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1992 GMC Ultralite Experimental

1992 GMC Ultralite Experimental

This 1992 GMC Ultralite Experimental vehicle was developed by the General Motors Design Center, Advanced Engineering and the GM Research Laboratories. The team behind this car used scaled composites and was created by using 10 space-age carbon fiber panels, achieving a drag coefficient of only 0.192 while at the same time keeping the curb weight of the car down to a minimum, achieving a 1400-pound overall weight.

1992 GMC Ultralite Experimental

The GMC Ultralite Experimental managed to deliver 45 mpg (city) and 81 mpg (highway) on the EPA city-highway test cycle. It was powered by a 2- stroke 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine that generated 111 hp, achieveing a top speed of 135 mph, while doing the 0-60 mph sprint in less than 8 seconds.

1992 GMC Ultralite Experimental

Source: ConceptCarz | Photos: carstyling.ru


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Top 10 Pickup Trucks

Today’s pickup trucks have evolved greatly from the heavy-duty workhorses of the 50s and now they offer car-like comfort and features that you would normally find in premium cars, like heated seats or powerful audio systems. Here is our top 10 of the best pickup trucks at the moment:

10. Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup truck and is available in the following configurations: Regular Cab, Double Cab and CrewMax. Measuring more than 19 ft. long, it is the biggest truck Toyota ever made. Under that hood, customers can choose from one of the three engines available, including a V8 381-hp unit that allows the Tundra to tow more than 10,000 pounds. The V8 5.7-liter engine is now E85 flex-fuel compatible (in certain regions).

09. Toyota Tacoma

The first generation of the Toyota Tacoma was launched back in 1964 and now it has reached its 8th generation. The new model comes with the Star Safety System that features ABS, stability and traction control, along with brake assist – all standard equipment. In addition, it is offered with updated LED taillights, argent painted grille and as an optional feature, a backup monitor for the Access and Double Cabs models. Also as standard (for the Access Cab and Double Cab versions), the Tacoma sports front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags, active front head restraints and an automatic limited-slip differential.

08. Nissan Frontier

It is a midsize pickup truck from Nissan that has borrowed some design ideas from its bigger brother, the Titan, which is a full-size truck. In addition, it also got the Titan’s suspension layout, along with many components. Customers can opt for one of the two engines available, including here a V6 4.0-liter that cranks out 261 hp. The new model comes with an updated front fascia with a brand new grille, headlights, along with 16- and 18-inch rims. Another model has been added to the Frontier lineup, the off-road version PRO-4X, along with the Frontier Crew Cab LE/PRO-4X Value Truck Packages.

07. GMC Sierra 1500

This truck is available in the following configurations: Regular Cab, Extended Cab and Crew Cab. Customers can pick out one of the three box sizes: 5 ft. 8 in.; 6 ft. 6 in. and 8 ft. For the new model, it got a 6-speed automatic gearbox, mated to a 5.3-, 6.0- or a 6.2-liter engine. The SLT Crew Cab comes with a V8 6.2-liter engine that is E85 compatible.

06. Chevrolet Colorado

This is a midsize pickup truck that comes in a Regular Cab, Extended Cab or Crew Cab version. Chevrolet launched the model in 2004, retiring the S-10 pickup. Some of the engines available include the 4-cylinder 2.9-liter or the more powerful 5-cylinder 3.7-liter. The latest addition in the engine lineup is a V8 5.3-liter that produces 300 hp. Some of the latest upgrades brought to the model include the 18-inch split-spoke rims, color-keyed bumpers, performance tires and the ZQ8 sport suspension that comes with a lower ride height.

05. Dodge Dakota

Available in both Extended Cab and Quad Cab configurations, the Dodge Dakota now features a new V8 4.7-liter power unit that delivers 302 hp and has a peak torque of 329 lb.-ft, while at the same time being 5% more fuel efficient. Recent goodies added to the model include the Crate ‘N Go system (offered as standard) and the updated instrument panel and center console.

04. Ford Ranger

Ford introduced the Ranger in 1982 and redesigned it 11 years later. In 1998 it received a new exterior look and the latest model looks just about the same, but comes with a few minor updates, like the new front bumper that improves fuel efficiency. In addition, it comes as standard with more equipment. You can choose from a selection of engines, including a 4-cylinder 143 hp unit or a more agile V6 207 hp power plant. New side airbags, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control have also been added.

