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Chris_Doane

GM @ Chicago 2008: GMC Denali XT Concept

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For release: Feb. 3, 2008, 12:01 a.m. EST (Info already published elsewhere)

GMC DENALI XT HYBRID CONCEPT TRUCK DELIVERS 50-PERCENT FUEL ECONOMY IMPROVEMENT

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-New, robust design form serves as a test well for GMC’s future design direction

-First combination of GM’s two-mode hybrid system with E85 ethanol-capable engine

-Height-adjustable suspension and cargo space-enhancing Midgate®

CHICAGO – GMC unveiled the Denali XT concept at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. It offers a 50-percent increase in combined fuel economy over comparable small pickup trucks when running on gasoline, and it incorporates a new, muscular form in a performance-styled, hybrid sport-utility truck (SUT).

The Denali XT has a unibody architecture and rear-wheel drive, enabling its distinctive design and efficient performance. It builds on the equity of the Denali line and its reputation for advanced engineering and refinement, including the first combination of GM’s two-mode hybrid system with an E85 ethanol-capable engine. Denali XT’s new, more efficient 4.9L version of GM’s small-block V-8 features fuel-saving technologies such as direct-injection technology and Active Fuel Management.

The engine is matched with GM’s unique two-mode hybrid propulsion system, giving the powerful SUT exceptional fuel economy and uncompromising capability – including all-electric drive at low speeds. It is a powertrain combination that makes the Denali XT perfectly suited to a variety of active lifestyle activities, such as hauling skis and snowboards to the mountain or towing a sport jet boat to the lake.

“Like all GMCs, the Denali XT is functional and capable, but it blends those traits with a more efficient, sporty driving experience,” said Jim Bunnell, GMC general manager. “It is a vehicle that exemplifies GMC’s engineering excellence, as well as GM’s commitment to hybrid and advanced technologies.”

With its unibody structure, the Denali XT is lighter than conventional body-on-frame trucks, with great ride-and-handling characteristics. This design enhances fuel economy while giving the vehicle a sporty driving experience. True to its GMC Professional Grade heritage, the Denali XT is filled with technologies and features that maximize its flexibility, including a cargo space-enhancing Midgate® and height-adjustable suspension.

The Denali XT’s proportions are framed around a high cowl and 123.4-inch (3,134 mm) wheelbase. This enhances the vehicle’s truck functionality, but packages it in an efficient, unibody architecture.

Design and construction were spearheaded by Holden Design, within the Australian arm of GM’s global design and engineering network.

“Denali XT is about working hard, playing hard and enjoying an active lifestyle,” said Bunnell. “It is the same philosophy that has helped make the GMC Acadia crossover a huge hit with consumers.”

Dramatic design statement

A muscular form and wide, firmly planted stance give the Denali XT a confidently capable road presence. Minimal overhangs, large wheels, sleek headlamps and a low roof profile deliver an aggressive, performance-oriented appearance.

“It is a robust yet tailored design statement that is unlike anything else on the road,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “It has the youthful look of a custom automobile that incorporates the capability customers expect from a truck.”

The Denali XT’s design includes a new take on GMC’s iconic grille, with a prominent, four-bar element in addition to the large, red GMC logo and signature Denali background. Flared fenders accentuate the wide road stance. The stance is also enhanced when the Denali XT is lowered on its air-adjustable suspension, which creates a sleeker appearance that simultaneously improves aerodynamics. Large, bold 23-inch wheels and custom Kuhmo tires complement the Denali XT’s stance.

Inside, the Denali XT blends mechanical functionality with leather-trimmed comfort.

Billet-metal surrounds, controls and instruments convey the cold precision of an aircraft cockpit. This is balanced by the warmth of bespoke saddle-leather trimmed seats and other contact surfaces.

“The form language is smooth and structured to characterize GMC’s power. The details have a deliberately contrasting mechanical aesthetic to mark GMC’s engineering sophistication,” said Warrack Leach, lead designer.

The interior features innovative instrumentation with “floating” red-illuminated numerals backed by surface chaplets in the clusters and a large integrated vehicle interface screen. The interior illumination was supplied by Osram.

The Denali XT seats four. The high-cowl vehicle architecture enables higher seating positions, allowing the couple distance between front and rear occupants to be reduced without compromising knee room. This packaging efficiency creates generous interior and cargo bed dimensions within a more compact package.

