Gosh darn it, I miss the Chevy Blazer—and you know I’m not talking about the new one. I have fond memories of the K5 and hopeful wishes for it to come back in some way, shape, or form—even if General Motors repeatedly shoots down the idea. Apparently, GM took a different position at the turn of the millennium. The company loved the idea so much that it built a Tahoe-based K5 concept, one based on the GMT800 platform that would tragically never reach production.
The Chevy K5 Concept looked exactly like you’d expect it to, though from what I can tell, it was never photographed with a removable hard top. The maroon rig instead debuted at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show with a half-shell that met a folding soft top behind the driver’s seat. Each side had two doors that flipped out opposite of each other, making it easy to climb in and out as you checked the trail for rocks.
It was built on a 112-inch wheelbase, which is between a modern two-door and four-door Ford Bronco. Because it was a concept, Chevy also chose to stuff a 6.0-liter V8 under the hood making 440 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That’s the real kicker—as great as modern turbo engines are, it’d be stellar to have a short-wheelbase 4×4 with a V8 (and costs less than a Land Rover Defender 90).
Not much digital coverage of the SUV has survived, but we can glean more info from a handful of remaining photos. A folding second row made room for passengers or cargo, while a drop-down tailgate was a nice touch borrowed from the Silverado pickup. If it were built today, it’d be kitted out with rock sliders and a huge brush guard, but since it’s from two decades ago, it’s more modest. That’s probably for the best.
The K5 Concept pictured here was sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in 2009, meaning it made it into private hands. Whoever has it is one lucky son of a gun, and there’s no obvious evidence of it changing ownership in the years since. They’re probably sitting on one of the sweetest 4x4s that could’ve been from the early ’00s, and you know what? I’m happy for ’em.
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