03. Chevrolet Silverado

You can choose from one of the 40 different variants available, with a starting price of under the $20,000 mark, for the 2-door RWD Regular Cab, up to the top-spec LTZ Crew Cab (4WD) that costs $41,000. The engines available include an entry-level 5.3-liter or the high-end 6.2-liter unit. Optional features available include the XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic, Bluetooth connectivity and OnStar.

02. Dodge Ram 1500

Featuring a more aerodynamic design, a brand new HEMI V8 5.7-liter that produces 390 hp and has a peak torque of 407 lb.-ft, along with a rear coil-spring suspension, the Dodge Ram 1500 is a breath of fresh air, packing lots of new equipment, like the RamBox cargo management system along with drainable storage components integrated into the cargo box.

01. Ford F-150

The first place is reserved for the best-selling truck in North America – the Ford F-150. Over the last three decades, the F-150 has been the primary choice for those looking for a truck. The latest generation is offered with a brand new look, both inside and out, with more power under the hood, more space inside, more towing and payload capacity and better fuel economy. Ford teamed up with SIRIUS, Sony and Microsoft, and they’ve managed to improve the entertainment and communication features.

GMC Explains Terrain’s Great Fuel Efficiency

2011 GMC Terrain

For such a big car, it is almost amazing how it can have a highway fuel efficiency of 6.1 liters / 100 km, one of the best in the crossovers segment. They managed this great figure by using eco-friendly components. The automaker used recycled plastic from water and soft drink bottles in the rigid plastic grille frame behind the car’s chrome-trimmed grille.

The GMC Terrain uses an acoustic insulator that was made by using cotton and polyester recycled from varied consumer products, including carpets and jeans. This material insulates the dashboard, cargo area, carpet, along with other body sections, as well as parts made with more petroleum-based raw material.

Although this may sound pretty boring, all these little things add up and it really is fascinating that a big car like the Terrain can be that fuel efficient. Reading one of their press releases, I’ve found out that all of their models are at least 85% recyclable by weight, with recycled steel accounting for the most significant contribution.

Last year they managed to recycle or reuse 2.5 million tons of waste materials, which is enough to fill 6.8 million extended-cab pickup trucks that if they were parked end-to-end, would stretch around the entire world.

Source: GMC


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Next-gen Chevrolet Colorado Teaser Released

Next-gen Chevrolet Colorado

With this teaser, GM shows us a glimpse of the upcoming new global-platform Chevrolet Colorado, before the truck’s official debut which will occur in Thailand at the Bangkok Motor Show. The event will open its doors later on this month, on the 25th, and General Motors decided to get our attention by showing us how the next-gen Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon will look like.

The automaker affirmed that they’ve picked the Bangkok Motor Show for launching the truck due to the reason that the Southeast Asian market is becoming an important piece of the pie for GM, and the people there are buying pickup trucks like cupcakes. Last year, 43% of all the vehicles sold in Thailand were pickups.

The vehicle will be manufactured in Thailand for global consumption, but there is a big probability that it will carry over in the US as the new Colorado / Canyon, and is being prepped by General Motors of Brazil for the American market.

Source: GM, Pickuptrucks.com, Autoblog

GMC Granite – Confirmed, Again!

GMC Granite

About a year and a half ago we’ve said that according to MotorTrend, the GMC Granite will get the green light for production. Deja-vu some of you might say as the same source affirms that the concept we saw in 2010 at the Detroit Auto Show will enter its production phase.

GMC Granite

The same sources say that the car will have the same cool-looking rear-hinged suicide door setup that we saw in the concept. This time, the information comes from a “well-placed source” within the company, who says that the car will be manufactured on the same C-segment platform like the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt and the Buick Verano.

GMC Granite

When General Motors brought the Granite concept to Detroit last year, it had a 4-cylinder 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that produced 138 hp, just like the Cruze, linked to a 6-speed manual transmission. MotorTrend says that the car might get Verano’s engine, which is a 4-cylidner 2.4-liter engine that outputs 177 hp.

GMC Granite

At this moment, these are only rumors and speculations. We’ll have to wait for General Motors to either confirm or deny.

