Ringbrothers reveals fully restored, 430bhp V8 Chevy K5 Blazer | Top Gear
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Wednesday 4th October

Ringbrothers reveals fully restored, 430bhp V8 Chevy K5 Blazer

Old SUV gets a new hat, new heart and a new name: meet the RASKAL

Published: 18 Sep 2023

“RASKAL is all about having fun, getting into trouble and causing some mischief,” explains Ringbrothers co-founder Mike Ring. Mischief shouldn’t be too hard an ambition when there’s a 6.2-litre V8 motivating a shape originally designed in the 1960s.

Ringbrothers’ latest – from a long line of astonishing builds, we should add – is a completely reimagined Chevy Blazer from 1972. Because the brothers Ring “wanted to explore the nuance of sport utility and evolve the K5 Blazer’s original lines and proportions”.

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Before we get to said lines, a note on what lies underneath them. Keen K5 enthusiasts will note how Chevy originally kitted the Blazer with a range of monster V8s, but here we find a thoroughly modern, thoroughly monstrous 6.2-litre LS3 eight-cylinder churning out 430bhp and 425lb ft of torque. Which feels… sufficient.

That’s channelled to all four wheels via a GM 4L80E automatic gearbox, slotted into a custom RS4 chassis built by the Roadster Shop with fresh front and rear axles. Naturally there’s modern suspension – a four-link setup with Fox Racing coilovers – along with modern brakes (Baer six-piston calipers on 13in discs) that hide behind modern 18in wheels styled like old ones.

There’s more new stuff masquerading as old, too. Ringbrothers spent 2,800 hours on the entire build, redoing every single surface and panel. The factory hardtop, side and rear glass were junked to make way for a two-piece removable aluminium canopy. The rear wings and boot were raised to match the door height, while an ‘extended lowered floor’ apparently provides more comfortable seating.

Also inside sit new seats, better instrumentation and a new steering wheel, all finished to Ringbrothers’ standard. Read: it’s lovely.

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“This build is less about the numbers and more about character,” said Mike Ring. “Every piece of the build was designed to embrace the fun sport-utility aspects of the original K5 but enhanced to be better and more capable in every way.” Yup, a 6.2-litre V8 tends to help with the whole 'enhanced' thing.

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