Drew Dowdell

2010 GMC Granite Concept

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2010 GMC Granite Concept

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DETROIT – Combining a decidedly urban-industrial design aesthetic with functionality aimed at young professionals, the GMC Granite concept takes the brand's trademark capability in a new, more progressive direction. It was introduced at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

If brought to market, the Granite would be the smallest GMC ever – but has been optimized to feel much larger. Its length is a full 2 feet (0.6 m) shorter than the new Terrain compact crossover, but its open interior was designed to be spacious and flexible to fit the needs of active people. Generous cargo space and unique flipping/folding seats, for example, enable a mountain bike to be loaded completely inside with the tailgate closed.

"Granite was conceived as a new type of vehicle from GMC – one that could stretch people's ideas of what a GMC can be," said Lisa Hutchinson, product marketing director for GMC. "We call it an 'urban utility vehicle' and our goal was redefining what the GMC name could mean to a new generation of customers looking for both bold design and functionality."

Like GMC's current lineup of trucks, SUVs and crossovers, the Granite delivers style and capability, with advanced features, high-quality materials and exceptional attention to detail. An industrial-influenced exterior is combined with a spacious interior that features precise instruments and leading-edge technology. The climate system, navigation and infotainment technologies, for example, are viewed via an extra-wide, next-generation organic light-emitting diode technology that is more dynamic than the conventional screens used in most production vehicles.

"We think of the Granite as the automotive equivalent of an urban loft apartment," said Dave Lyon, executive director of North American Interior and Global Cross-Brand Design. "The exterior has an unmistakable industrial look, but the interior is warm and personalized."

Power for the Granite concept comes from a 1.4L turbocharged engine that is part of GM's new family of small-displacement, highly efficient four-cylinder engines. It is matched with a six-speed transmission.

Industrial-inspired exterior

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A cadre of young designers drew upon the preferences of young, urban professionals like themselves, who are very social and active. They are more likely to take friends to clubs and load outdoor gear on weekend excursions than to haul lumber or tow a boat. With those requirements in mind, they sketched out the dimensions of the Granite accordingly. Its 103.6-inch (2,631 mm) wheelbase is comparable to a Chevrolet Cobalt, but its 161.3-inch (4,097 mm) overall length is more than a foot shorter. Its size gives the Granite exceptional maneuverability, even within narrow urban streets.

The Granite's comparatively short body length is complemented by a wide, 70.3-inch (1,786 mm) overall width and a tall, 60.5-inch (1,536 mm) height. Those dimensions create unique proportions that depart dramatically from conventional minivan, SUV or crossover designs. "The Design team leveraged the best attributes from different segments: SUV, minivan and crossover, and mixed them with a commercial chic aesthetic. We feel this redefines the premium class of vehicles we call urban utility vehicles," said Lyon.

Granite has four doors, hinged on each side to open like a set of French doors. There's no pillar between the front and rear doors, making the Granite easier to enter, exit and load, even with bulky items.

"We gave the Granite a bold yet appealing design that truly makes a styling statement," said Juho Suh, exterior design manager. "For a new generation of urban professionals, it delivers the look and functionality they need."

In keeping with the vehicle's urban theme, the exterior of the Granite has a series of complex, intersecting planes and angles, creating the impression of an industrial machine – an object created out of necessity, but admired for its precision and functional aesthetics.

A forward-angling motif that cuts through the door panels, starting high and behind the doors and cutting to the center of the front door, suggests motion, as does a high beltline and tapered side glass. A rear spoiler is integrated into the roof and extends slightly above the rear glass. Other angles and planes of the exterior appear carefully metal-crafted.

Up front, GMC's signature grille design is flanked by headlamps that sweep back into the fenders, further suggesting motion. The headlamps and fog lamps are set at the far edges of the front-end bodywork, accentuating the Granite's planted stance. At the rear, the vehicle's planes and angles come together tightly, showing careful attention to detail. Other exterior elements include prominent taillamps with a multi-layer appearance and LED lighting technology; and a centered exhaust outlet with a brushed metal tip.

There is no chrome on the exterior of the Granite; all the trim has a satin or brushed metal finish, accenting the industrial look. Large, 20-inch wheels – wrapped in Bridgestone tires – were tailored within the fenders for a low, sporty stance. The exterior color of the Granite is metallic gray that evokes the look of the material for which this concept was named.

Mechanically minded, highly functional interior

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The interior was inspired by the design of aircraft-type mechanical instruments and precision tools. That is most apparent on the dashboard and instrument cluster, where gauges were modeled after finely crafted timepieces. A compass incorporated into the "barrel" surrounding the speedometer moves with every turn of the vehicle, providing an at-a-glance directional confirmation. "Our goal was not to hide but to show how this vehicle is put together, and the high quality of its craftsmanship, not unlike the finest industrial-inspired luxury time pieces," said Lyon.

Red backlighting illuminates the gauges, while a panel of organic light-emitting diode screens is the foundation for the vehicle's navigation, infotainment, phone and climate control readouts. The screens represent the next generation in vehicle information displays, with bright, multidimensional readouts and intuitive controls that give the Granite a modern feel.

Integrated within Granite are unmistakable GMC cues, including a center stack wing motif similar to that of the new GMC Terrain. A prominent center console runs between the front and rear seats, with ports to plug in popular portable electronic devices, as well as storage compartments large enough for a laptop computer.

The center console also houses a unique transmission shifter. Rather than a handle that actuates within a conventional gate, it is a simple, space-saving knob that rotates with the precise clicks of a torque wrench. The gear selections are confirmed via LED indicators.

