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Inside Info: Acadia Denali


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Inside Info: Acadia Denali

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We’ve just spent the day in Silicon Valley driving GMC’s new Acadia crossover SUV, a Yukon-sized unibody powered by a 275-hp version of GM’s 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. Now GMC has the driving impressions embargoed until Sunday, so we can’t tell you what it’s like behind the wheel of this big beast quite yet. But we can tell you what we learned after conversing with one particularly cool (and loose-lipped) GM staffer: GMC will have a Denali version of the Acadia soon.

It’s probably no surprise that GMC would plan an Acadia Denali—after all, the upscale Denali model of the Yukon accounts for almost 50 percent of Yukon sales. As a brand by itself, Denali clearly has legs. But we figured the Acadia Denali would essentially be a trim level with a swanky interior. Well, after speaking with our new buddy, we have confirmation that there will be a V8 under the Acadia Denali’s hood—and it will be from a brand-new family of V8s, too. If he’s right (and we have no reason to doubt him), this means that GM is developing a new engine family for transverse applications.

He wouldn’t give any specs on the new powerplant, but if the 3.6-liter V6 in the regular Acadia makes 275 hp, the mystery V8 for the Denali version should make well over 300. And since the new Buick Enclave is based on the same platform architecture, we’d bet it will get that V8 too. And maybe in an even higher level of tune—say 350 hp. Now that sounds like our kind of crossover SUV.

Popular Mechanics

(Note: I really didn't know whether to treat this as a rumor or not but I'm giving PM the benefit of the doubt since they reportedly heard it from a GM staffperson.)

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A question from a not-very-mechanically-inclined person: what exactly needs to be changed in an engine block to convert it from FWD to RWD or the ther way around? Engine mounts and what else?

If changes aren't that profound, maybe the new V8 can accomodate both FWD and RWD versions, much as the current Northstar does...

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A question from a not-very-mechanically-inclined person: what exactly needs to be changed in an engine block to convert it from FWD to RWD or the ther way around? Engine mounts and what else?

If changes aren't that profound, maybe the new V8 can accomodate both FWD and RWD versions, much as the current Northstar does...

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I think it is just the mounting points for accesories and the shape and baffles of the oil pan are the only major changes. Everything else should be about the same, at least that is all I can think of between the LS4 and the RWD DOD 5.3 in the Trailblazers.
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I think it is just the mounting points for accesories and the shape and baffles of the oil pan are the only major changes.  Everything else should be about the same, at least that is all I can think of between the LS4 and the RWD DOD 5.3 in the Trailblazers.

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Thanks for the reply!

I'm thinking is this V8 wouldn't be 'just another GM engine family', but probably the UV8 / Redesigned Northstar.

Edited by ZL-1
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why will it take so long for the denali?? 2009 that means the earliest it would be out is cy Jan 08!! I was hoping for a summer 2007 intro!!! a couple of months after the intial launch. It better be fully loaded 350hp w/ AFM!!

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The delay probably has to do with the engine development..

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