GMC Granite

Source: Motor Trend via AutoBlog


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Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 2

If you haven’t read the first part of our article, now would be a great time to do it. Let’s continue where we left off yesterday and see what the Blue Oval will be bringing to the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

The most interesting car will definitely be the Mustang which will be exhibited in various versions, like the GT, the V6 and the Shelby GT500. In addition, Ford will be bringing the Boss 302 which will be below the GT500 but above the GT. The V6 model will come with a 3.7-liter that outputs 305 hp while the GT will get a more powerful V8 5.0-liter, good for 412 hp. The Boss 302 will carry GT’s engine but it will produce 444 hp. The top-of-the-range Shelby GT500 will be fitted with a V8 5.4-liter supercharged engine that will output 550 hp. Regarding the available gearboxes, both the V6 and the GT will get either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. The Boss 302 and the Shelby GT500 will be available only with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The new generation of the Focus will also be brought to Detroit. The car will be available as a 4-door sedan or a 4-door hatchback and will get one of the following trims: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Regardless of the trim level, the new Focus will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine that can run either on gas or E85 ethanol-blended fuel. The engine will output 155 hp and can be mated with either a 5-speed manual or the new 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

Another model brought by Ford will be the 2011 C-Max. This 7-seater minivan is going to be available with either a Mazda5-sourced 4-cylinder 2.5-liter power unit that outputs 168 hp or a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged carrying 168 hp while running on regular gas and 180 hp with premium gas. Both of the engines will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The last model Ford will be bringing to this year’s Chicago Auto Show is going to be the 2011 Explorer. Available in three trim levels: Base, XLT and Limited, the car can get either a FWD or an AWD. Regardless of the trim level chosen, the car will be fitted with a V6 3.5-liter that outputs 290 hp while the 4-cylinder 2.0 power unit that churns 237 hp will be optional for the XLT and Limited trim levels. All of the models will come with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 GMC Sierra HD

At GMC you will be seeing the Sierra HD which is the heavy-duty version of the Sierra 1500. This monster will be available with a choice of two engines: V8 6.0-liter that produces 360 hp and a V8 6.6-liter that will offer 397 hp. Both of them will be linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Koreans at Hyundai will be bringing their beautiful 3-door coupe Veloster model which they launched at Detroit a couple of weeks ago. The car will be available with a 4-cylinder 2.6-liter that cranks 138 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Another beautiful car brought by Hyundai will be the Elantra which will be produced in the United States. This 4-door sedan is going to be available in two trim levels: GLS and Limited. Both of them will be equipped with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that produces 148 hp. The base model will get a 6-speed manual transmission while the top-of-the-range will feature a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 Hyundai Equus

The Equus model is Hyundai’s flagship model and will make its appearance at Chicago next week. The car is 7 inches longer than the Genesis sedan and will carry its engine which is a V8 4.6-liter that produces 385 hp while running on premium gas and 378 hp with regular one. The power unit will be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

2011 Infiniti QX56

A new car that is going to be produced in the US except the Elantra will be Infiniti’s QX56. In comparison to its predecessor, the new generation is longer, wider and lower. As standard, the car will get a V8 5.6-liter engine that outputs 400 hp, mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The QX56 will be available with a RWD system or an AWD one.

2011 Jaguar XJ

Without any doubt, one of the most beautiful cars that will be presented at the 2011 edition of the Chicago Auto Show will be the Jaguar XJ. Available in standard or “L” versions, the car will be offered with three trim levels. The “L” version is 5 inches longer than the regular one. Both of them can be acquired with these trim levels: XJ, Supercharged and Supersport.  All of them will have the same engine which is a V8 5.0-liter that will output 385 hp for the Base model, 470 hp for the Supercharged and 510 hp for the top-of-the-line Supersport. The engine is going to be mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Supersport model can only be purchased through a special order.

2011 Kia Optima

Hyundai’s sister Kia will be bringing the mid-sized sedan Optima and the Sportage SUV. The first one will be available in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX. Joining the lineup will be a hybrid version. The first two trim levels will be equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter that outputs 200 hp while the SX carries a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged power unit that churns out 274 hp. The base model will get a 6-speed manual while the EX and the SX will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid version will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter engine with an electric motor, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The Kia Sportage will carry Hyundai’s Tucson platform and will be available in three trim levels: Base, LX and EX. All of them have a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter that outputs 176 hp. The base model gets a 6-speed manual and the EX and LX will be fitted with a 6-speed automatic.