Among the most functional elements of the Granite concept are reconfigurable seats. The front passenger and right rear seats flip up and fold in toward the center console, creating a long, unobstructed storage space. The Granite functionally addresses the needs of young professionals and their activities without compromises.

The cargo area includes a number of compartments to store items out of sight. Cargo hold-down provisions are built into the cargo area and the seatbacks have clasps that can be used when the seats are upright or folded to help secure cargo.

The Granite's interior is finished with dark tones on the bottom and complementing, lighter colors on top, including suede-like Nubuck material on the seats and instrument panel. The interior is further accented by satin-finish and anodized trim. The instrument panel gives the impression of a command console, with driver-focused instruments and controls set in an anodized panel.

"The look, feel and functionality of the instrument panel remind you of a fine instrument or tool," said Lyon. "Indeed, the Granite is like that – a precision instrument wrapped in a protective, industrial case."

2010 GMC Granite Concept Photo Gallery

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So GMC is going to take on Scion eh? :)

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wow, which is the bigger dud, this or the 2012 focus? now i won't have feel bad if i buy a current focus or an HHR.

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Welcome to the New GM and the vehicles they will introduce to distant themselves from the Old GM. Am I saying I don't like this GMC? No way; I actually DO like it. It's different and not what GMC typically would offer, but this is the dawn of a new day for the New GM and they must offer vehicles in catergories they haven't been in before. Plus it's another offering carrying the GMC badge, giving the dealers something to sell. It's a shame that the Chevy Orlando wasn't the 5-seater, with the GMC Granite being the 7-seater (premium over the base).

Knowing that this is a very small vehicle, it may not be the best choice for me but I'll reserve further judgement until I see it in person for myself (NYIAS). However, that doesn't mean that it's not the right vehicle for someone else, maybe someone that would have never stepped foot into a GMC dealership before will take note of this new offering and will now venture into a dealership for the first time. I like it much more than the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube, that's for sure!!

I can't wait to see it in person at the NYIAS in April, and hopefully by then GM/GMC will let us know more aout its production intent. I also look forward to GM/GMC anouncing more product in the near future.

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wow, which is the bigger dud, this or the 2012 focus? now i won't have feel bad if i buy a current focus or an HHR.

2012 Focus looks great from the pics I've seen today...has a mix of Fiesta and Mondeo styling cues.

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The brand notwithstanding, it's a stylish little vehicle, though not very original.

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Well, a production version would give GM something to play in the xB/XD/Cube/Soul funkybox segment.

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There are styling bits I like... but few... like the cut of the rear hatch and the taillights. Overall, it screams Scion xE.

Ooo.... you can put a whole mountain bike in there... Yeah... my grandfather had no problem putting my bike in the trunk of his '66 Polara... and you could still carry 6 people.

Will storage bragging of the future seem absurd to us now? The new 2034 Accord... you can fit a loaf of bread in it!

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I like it... and would be interested in purchasing a toned-down version of this. The front end says GMC without being out of place and weird like the Terrain's.

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I like it actually. Front end is better integrated with the body work than the Terrain.

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I have to agree that this design is more cohesive than Terrain's.

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It's an interesting concept but I think GM needs to show us that the production vehicle will be as high of quality. Now, I understand the interior will never make it to production as is, but the rear-hinged doors should make it since the new Opel Meriva, a vehicle on the same platform will be offering it.

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I like the general idea here. Two things I'd change:

1) Move the headlights down to where the vent-things are rather than sitting on top of them

2) Split the exhaust pipes, one on each side instead of a central unit.

I also kind of think that saddle and dark grey is an unattractive color combination, but it's refreshing to see something other than solid tan, black, or grey.

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I wouldn't change where teh headlights are, the mos I would do is enlarge them to cover where the vents are. Also the central exhaust is A.) different from the norm and B.) part of the design. Notice how the lines of the license plate housing flow into the edges of the exhaust.

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this is everything a GMC should be: technical, upscale, expensive detailing, refined, edgy and very forward and modern. GMC has to express something uniquely bold and powerful as compared to a more casual and uber-friendly/handsome/cavalier chevy. GMC should be technical and off-putting, high-minded in concept. The Graphyte concept, or an updated version of it, or a production version of the Denali XT would be great follow up to this.

i hope we see it here soon, with the right efficient powertrains, as well as a hi-po 220 hp turbo engined version, and it damn well better not come without any of these details. screw the fleets, screw the low end consumers, GMC should be all about exclusivity and special detailing going forward!

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this car defies categorization. due to the bulging clamshell hood you have a bit of SUV from the front angle, but the edgy lines keep you contemporary and shed excess fat; the forward angle of the c-pillar and the shrinking greenhouse towards the rear keep this more like a modern 5-door hatch like the mazda 3 as opposed to something boring and more minivan-like like the mazda5. this is an awesome design. let's not water it down for production.

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Look how that huge bodyside sculpture echoes the headlight shape.

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name='turbo200' date='11 January 2010 - 10:53 PM' timestamp='1263268427' a production version of the Denali XT would be great follow up to this.

+1 :thumbsup:

Edited by GMTruckGuy74
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If I was in the market for a small boxy vehicle, this would be the only one on my shopping list. I like it. I'm assuming this probably sits on the same platform as the upcoming next gen Opel Meriva. The Granite and next gen Meriva are both cool little utility vehicles, but I think I prefer the Granite over the Meriva. Hopefully the production version doesn't lose the edginess of the concept.

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