Truck capability

With stiffness that is greater than most conventional, body-on-frame trucks, the Denali XT’s unibody structure supports a very capable truck platform. It also serves as the mounting point for a four-wheel independent suspension that gives the vehicle its performance feel on the road. The multilink front suspension features a forward-mounted steering rack and dual lower links with ball joints at the outer ends, providing sharp responses to driver input. At the rear, a four-link suspension design uses coil-over shocks and a decoupled stabilizer bar to enhance cornering control, reduce body roll and optimize longitudinal compliance. In short, it’s a truck that hauls more than cargo on twisting roads.

The rear cargo area is wide, deep and flat, with no suspension or wheelhouse protrusions; the cargo floor measures 55 inches long (1,397 mm) by 47.5 inches wide (1,206 mm). It all adds up to the space to haul a wide variety of lifestyle accessories.

The easy-to-operate Midgate can be lowered to extend the cargo-carrying capacity inside the vehicle. The rear seats fold flat to provide a longer floor for carrying items such as skis, surfboards or wood from the home improvement store. A fixed rear window allowed engineers to retain the vehicle’s structure, reducing mass and complexity.

The Denali XT has an estimated payload capacity of 1,100 pounds (499 kg) and a towing capacity of an estimated 3,500 pounds (1,587 kg). This capability is delivered through unique vehicle and powertrain integration, where the multiple modes of GM’s two-mode hybrid system provide towing capability.

New 4.9L SIDI V-8 and two-mode hybrid system

For the first time, GM’s rear-wheel-drive two-mode hybrid transmission is paired with a smaller-displacement version of the small-block engine. The new V-8 4.9L E85-capable engine powers the Denali XT with an estimated 326 horsepower (243 kW). It uses direct-injection technology to produce the power of a larger engine, but consumes less fuel and produces lower emissions.

Also, the functionality of GM’s Active Fuel Management system has been expanded through the use of hybrid technologies, enhancing the cylinder-deactivating feature to further improve fuel efficiency.

The Denali XT’s two-mode hybrid system is partnered with the 4.9L engine and uses an electrically variable transmission to enhance fuel efficiency in city and highway driving. In city driving, all-electric propulsion is used at low speeds; on the highway, fixed-gear operation enables efficient performance even when towing a trailer.

The specific characteristics of the Denali XT allowed the synergistic evolution of GM’s small-block V-8 and two-mode hybrid beyond the recently introduced in GM two-mode hybrid products, such as the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Sierra Hybrid. During this optimization process, additional powertrain technologies have been integrated, including Active Thermal Management, which transfers thermal energy from one driveline component to another to improve efficiency; and a high-efficiency axle configuration, which fundamentally reduces the losses normally associated with conventional axle configurations.

The integration of the advanced internal combustion engine technologies and two-mode hybrid system on the Denali XT reinforces GMC’s Professional Grade position as a brand that continues to exceed customer expectations.

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For release: Feb. 3, 2008, 12:01 a.m. EST

GMC DENALI XT CONCEPT SPECIFICATIONS:

Body style / driveline:

four-door, four-seat; rear-wheel drive sport-utility truck

Construction:

body-frame integral

Engine type:

4.9L SIDI V-8 with Active Fuel Management

Horsepower (hp / kW):

326 / 243 (est)

Fuel type:

unleaded regular or E85 ethanol

Transmission:

two-mode hybrid

Suspension:

front: independent SLA; rear: independent SLA

Brakes:

four-wheel disc

Wheel size & type:

23-inch aluminum; split 5-spoke

Tires:

front: Kuhmo 255/35/R23

rear: Kuhmo 285/35/R23

Wheelbase (in / mm):

125.4 / 3134

Overall length:

205 / 5207

Overall width (in / mm):

76.3 / 1938

Overall height (in / mm):

62.5 / 1587

Track (in / mm):

65 / 1651

Cargo floor length (in / mm):

55 / 1397

Cargo floor width (in / mm):

47.5 / 1206

Payload (lb / kg):

1100 / 499 (est)

Towing capacity (lb / kg):

3500 / 1587 (est)

Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

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Sounds good on paper. I look forward to seeing pics.

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I'm very interested in this type of vehicle to replace my Silverado. Other than the grille, there's not much in the styling that says GMC. The styling appears to have a sprinkling of Tundra in it, but that doesn't bother me too much.

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Hmm..strange looking...GMC's Ridgeline, I guess..

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Hmm..strange looking...GMC's Ridgeline, I guess..

Without the stupid sideways engine and with a MIDGATE!

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OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I want one know!!!!!!!!sign me up! damit SOMEONE SIGN ME UP!!!!!!

build it build it build it.........................

