a good sign too. Having lots of extra space for large tires helps articulation and steering. It also looks like it has excellent approach, departure and break-over angles. And; despite looking like a two-door SUV, it is supposed to be a four-door – like the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
- In fact: one of the few things that’s not similar to a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the independent front suspension that we’re expecting the 2020 Ford Bronco to have. We’re also expecting it to have a 2.3-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger and a 10-speed automatic transmission along with a electronically locking rear differential. There may be other power and transmission choices, at least we can say that it would be a good idea to have a manual transmission option and; perhaps, a V6 or diesel variant too.
- Even though the platform/frame of the 2019 Ford Ranger will be used, and many parts will be shared, it’s doubtful that the leaf-spring rear end in the Ranger will show up in the Bronco. Coil springs are a good bet, especially for on-road comfort and off-road ability.
Can’t wait for this one!
Thanks for the email!
The last question comes from a reader who wants an inexpensive Jeep to wrench on.
Q: Hi Nathan, I am 14 and want to build my self a good Jeep for off-roading when I get my license.
I want to build it up from a runner to something that can do real dirt bashing. I was thinking about a CJ5 or a YJ Wrangler. Eventing in Washington is either rusted all out or too expensive. Am I missing any alternatives? Please let me know.
Zev from Spokane
A: Hi Zev!
There are several directions you can go, but I suspect you want to stick to straight axle Jeeps. If that’s the case, look at the mid-90’s Jeep Cherokee, 1st and 2nd generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and, my favorite – the 1974–1983 Jeep SJ (including the Cherokee Chief, Gladiator and Wagoneer).
The most popular and least expensive among all of these is the Jeep Cherokee XJ. It’s a great way to get started and, right now, they are extremely cheap to buy.
Among all of the choices out there, please avoid salvage title Jeeps and heavily rusted Jeeps.
Do not off-road any of these without proper seatbelts and a roll-cage.
Check with your insurance company and see if they have a preference too.
Readers, what do you think?
Interested in Moab, Utah? We’re heading there and we wanna meet you!
(Walker Drugs on Wednesday, March 28th – 290 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532 – late morning – early afternoon!)
Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.