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    General Motors Ponders Whether To Add More Niche Models To The Silverado


    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    May 28, 2013

    General Motors looks to be copying Ford's playbook with pickups. The company is considering adding niche models to the Chevrolet Silverado lineup.

    "Ford does a lot with co-branding. I can't comment on anything going forward, but I will say our leadership is very aware of not only the (Ford) Harley-Davidson pickup, but also the Raptor. There are a lot of halo vehicles at Ford. They do sell well and they do set a tone for the vehicle. We definitely are looking into that," said Chris Hilts, manager of creative design for GM's full-size pickup truck interiors.

    General Motors has introduced the first niche model for the Silverado lineup in the form of the High Country, which becomes the flagship model for the Silverado lineup and will compete with the likes of the Ford F-150 King Ranch and Ram 1500 Longhorn.

    Hills didn't say if GMC would see any of these niche models as well, but did say there are no plans to develop a new model that sits above the GMC Sierra Denali.

    Source: Edmunds

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Chevrolet needs to do a new Silverado SS using the LS7 V8 with a manual opt and GMC needs to do a new AWD Syclone based on the Sierra using a twin turbo LT1 V8 with more power then the Silverado SS at a higher price! Then GMC needs to do the as mentioned Sierra positioned above the Denali model to better split it from Chevrolet! Then let GMC do an off road version of the new Syclone to compete with the Raptor as well!

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    uh.. Chevy.. you just KILLED a niche model.... KEEP BUILDING THE AVALANCHE!

    No beancounters disagree.

    ~30,000 vechicles was not a bad niche to keep, but somehow GM thought such was not the case.

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    ~30,000 vehicles that were essentially another bodystyle of the very popular Tahoe or Suburban even! The only differences between a Tahoe and Avalache are the rear seats, the pass through area, and the body panels that form the bed. Cadillac moves far fewer CTS Coupes than they did Avalanches.

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    I would agree with you that Chevy and GMC both need their up level versions.

    GMC Needs to have a modern day small Canyon Syclone and use the Modern day Twin Turbo V6. Then you can have a Twin Turbo V8 for the full size truck.

    GMC should have the Sierra Grizzly to compete against the Ford Raptor. Use the LS9 engine and a Kick ass Baja off road suspension with BF Goodrich AT tires. 36" diameter. :)

    Chevy could have their version also called the Silverado Banshee or Silverado Cougar.

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    You have to remember that the Ford's they're talking about are essentially trim & sticker/decor packages (Harley Davidson; Limited; King Ranch, FX4); the Raptor is a different animal of course. But GM should not ignore this market. I'm sure there are plenty of buyers ready to sign on the dotted line for a factory special edition. The High Country is a good start for Chevy, and I'm sure the next Sierra Denali will please those buyers. Now offer performance trucks - Chevy can have a Silverado SS again (or some Z-name package) and GMC can get their own performance-oriented model too (make it different from the Denali). Both need to offer an off-road model too, whether it is more Raptor-like or Power Wagon is up to GM. Go one step ahead and make the Silverado version the Raptor-competitor and the Sierra version the Power Wagon-competitior - this way GM covers the market on both sides (hey, if you're going to have two truck brands don't make them compete for the same customer). But GM needs to also look at how RAM offers the sport, tradesman and express packages on their lower & mid level pickups in addition to the R/T model, Laramie and Longhorn. You don't need niche vehicles when you can effectively target the market with niche packages on your existing product.

    I don't know the reason why 30k units of the Avalanche aren't enough to keep it alive; maybe 30k units less of the Suburban is the real reason? And maybe there's a chance the Avalanche (and a GMC version this time) could return in the near future if demand is there? Maybe GM is thinking that they would rather have 30k units of Silverado/Sierra sales instead - though we all know that Avalanche owners won't necessarily consider the full-size pickups (maybe that's what GM is banking on, biut it would be interesting to see how many current Av owners trade-in for a GM pickup).

    Syclone does not need to apply to the Sierra. Syclone was a S-15/Sonoma derived model and should be saved for the Canyon's 2015 replacement should GM want to issue a performance model (instead of calling it a Denali). Of course GMC makes a lot of money when they apply the "Denali" name to a GMC vehicle, so who knows? The Sierra should have it's own creative package name and not take from the Sonoma.

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    It's not 2004 when the market could support a plethora of niche vehicles.

    And the economy is more bread and butter right now.

    COnversely, you distinguish yourself with niche models more than bread and butter.

    Honda sells 90+ percent of volume with only like half their models. I don't want GM that way. Toyota seems rely on its volume models and they become appliances, I don't want that either.

    It could be argued that Buick and Cadillac as brands are niche.

    CTS wagon, now that is a niche that could be axed.

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    To be fair as always Avalanche did not receive any service from GM's marketing department - it sold on its own.

    Time to put baby-Duramax diesel in the 1500s and SUVs.

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    To be fair as always Avalanche did not receive any service from GM's marketing department - it sold on its own.

