One way to keep classic vehicles on the road in the future might be converting them to run on electricity. Chevrolet Performance is showing how this would work with its 1977 K5 Blazer for the SEMA360 show. The SUV exists as a proof of concept for the Bowtie to demonstrate its upcoming Electric Connect and Cruise package that goes on sale in the second half of 2021.
“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 V-8s to eCrate conversions,” Jim Campbell, GM US Vice President of Performance and Motorsports, said about the EV transformation for this classic Blazer.
Turning this SUV into an EV obviously requires taking out the original 6.55-liter (400-cubic-inch) V8, three-speed automatic, the fuel system, and exhaust. All of the stuff gets replaced by a Bolt EV electric motor that makes 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts) and 266 lb-ft (361 Newton-meters) of torque. As a comparison, a ’77 K5 Blazer with 400-cubic-inch V8 had an original output rating of 175 hp and 290 lb-ft (393 Newton-meters) of torque.
A 60-kilowatt-hour, 400-volt battery from the Bolt provides the energy for the system and sits in the cargo area.
Chevy Performance also installs an electronically controlled four-speed automatic, an electric power steering kit, an electric pump for providing vacuum to the brake system. The Blazer’s original transfer case, driveshaft, and axles carry over with the conversion. Inside, the SUV retains its classic instruments but a special controller lets the fuel gauge now show the battery’s level of charge.