If there’s one thing I miss about older cars, it’s buttons. An infotainment screen is a great and handy invention, but even haptic feedback doesn’t give you that same, bone-deep satisfaction that comes from pressing a good button. It’s a human instinct, really: give a toddler a button and she’ll press it all day long. And that’s exactly why the 1987 Chevy Blazer XT-1 concept should have become a reality.
I stumbled on a photoset of this beautiful concept a few weeks ago on the ol’ Twitter machine and proceeded to lose my mind. Not only did the Blazer XT-1 come with the kind of rounded, glassy body shape that to this day immediately suggests “at one point in time, this was the future,” but the steering wheel and the dashboard was just loaded with buttons.
You can definitely tell this was a concept based on the sheer number of available buttons. The whole goal here was to show off modern tech and make things look a little more futuristic in the process. I mean, just look at that steering wheel and tell me it’s not cool as hell. Look at the seats, the digital instrument cluster, and tell me your driving experience wouldn’t be improved just by the simple fact that it feels like you’re playing an arcade game.
According to Motor1, the specs weren’t half bad, either:
- 4.3-liter V6 engine with 202 hp and 250 lb-ft
- four-speed automatic transmission
- fully independent suspension
- four-wheel drive, steer-by-wire system, four-wheel steering
- off-road capabilities
It was mainly a technological tour-de-force, designed more to show that Chevy was capable of some really cool shit, just like your standard concept car. I’m disappointed it never made it into production, though—even just four or five of them—because it just looks like the kind of vehicle that would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to drive.