    Time to put baby-Duramax diesel in the 1500s and SUVs.

    Agreed, having a 4.5 to 4.9 L Baby Duramax Diesel would rock in the Half ton trucks and half ton and three quarter ton SUV's.

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    I support this idea... niche models within the Silvy/Sierra line. Heck, just a cheap Sport trim package, a la F-150 STX or Ram Express would spice up the Chevy line.

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    • By William Maley
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      Additionally, the Duramax’s pistons don’t use pin bushings, reducing reciprocating weight to help the engine rev quicker and respond faster to throttle changes.
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      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
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      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.
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      We know for sure that the new Duramax will debut a new air intake system (you can see the new hood scoop in the picture above). More air is a good thing as it means better cooling and more power.
      The Texas State Fair is this week and it has become a showplace for the various truck manufacturers to make big announcements. We wouldn't be shocked if General Motors debuts the new Duramax there.
      Source: Truck Trend

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The seemingly never-ending diesel heavy-duty truck war is back in force with Ford announcing the power figures for the F-Series Super Duty back in the summer. We were wondering when either FCA or GM would strike back. Well GM did this over the weekend by accidently and then subsequently deleting the figures for the next-generation Duramax V8 diesel.
      Truck Trend got screenshots of GM Powertrain's website where the details of the L5P 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel are there to see: 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared the 6.7L PowerStoke V8 found in the 2017 F-Series Super Duty, the updated Duramax produces 5 more horsepower but is slight behind in torque (15 down from the PowerStroke's 925 pound-feet).
      We know for sure that the new Duramax will debut a new air intake system (you can see the new hood scoop in the picture above). More air is a good thing as it means better cooling and more power.
      The Texas State Fair is this week and it has become a showplace for the various truck manufacturers to make big announcements. We wouldn't be shocked if General Motors debuts the new Duramax there.
      Source: Truck Trend
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page We weren't expecting this, but Chevrolet has revealed the all-new 2018 Equinox tonight in Chicago. 
      The exterior borrows heavily from the Cruze and Malibu designs. Up front is a revised grille (similar to the one seen on the Cruze) with new headlights and LED daytime running lights. Around the side is a character line that swoops down and 'Equinox' name on the front doors. The back features a restyled tailgate, blacked-out pillars to give the impression of wrap-around glass, and horizontal taillights. The interior matches up with newer Chevrolet models with a floating screen (either seven or eight-inches) and either cloth or leather covering bits of the dash. One key item Chevrolet is quick to point is the dashboard is lower to provide better visibility.
      There will be three turbocharged four-cylinders on offer; a 1.5L, 2.0L, and a 1.6L diesel. The 2.0L turbo will come paired with GM's new nine-speed automatic. We're guessing the 1.5 and 1.6 will get a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive will come standard and an all-wheel drive system with a disconnecting rear axle when not in use will be optional. One item we're glad to see is Chevrolet dropping 400 pounds out of the Equinox.
      On the safety front, the Equinox will feature the options of surround-view camera system, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. Two new features will be Teen Driver (can set limits on speed and volume for your young driver) and Rear Seat Reminder (reminds you to check the back seat to prevent kids from overheating on a hot day).
      No word on pricing, but Chevrolet says the 2018 Equinox will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2017.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      CHEVROLET INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2018 EQUINOX
      The perfect balance of design and technology DETROIT — Call it the right balance. On the autumnal equinox today, Chevrolet introduced the all-new 2018 Equinox, a fresh and modern SUV sized and designed to meet the needs of the compact SUV customer.
      “We’ve got the strongest truck business in the industry and we’ve reinvigorated our car lineup with Volt, Cruze and Malibu,” said Alan Batey, Global Chevrolet president. “We’re applying the same customer focus to grow our crossover/SUV business — starting with the Chevrolet Equinox.”
      Today’s compact SUV customers want a vehicle that meets all of their needs, from design, connectivity and safety perspectives. The Equinox delivers on all fronts, starting with its fresh new design and all-new propulsion systems.
      Fresh, new design
      The new Equinox’s expressive exterior has a lean, muscular skin echoing the global Chevrolet design cues and sculpted shapes seen in the Volt, Malibu and Cruze. Extensive aero development in the wind tunnel influenced the sleek shape.
      It is a richer, more detailed design featuring chrome trim on all models and Malibu-inspired styling. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, horizontal taillamps emphasize the Equinox’s wide stance, while uplevel models feature LED taillamps. 
      “Customers who previewed the vehicle early on had a strong emotional response to the sleek and sophisticated exterior design,” said John Cafaro, executive director, GM Design. “Those same themes are carried through to the interior, making the space beautifully intuitive.”
      The interior takes advantage of the Equinox’s all-new architecture to offer a down-and-away instrument panel, while a low windshield base provides a commanding outward view. New elements such as available denim-style seat fabric blend high style with high durability, while a new “kneeling” rear seat enhances functionality. With it, the bottom cushions tilt forward when the split-folding seatbacks are lowered, allowing a flat floor for easier loading.
      Connectivity
      The 2018 Equinox offers purposeful technology that helps keep passengers safe, comfortable and connected.
      Chevrolet’s latest connectivity technologies are front and center, including 7- and 8-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone.)
      Safety
      The Equinox offers a comprehensive suite of available active safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features that provide ease of use and peace of mind on the road.
      Teen Driver is also offered, allowing parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to encourage safer driving habits, even when they are not in the vehicle.  
      Available advanced active safety features to enhance driver awareness on the road include radar- and camera-based adaptive technologies that can provide alerts to potential crash threats, allowing the driver to react and make changes to avoid them, including:
      New Safety Alert Seat New Surround Vision New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning New Rear Seat Reminder Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert  Rear Cross Traffic Alert Turbocharged engines and more 
      A range of three turbocharged engines — including the compact SUV segment’s first turbo-diesel in North America — provides customers more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability in the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.
      They include a 1.5L turbo, a 2.0L turbo — matched with GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission — and a 1.6L turbo-diesel.
      “With three choices, customers can select an engine that offers more of the attributes that are important to them: efficiency, performance and capability,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The advantage for each is the power of a larger engine and the efficiency of a smaller engine.”
      The new Equinox is the first Chevrolet model in North America to use an all-turbocharged, multi-engine powertrain lineup. That includes the expected segment-exclusive 1.6L turbo-diesel that will offer customers excellent efficiency and capability.
      “It is an all-new SUV from the ground up and one that takes on the industry’s biggest competitors with a stronger architecture, greater efficiency and more technology,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer. “And it looks great doing it.”
      Additional vehicle highlights:
      Approximately 400 pounds (180 kg) lighter than the current model — a 10 percent weight reduction Switchable AWD system that enhances efficiency by disconnecting from the rear axle when not needed  Unique kneeling rear seat that enables a flat rear load floor and up to 63.5 cubic feet (1,798 liters) of maximum cargo space Equinox sales have reached more than 2 million since its launch and it is Chevrolet’s second-best retail selling vehicle, after the Silverado.
      The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017 in North America. It rolls out to approximately 115 additional global markets later in the year.
      2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS 
      (NORTH AMERICA)
      Overview