Come back tomorrow for the third part of our preview of the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.

Top 10 Cars At 2011 Detroit Auto Show

The 2011 North American International Auto Show is the first important auto show of the year and this edition at Detroit we’ve seen some interesting cars announced. Here is a personal top ten in my opinion; the ranking has been done randomly.

Volkswagen Passat

The American-spec Volkswagen Passat was one of the biggest names this year at Detroit. Formerly teased as the new “NMS” sedan, the car will be available in the US starting with this August at a very affordable price of less than $20,000. The new Passat will be available in three different trim levels. The first one will get you the entry-level 5-cylinder power unit that produces 170 hp. The other gasoline engine is the more powerful VR6 6-cylinder unit that churns 280 hp. If you prefer diesel, you will be happy to hear that the car will be available with a TDI unit that produces 140 hp.

Audi A6

One of my personal favorites at Detroit was the new Audi A6. The German automaker unveiled the model prior to the auto show and at its official debut, the car won the “Best Production Vehicle” award, given by EyesOn Design. The new generation of the beautiful A6 will be available with five different engine options – two gas units and three diesel engines. The most affordable model will be the one with the naturally aspirated 2.8 FSI that outputs 204 hp and offers 280 Nm of torque. The other gas engine is a 3.0 TFSI that will be good for 300 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The entry-level diesel engine is the 2.0 TDI which will produce 177 hp and 380 Nm of torque.  The other two variants are based on the 3.0 TDI engine – one of them will output 204 hp / 400 Nm, while the other will churn 245 hp / 500 Nm of torque.

Mercedes C-Class

Another German car made it into the top, the new generation of the Mercedes C-Class, another looker. The new model is drop-dead gorgeous both inside and out. Along with the styling changes, the C-Class will get two new engines, including the 4-cylinder 1.8-liter turbocharged unit that will output 201 hp. The other one will be a more potent V6 3.5-liter that will crank up around 300 hp.

Hyundai Veloster

Design-wise, the Hyundai Veloster was the coolest car this year at the NAIAS. This gorgeous three-door sports coupe was officially unveiled, after years of unconfirmed rumors. The styling of the car was inspired from a sports bike and the car will be available with a brand new engine. I’m talking about a 1.6-liter Gamma 4-cylinder unit which will be the company’s smallest GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) unit. Developing 138 hp and linked to either a 6-speed dual-clutch (DCT) gearbox or a standard 6-speed manual transmission, the Veloster will certainly be a hit.

Ford Vertrek

Finally something from the domestic market and by that we mean the Ford Vertrek. It seems that this cool-looking SUV / crossover will be the base of the upcoming generation of the Escape. Under its awesome design, the car has a 4-cylinder EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine that outputs about 160-180 hp. In addition, the Blue Oval will also offer a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost as well as a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder unit. In Europe, the car will probably also get a 2.0-liter TDCI engine. All of these engines will feature the Auto-Start-Stop technology which will lower the fuel consumption by 5%.

Mach7 Motorsports Falcon

We’ve talked about the Mach7 Motorsports Falcon last week and it had to be in this top as it will be a very potent American supercar. The car will be powered by a massive V8 6.2-liter LS3 Corvette engine that churns 500 hp in its standard version. If you want more muscles, the car can be fitted with either an LS7 or LS9 supercharged power unit that will output 640 ponies. With the LS9 package, the car will do the 0-62 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, onto a top speed of well over 200 mph.

GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept

The GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD Concept rocked the 2011 Detroit Auto Show with its very powerful 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine that is good for 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft of torque. With many “green” cars launched at the event, this GMC model was an exception to this rule.

Ford C-Max Energi

Speaking of efficient cars, Ford unveiled two versions of the C-Max model, dubbed Hybrid and Energi. The latter has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine and of course, an electric motor. The car runs primarily on electric mode with certain conditions – when the battery is empty for instance – allowing the car to switch to a “charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.” The Hybrid is like all the hybrids nowadays, packing an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and the same engine we mentioned before, except for the plug-in component.

Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Aveo was officially killed in US when the company launched the new Sonic model. The car will be available with a choice of new engines, including 4-cylinder petrol and diesel power units with outputs starting with 70+ hp for the 1.2-liter versions and ending with 115 hp for the 1.6-liter units. With a price tag of only $12,115 – it is the ideal car for taking you from Point A to Point B.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe

We almost forget the highly-anticipated BMW 1-Series M Coupe. The smallest M model ever made comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that cranks up 340 hp. What I love about the car is that the Germans decided to offer only a manual gearbox for it, making it an authentic driver’s car.

