At the 10th anniversary of GM’s North Hollywood Advanced Design Center, GM unexpectedly unveiled a surprising little compact concept car based on the GMC Granite Concept unveiled last year. The vehicle is the Granite Compact Pickup – it’s identical to the Granite urban utility vehicle from the grille to the b-pillar, but adds a small truck bed behind the 2-seat cab.
“We designed the Granite to be modular,” said Robb McCann, design manager for GM’s California design studio. “Our first choice [after the compact crossover version] was to do a compact truck for Southern California because small trucks have been so popular here. The big idea is that it’s for someone who wants a pickup with a small footprint with great fuel economy and an occasional load in back.”
The wheelbase is only around 110 inches, but its 4-foot-long cargo box can be extended to 6 feet. Two side-hinged Dutch-style doors replace a conventional one-piece fold-down tailgate. When the doors are opened, a pallet that forms part of the floor of the cargo box can be pulled out to provide extra bed space. The cargo box also features small access doors down the side of the box to provide easier access to the space directly behind the cab.
Power would be provided by a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated with a FWD propulsion system, creating the incredible fuel economy of a small car, with some extra utility (albeit small) from the bed in the back.
The truck is not likely to be produced, at least not anytime soon, but its styling and size harkens back to the Chevrolet LUV of the 70s which found a niche market, and was popular in California.
We’ve already shown how much we like the wild styling of the original Granite urban utility vehicle, and even though this small market truck is unlikely to see the road, it’s nice to see some new and interesting ideas coming from the General!
In what looks like a move to somewhat fill the void left by the Pontiac Vibe, GMC brings you its Granite concept. It would be the first move into this territory for GMC, and if you ask me – a step in the right direction. The Granite looks like it would go head-to-head with the small-and-boxy segment currently occupied by the Nissan Cube, Kia Soul, and Scion xB – although the Granite concept has a bit more bite than any of the above mentioned models. As we all know, production models tend to come out looking much less radical than their concept cousins, but GM has shown a penchant for going after that aggressive look with the release of the Terrain.
Some things that likely wouldn’t make it past the concept stage are the spaceship cockpit and interesting interior color scheme, as well as the bold wheels (although I’d like to see them stay.) One unique aspect of this car is the absence of a pillar between the front and rear door, interesting to see if that would make it through to production or not.
Have a look at the pictures and let us know what you think – leave it in the design room or get this badboy to showrooms ASAP?
Here is a post for fans familiar with the current Yukon and Sierra Denali lines – the GMC Acadia will be available in the swanky, upscale trim level for the 2011 model year, the first time a crossover will carry the Denali tag. Differences from the run-of-the-mill Acadia include mahogany trim, perforated leather heated and cooled seats, additional ambient lighting and some standard features that are optional on an SLE or SLT model (navigation, tri-zone climate control, heads up display, and a sunroof.)
On the outside is where the Denali really shines (literally and figuratively) with monotone paint available in Summer White, Quicksilver Metallic, Carbon Black, Red Jewel Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat, polished 6-spoke 20″ wheels, and the familiar honeychrome grille from the Yukon/Sierra Denali.
No word on price yet, but keep your eye out as we expect to start seeing them around the third-quarter of 2010.