      Models: 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
      Body style / driveline:
      five-passenger, four-door SUV, front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive
      EPA vehicle class:
      compact SUV
      Powertrains

      Engine / Type: 1.5L turbo DOHC DI
      2.0L turbo DOHC DI
      1.6L turbo-diesel
      Block material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Cylinder head material:
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      cast aluminum
      Fuel delivery:
      direct injection
      direct injection
      direct injection
      Horsepower (hp / kW):
      170 / 127 (GM-estimated)
      252 / 188 (GM-estimated)
      136 / 101 (GM-estimated)
      Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm):
      203 / 275 (GM-estimated)
      260 / 353 (GM-estimated)
      236 / 320 (GM-estimated)
      GM-est. fuel economy:
      31 hwy
      28 hwy
      40 hwy
      Transmission:
      Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic
      Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic
      Chassis / Suspension

      Suspension (front): MacPherson strut with side-loaded modules, specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar
      Suspension (rear): 
      4 Link Independent Rear Suspension
      Steering type:
      Dual Rack and Pinion Electric Power Steering
      Turning circle (ft / m):
      37.4 / 11.4 (17-inch wheels)
      Brakes & Wheels

      Brake type: four-wheel disc with ABS and ESC; Duralife rotors and low-drag calipers (US)
      Wheel size and type:
      17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum
      Exterior Dimensions

      Wheelbase (in / mm): 107.3 / 2725
      Overall length (in / mm):
      183.1 / 4652
      Overall width (in / mm):
      72.6 / 1843
      Overall height (in / mm):
      65.4 / 1661
      Track (in / mm):
      front: 62.2 / 1580
      rear: 62.2 / 1581
      Interior Dimensions

      Seating capacity: 2 / 3
      Headroom (in / mm):
      Front - 40.0/1015 (w/o SR), 38.2/970 (w/ Sunroof)
      Rear - 38.5/977 (w/o SR), 36.9/936 (w/ Sunroof)
      Legroom (in / mm):
      40.9 / 1040 (front)
      39.7 / 1008 (rear)
      Shoulder room (in / mm):
      57.2 / 1452 (front)
      55.5 / 1410 (rear)
      Hip room (in / mm):
      54.2 / 1377 (front)
      51.7 / 1314 (rear)
      Weights & Capacities

      Base curb weight (lb / kg): 3327 / 1509 (1.5L w/ FWD)
      Fuel capacity (gal / L):
      14.7 / 55 (FWD)
      TBD (AWD)
      15.5 / 58 (1.6L diesel)
      Max cargo room (cu ft / L):
      29.9 / 846 (behind rear seat)
      63.5 / 1798 (rear seat folded)
      Max trailering (lb / kg):
      3500 / 1585 (2.0L turbo)
      Previous Page Next Page
      View full article
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