If I’ve didn’t include a car that you consider to be worthy of this top, I am open to suggestions and opinions. Maybe the 6-Series Convertible or the Chrysler 300 should have made it into the top; I’ll let you decide that.

All things considered, the 2011 Detroit Auto Show was pretty interesting, with many production models and concepts revealed, showing us that the future of the automobile looks promising.

General Motors recalls 243,000 crossovers over seat belt problems

Just in case you missed them, General Motors has announced another recall, this time affecting all of its crossovers based on the Lambda platform.

More specifically, among the 243,000 vehicles affected we have the 2009-2010 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook.

According to the company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the crossovers have a problem with the seat belt latches, specifically those on the second row of seats. When the seats are folded and placed back up again, the latch can become stuck under a seat trim. If passengers are buckled in and want to get the latch in the proper position, the operations required might end up unlatching the seat belt without the passenger noticing.

Even if it’s somewhat hard to explain, GM is taking no chances and will be notifying owners in the following weeks and offer new seat belt latches in its dealerships.


Fate of GMC Granite concept still up in the air

At the beginning of the year, GM really surprised a lot of people when it revealed the GMC Granite concept.

The premium boxy concept was something completely different for GM’s ‘Professional Grade’ brand, looking more like a youth-oriented Scion xB than the other rough-looking vehicles from the GMC range. It was a hit though, as the Granite won the Best Concept award.

Still, GM isn’t decided on whether or not the Granite will actually make it to production.

The guys at MotorTrend published a report a few days ago, saying that the urban concept was cleared for production. Yesterday though, GM refuted the rumor, saying that, at least for the moment, the Granite is still a concept, and hasn’t been cleared for production.

It seems that even though GM is on the upswing, financially speaking, things still need to get much better before a risky concept like the Granite will see time and money invested in it.

Would you be pleased with a production-ready GMC Granite? Share your thoughts below.



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NHTSA to investigate 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon door handles over hand cuts

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just announced that it is investigating the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2007 GMC Yukon SUVs over some potential issues with the interior door handles.

433,000 models will be inspected after over 88 complaints have been lodged against the interior door handles. It seems that the chrome plating on the handles can easily peel away, leaving sharp edges exposed. As such, when you try to open the door, in order to get out of the vehicle, you’ll most likely suffer from a hand cut.

While the injuries aren’t that bad (‘severe paper cuts’ was the term used), it’s still enough to cause bleeding. We don’t know how good the large SUVs are, but not a lot of people would love to shed some blood for their vehicle.

The investigation is already underway, with GM revealing that it will cooperate fully. The results and the potential recall will be announced in the following weeks. Until then, better get your heavy duty gloves on when getting out of your Tahoe or Yukon.


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GM recalls 5,000 heavy duty vans, stops sale over serious fire risk

General Motors has just announced that 5,000 heavy duty vans, including the 2500 and 3500 versions of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna will be recalled ASAP due to a potential problem with the alternator. Also, sales of the current models as well as renting to other people have been stopped.

It seems that the alternator could cause a short circuit and lead to a major fire hazard. GM isn’t joking around and has advised owners as well as rental companies to park the cars far in between and disconnect both battery cables until the model will be recalled into service.

Bear in mind this doesn’t affect the light duty versions of the Express or Savana, only the heavy duty ones manufactured between February and March this year. Current owners are asked to contact their local dealership so that they can be kept up to date for when the replacement alternators arrive.


GM overtakes Ford’s Super Duty with new 6.6-liter V8 Diesel in Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD

For many Americans, the heavy duty pick-up truck segment is the most important one. That’s why two of the biggest carmakers, Ford and GM, want to boast over their opponents with the biggest power, towing or hauling numbers.

GM started the 2011 model year show with the announcement (and just that) of the Chevrolet Silverado HD, but Ford upped the ante by revealing its new Super Duty alongside its impressive performance figures, among which was the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel, capable of 390 HP and 735 lb-ft of torque.

Now, the General has finally decided to showcase the performance figures for its 6.6-liter V8 diesel, which will be appearing in the Silverado HD and its twin, the GMC Sierra HD. The raw power figures are 397 HP and 765 lb-ft, barely inching above the Ford offer, and becoming the most powerful diesel heavy duty pick-up this year.

