With all the negative news surrounding SUVs and General Motors, this probably wasn't the year to introduce the Trailblazer SS. Too bad, since on paper its appears to be a competent piece of equipment, and Edmund's instrumented testing validates that observation. Acceleration for their two-wheel-drive test vehicle was decent with a 6.3-second 0-60 time and a quarter-mile pass of 14.35@96.33. Yes, that will probably result in a severe trouncing by the Grand Cherokee SRT-8, but those looking to cross the finish line first can certainly figure out how to parlay the Trailblazer's sticker price advantage and the very healthy LS1/LS2 aftermarket into a winning combination.

What?s missing, though, is the weird coolness (or cool weirdness?) that was carried by the beloved GMC Typhoon. Yes, AWD is available, and as I?ve already mentioned, the engine will be extremely responsive to upgrades. Still, I don?t know - it?s not quite a proper spiritual successor, and I think that maybe has to do not with any fault or shortcoming of this vehicle, but rather with the fact that a fast SUV is no longer an oddity in the marketplace.

Regardless, for those looking for a modification-friendly RWD vehicle wearing the Bowtie, this seems like a great starting point. Find a way to squeeze the LS6 or FAST intake under the cowl, do a mild port job on the heads, install a properly sized cam, go through the trans and throw in a looser converter, keep the 4:10 gears but toss out the Eaton Locker ?gov lock? diff for the same company?s Limited Slip, bolt up some drag radials, and one would have a formidable pony-car hunter.

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