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Production Models - 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV

Source: GM Media

The new TrailBlazer SS leads Chevy’s midsize SUV lineup into 2006, delivering sports car performance combined with the functionality expected of a utility vehicle. It is the first SUV to wear Chevrolet’s storied SS badge.

TrailBlazer SS has unique exterior styling and specific interior appointments, including prominent 20-inch flangeless wheels. Power comes from a Corvette-derived LS2 6.0L V-8, which produces 395 horsepower (294 kw) and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 Nm) – enabling the powerful SUV to reach 60 mph in 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 Nürburgring – 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.

Additional TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer changes for the ’06 model year include:
  • StabiliTrak, GM’s electronic stability control system, is standard on every model
  • New front and rear fascias, grille, headlamps, rocker panels and body side moldings for uplevel LT models
  • Enhanced Quiet Package, including acoustic windshield and additional sound insulation in areas that can transmit noise
  • Single antenna unit replaces separate antennas for OnStar and XM Satellite Radio
  • Bordeaux Red and Red Jewel Tint Coat Metallic exterior colors replace Medium Red and Majestic Red
Also in model year 2006, the Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8 with Displacement on Demand (DOD) technology is available in TrailBlazer five-passenger models – it was previously available only in TrailBlazer EXT seven-passenger models. This strong V-8 engine is rated at 300 horsepower (224 kw) and 330 lb.-ft. of torque (447 Nm), while DOD technology regulates between eight- and four-cylinder power to produce up to 5 percent improved fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions.

The class-leading standard engine in TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT continues to be the award-winning Vortec 4200 I-6, upgraded for 2006 to produce 291 horsepower (217 kw) and 277 lb.-ft. of torque (375 Nm).* The Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is matched with both the Vortec 4200 and Vortec 5300 engines. The TrailBlazer SS’s transmission is the new, heavy-duty Hydra-Matic 4L70-E four-speed automatic.

A revised braking system with a low-drag caliper design also is new for 2006. It is similar to the system introduced on the TrailBlazer SS, including a more responsive brake booster and a larger master cylinder. The system delivers improved brake pedal feel.

Safety and security
StabiliTrak is standard on all TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT models. StabiliTrak helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. By monitoring these inputs, the system automatically controls the vehicle to help maintain the driver’s intended path when a measurable deviation from the intended course is detected. The system maintains control by regulating vehicle acceleration or applying the brakes at any wheel. For example, if the vehicle begins to understeer, StabiliTrak applies the inside rear brake to help turn the vehicle. If the vehicle begins to oversteer, StabiliTrak applies the outside front brake to straighten the vehicle.

The TrailBlazer has GM’s Passenger Sensing System (PSS). PSS uses the latest sensing technology to turn the front passenger air bag on or off. If the sensor system detects an unoccupied front passenger seat or the presence of a smaller occupant, the front passenger air bag is designed to automatically turn off so it would not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. A status indicator on the instrument panel alerts occupants that the passenger air bag is on or off. Even with this system, GM strongly recommends to restrain child passengers in an appropriate child seat placed in the second or third row of the vehicle. Never install a rear-facing infant seat in front of an active air bag. GM also recommends that all children 12 and under ride in the rear seat when possible.

TrailBlazers also have standard pretensioners in the outboard front safety belt system that deploy at the same time as the frontal air bags to take up slack in the safety belt webbing. Pretensioners also help reduce the amount of occupant movement in the event of a crash to help reduce the risk of injury.

Available head curtain side air bags act like a protective curtain when deployed, unfolding from the roof rail between the A-pillar and side window header. When the bag deploys in a moderate to severe side impact, it is angled somewhat toward the window to help provide protection for front- and second-row outboard passengers. In vehicles equipped with head curtain side air bags, a new rollover protection sensing system helps protect occupants in a rollover event by triggering both the side curtain air bags and safety belt pretensioners. The rollover-sensing module, located on the center tunnel under the rear seat, uses a complex algorithm based on lateral and vertical accelerations, roll rate and vehicle speed to determine whether to deploy the safety systems.

TrailBlazers are equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system anchors for child safety seats in all second-row seats. The LATCH system provides two lower anchors and a top tether anchor to be used to secure a child seat to the vehicle seat structure. These anchorages are designed to make it easier to properly install compatible child safety seats.

An enhanced front passenger safety belt reminder system also is standard.

OnStar-equipped TrailBlazer models feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.

The OnStar service standard on the 2006 TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate live-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.

Tough but refined
TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT are designed to deliver an optimum blend of refined ride and handling, generous passenger and cargo room, and long-lasting dependability. With its spacious third-row seat, TrailBlazer EXT can carry up to seven passengers, along with class-leading 23.5 cubic feet (665.5 L) of stowage behind the third seat. The second and third rows can be folded flat, opening up 107 cubic feet (3,030 L) of cargo space.

TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT use hydroformed steel frame side rails, which form a strong foundation for the trucks’ overall strength and solid feel, even on unpaved surfaces. A five-link rear suspension and independent, double-A-arms up front work with a system of 12 specially tuned body mounts using hydraulics and rubber pads to dramatically reduce vibration and harshness on any kind of road or trail. Four-wheel ventilated anti-lock disc brakes are standard. An Autotrac four-wheel drive system is standard on 4WD models.

Available options on TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT include the Sun, Sound and Entertainment package, which combines a power sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Bose premium speaker system, XM Satellite Radio and an ETR AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer. Also available are adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, head side-curtain air bags, inside rearview mirror with temperature gauge and compass, RainSense wipers, leather seating surfaces with eight-way-power driver and passenger seats, sunroof, and both factory- and dealer-installed running boards.

Available entertainment and information features include XM Satellite Radio and Navigation Radio. XM (continental U.S. only) provides more than 120 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original commercial-free music and premier news, sports and talk as well as advanced traffic and weather information for select major metropolitan areas nationwide. Navigation Radio incorporates a dash-mounted GPS system and display with the vehicle’s sound system.

SS details
TrailBlazer SS is the first truck developed by GM’s Performance Division. And while it’s a serious performance machine, it’s still a capable midsize SUV: The towing capacity is 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 43.7 cubic feet (1,237.5 L) behind the rear seat and 80 cubic feet (2,265 L) with the rear seat folded.

Cinched down on a 1-inch-lower suspension, the TrailBlazer SS’s suspension was tuned and tested on the racetrack to deliver responsive, balanced handling. The lower ride height reduces the vehicle’s center of gravity, improving overall handling. This was accomplished with new springs at all four corners. The springs are up to 25 percent stiffer, which complements the lowered ride height with a firmer feel and reduced body roll. Corner control and body roll control also are improved with front stabilizer bars that are approximately 10 percent larger in diameter than other TrailBlazer models. StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard.

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 more 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.

The braking system also is bolstered by a larger master cylinder, which provides more stopping power and gives the driver a higher, firmer pedal feel – a feeling also enhanced by a new 3.6 brake pedal ratio. It also has a high-flow master cylinder, moving fluid more efficiently to optimize performance of the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system. With TrailBlazer SS’s new brakes, tires and revised ABS algorithm, 62 mph to 0 (100 kph to 0) stopping distance is approximately 135 feet. Tire pressure monitors are standard.

Under the hood of the TrailBlazer SS is the LS2 6.0L V-8, similar to versions used in the Corvette and SSR. It is rated at 395 horsepower (294 kw) and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 Nm). The LS2 6.0L is based on the Gen IV small-block V-8 architecture and delivers satisfying down-low torque for strong off-the-line performance. Torque is inherent to the engine’s cam-in-block design, large 4.00-inch-diameter (101.6 mm) bores and 3.62-inch (92 mm) stroke. Response is crisp and immediate, thanks to the electronically controlled throttle.

Unique to the TrailBlazer SS’s version of the engine is a composite intake manifold used in other midsize 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 in the 4L70-E to ensure it delivers smooth, dependable shifting.

A performance-oriented all-wheel drive system is available, giving the TrailBlazer SS impressive on-road grip and enhanced “launch” feel. The always-engaged system uses a Torsen center differential to split torque between the front and rear wheels. It is a torque-bias system that detects low traction at one axle and directs more torque to the other when needed – it is capable of changing the normal 67-percent rear-axle torque bias up to 45/55 (front/rear) or 25/75 (front/rear), depending on the road conditions.

As with all Chevy models wearing the SS badge, the promise of the TrailBlazer SS’s performance specifications is reinforced by authentic design cues. For this midsize SUV, that means a tight, sleek look and a monochromatic color scheme.

Already sitting an inch closer to the pavement, the TrailBlazer SS achieves a track-ready stance with sporty front and rear fascias, a racing-style black mesh grille and large, bright exhaust outlet exiting beneath the rear bumper. The TrailBlazer SS also has been stripped of body side moldings, the roof rack and other cladding that adds visual weight to the vehicle.

The rear pillars are blacked-out, blending with the tinted glass for a more integrated, wraparound style. The mirrors, door handles and grille cross bar are all painted body color, too. Four exterior colors are available: black, white, silver and blue.

Inside, a driver-oriented “cockpit” features a SS-signature instrument cluster, including a prominent tachometer. The silver-face tachometer has black numerals, a signature SS item. Other SS-specific cues include embroidered seat backs and the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Performance-style front bucket seats are standard and feature firm “wing” bolsters to help keep the driver and front passenger planted during spirited driving. Cloth seating is standard and leather-appointed seating is available. And because SS means style as much as performance, the TrailBlazer SS’s refinements include a French seam stitching on the console armrests, aluminum sill plates and numerous chrome accents. A new T-shape shifter with a satin nickel accent also distinguishes the vehicle’s cabin.

*Horsepower and torque SAE certified. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005 . This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first auto manufacturer to begin using the procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.