But GM shouldn’t start celebrating, as terms of towing and maximum payload, the Blue Oval’s Super Duty still beats the General’s offers, with 21,600 pounds over 20,000 and 6,520 as opposed to 6,335 lbs.

Luxury fans should orient towards GM though, as GMC announced that its Sierra HD will also get a top-of-the-range Denali trim line, complete with things like body color bumpers, 18 or 20-inch aluminum-polished wheels, as well as a chromed grille, door handles and a few other accents. For the inside, brushed aluminum will be used, alongside Bose premium sound system, heather steering wheel, heated and cooled leather seats.


GMC Granite might be marketed on the Internet … if it gets built

It seems that General Motors heard the Internet is used by young people and is preparing to shifts its strategy in terms of marketing models which are catered to a younger audience, instead of using the old TV, which is so 2009.

One of the first models to get such a “unique” promotion might be the GMC Granite, in case it will actually be built, as Buick-GMC advertising director Steve Rosenblum revealed that a vehicle with the characteristics of the Granite, and targeted for people under 35, would serve as a great product to market on the Internet.

Another potential market that a presumed Granite-like model would target, according to Rosenblum, is the smart phone advertising one, as by 2011, two-thirds of cell phone users under 40 will have a smart phone device. As such, the team is working on a special type of brochure, which includes a bar code that can be read by smart phones and will redirect them to a website where other features can be displayed and to a social networking service where potential customers can talk with the designers of the cars.

This is all some bold new ground for GM, both in terms of advertising and in terms of the Granite, which will explore a segment unknown to GMC as of yet. Will it work? Share your thoughts below.


GMC Granite concept takes brand in a new direction

GMC, as a brand, has always been about big, heavy SUVs and various vans which were made famous by cult TV shows. But seeing a show parent company General Motors isn’t in the best of financial times, it is trying to expand and cover other areas of the market.

The first effort towards this goal is the new GMC Granite concept, which will tackle Japanese models like the Scion xB or the Nissan Cube, and will be showcased at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. Its shape and dimensions are certainly made to content with the aforementioned vehicles, and it still retains that big heavy feeling of any GMC on the road, despite it is 2 feet shorter than the current smallest SUV in the lineup, the Terrain.

Of course this model was specifically designed for the city, and will be marketed as an Urban Utility Vehicle, with its interior being more than capable to fit anything from passengers to a lot of luggage, if you fold down seats. Speaking of the interior, it looks quite high end, and will definitely attract through its interesting color and material combinations.

The side doors are rear hinged (aka suicide), allowing for an easier access, and according to one of the Granite’s lead designers, Dave Lyon, they will make it to the production model, when it will be released during 2011.

The GMC Granite will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the same on which on the Chevrolet Cruze develops 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. The concept features a six-speed automatic transmission, but a manual option for the production edition wasn’t ruled out.

What do you think about GMC’s latest creation? Does it have what it takes to rival the Scion and the Nissan? Choose your winner by leaving a comment below.


GMC reveals top-of-the-range Acadia Denali crossover

Did you ever think that the huge GMC Acadia, which for some reason is marketed as a crossover, needed an extra touch of luxury? Then you’ll be happy to hear that the automaker has just presented the Acadia Denali top-of-the-range model, which will be formally unveiled at the GMC stand next January at the Detroit Auto Show.

The new trim line will feature a variety of high end options, tacked onto the 3.6-liter V6 model which will be available in both front and all-wheel drive, and with seven or eight seats. On the outside you will see a monotone paint, a new honeycomb grille, revamped front and rear fascias, new HID headlamps, chrome accents wherever possible and plenty of badges. The car will be riding on six-spoke 20-inch wheels, and can be painted in shades like Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White, Carbon Black, Red Jewel Tintcoat or White Diamond Tricoat.

On the inside, you will be truly pampered with things like the high end audio system, perforated leather, heated and cooled seats, mahogany accents on the dash, a head-up display, Dual SkyScape sunroof, a tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, bluetooth, OnStar, a DVD system for the rear seats, a rearview camera and, last but not least, a remote starting feature.

No word yet on price, but you will find the 2011 GMC Acadia Denali occupying a big chunk of the Detroit Auto Show.