It’s almost an understatement to say off-road SUVs are all the rage these days. And it’s not just the Jeep Wrangler that’s a hot commodity, either. Demand for off-roaders is so high that Subaru added the Wilderness trim to several of its models, Ford was able to justify bringing back the Bronco, and even the ancient Toyota 4Runner consistently sells above sticker. But has GMC brought back the Jimmy to capture its own piece of that segment? No, it has not.
As this custom-built GMC Jimmy from Flat Out Autos shows, it really should, because this thing is cool. We first saw it over on Autoblog and were immediately annoyed. It’s the kind awesome off-road SUV that GMC dealers should have on their lots right now, but for some reason, it takes a custom shop to make it a reality.
That isn’t a slight at Flat Out Autos, either. Their website is short on details, but from the abundance of photos they have of their concept, it’s clearly well-done. For now, it appears to be a one-off build that they’re planning to show off at SEMA, but we’d like to believe after the show, Flat Out will begin taking orders for at least a limited number of Jimmys. Hopefully, a lot of Jimmys.
The amount of work required to build each one probably means it’ll take a lot of money to put one in your driveway, but come on. It’s a new Jimmy with a removable hardtop. How many other people will you meet driving one of those?
It’s also a great reminder that Chevrolet really missed the mark with the new Blazer. Maybe if it sold like crazy, Chevy might be able to say, “I told you so,” to the doubters. But while Jeep has sold 147,000 Wranglers and Toyota has even managed to sell 93,000 4Runners this year, Chevrolet has only moved 50,000 Blazers. That’s not even enough sales to beat the Ford Edge. I guess it’s still better than the Honda Pilot, though?
It just seems like GM decided to leave so many sales on the table by bringing back the Blazer as a mainstream crossover. Maybe it couldn’t have made the removable hardtop work on a truck-based Blazer or Jimmy, but it could have at least given us something more desirable than the Blazer we have right now. Or saved the name for a future off-roader while calling the Blazer the CamaroCross or something. I don’t know. I’m not in marketing.
It just seems like a major missed opportunity on GM’s part, which leaves shops like Flat Out to make all that sweet Jimmy cash.