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I really like everything about this, except for the overstyled profile view. The angular greenhouse leaves me cold. Otherwise, a solid effort.

To anyone who pays more attention to these things than I do: what's the shot at production? I've seen threads about a Pontiac G8 ute variant as well...what's the real deal?

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I really like everything about this, except for the overstyled profile view. The angular greenhouse leaves me cold. Otherwise, a solid effort.

To anyone who pays more attention to these things than I do: what's the shot at production? I've seen threads about a Pontiac G8 ute variant as well...what's the real deal?

The G8 Ute is happening.

I'd say this one has a very good shot as well.

Volume for Oshawa. :thumbsup:

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The G8 Ute is happening.

I'd say this one has a very good shot as well.

Volume for Oshawa. :thumbsup:

Hmm. Interesting. So two utes in the PBG showroom and none in the Chevrolet. Seems odd there will be two clones sold right next to each other...or will there be more sizable differences?

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Hmm. Interesting. So two utes in the PBG showroom and none in the Chevrolet. Seems odd there will be two clones sold right next to each other...or will there be more sizable differences?

Well, if the production Denali XT looks anything like this concept, they definitely won't be remotely 'clones'..

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Whaaaaat!? WOW, that thing is fantastic! That 4.9L smallblock DI AFM engine, with and without hybrid, should be on the market asap in all the half-ton GMT900s, as well as all the Zeta vehicles. This is the Zeta GMC Ute then... I love what I'm seeing so far. Maybe the future is brighter than we were lead to believe... but I bet a production version of this vehicle would sell for at least $45,000... too rich for my blood.
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Wow, that thing is sweet. I normally don't care much for trucks, but this thing kicks ass.

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LoL...slow down there sparky.

:lol:

I guess I should explain, but I don't feel like it. :AH-HA_wink:

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Interesting, especially the adjustable ride height. Lame a GMC doesn't have a 4wd or AWD option though.

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Interesting, especially the adjustable ride height. Lame a GMC doesn't have a 4wd or AWD option though.

If it makes production, I'm sure it will.

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Ugly. It looks really bad from every angle. Do people really want an El Camino/Ridgeline/Subaru Baja combination? I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

On the plus side, 326 hp from a 4.9 liter pushrod is a solid improvement over the 315 hp 5.3 liter. GM needs to be able to downsize engines and increase efficiency without sacrificing power to stay competitive. Is that 326 hp running E85 though? If so with 87 octane gas it may not be as powerful.

GM is addicted to trucks though. How can they kill plans for V8 Cadillacs or a rear drive Impala and say CAFE is the reason, while they have 3 brands of GMT900s, the H2, and soon 4 brands with the full size Lambda SUVs, and now bring out a Zeta pickup/suv combo. GM has 3 good cars (Malibu, Corvette, CTS) and a ton of bad ones. They should fix their car lineup and not worry about a Hummer H4 or 3rd GMC pickup.

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Ugly. It looks really bad from every angle. Do people really want an El Camino/Ridgeline/Subaru Baja combination? I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

On the plus side, 326 hp from a 4.9 liter pushrod is a solid improvement over the 315 hp 5.3 liter. GM needs to be able to downsize engines and increase efficiency without sacrificing power to stay competitive. Is that 326 hp running E85 though? If so with 87 octane gas it may not be as powerful.

GM is addicted to trucks though. How can they kill plans for V8 Cadillacs or a rear drive Impala and say CAFE is the reason, while they have 3 brands of GMT900s, the H2, and soon 4 brands with the full size Lambda SUVs, and now bring out a Zeta pickup/suv combo. GM has 3 good cars (Malibu, Corvette, CTS) and a ton of bad ones. They should fix their car lineup and not worry about a Hummer H4 or 3rd GMC pickup.

Don't be knucklehead, the whole point of this vehicle is to give people an option to get out of their full-size pickup. Until GM can move some weekend warriors out of half tons, CAFE will be a boat anchor around the neck. This sort of vehicle will Help with CAFE.

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Can't say I like it at all.

The overall shape is pleasing, but the design is too heavy and poorly coordinated...not really exciting either.

I really liked the Audi look that GMC was shooting for about 7 years ago...

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Don't be knucklehead, the whole point of this vehicle is to give people an option to get out of their full-size pickup. Until GM can move some weekend warriors out of half tons, CAFE will be a boat anchor around the neck. This sort of vehicle will Help with CAFE.

Yes...a vehicle like this would be a practical alternative to an obese full-sizer for many people...

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