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GM's next pickups: More technology

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GM's next pickups: More technology

Rick Kranz

Automotive News -- February 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

CHICAGO -- General Motors Co. will add technology to its next generation of full-sized pickups, including adaptive cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity.

In addition, GM may offer a flexible electronics system that is compatible with a wide range of aftermarket devices beyond MP3 players and mobile phones.

Technology in the electronics industry "moves so fast," said Rick Spina, GM's global vehicle line executive for full-sized trucks. The pickups "will be more flexible" for adapting to aftermarket features.

But GM will stick with its basic formula for the next-generation, restyled and re-engineered Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, due in 2012.

The size of the trucks will be the same as today's pickups, Spina said, but GM will reduce the mass of the vehicles and improve aerodynamics. Durability and payload capacity "won't dramatically change the formula," he said. "The trick is to deliver those traditional things plus increase fuel economy," Spina said during an interview this month at the Chicago Auto Show.

To improve fuel economy, Spina said, GM may eliminate a portion of the truck's overhang to reduce mass. "But really, a lot will come down to smoothing out things like mirrors and moldings along the windshield," he said. "Every one or two ticks of drag add up to a fuel economy number."

He described a "tick" as 0.001 coefficient of drag.

Last year, GM sold 428,386 Silverados and Sierras, down 32 percent from 2008.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100222/OEM06/302229935/1143#ixzz0gGo4STWN

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Sounds good - I look forward to adaptive cruise control being more common.

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Listening to a recent CNET Car Talk podcast, I heard mention that GM is looking at putting shutters behind or in the grilles on their trucks to close off most of the grille at freeway speeds to reduce drag and clean up the aerodynamics..

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I also expect more compsites used in the body. Things like the front clip and hood. GM had a truck at SEMA that showed these things already with some updated styling.

If they want to keep the V8 they will have to pull some real cool tricks to advance the truck so it can haul but still get MPG.

I have pondered a two speed rear axle? I wonder if they could do a affordable light axle like this.

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Listening to a recent CNET Car Talk podcast, I heard mention that GM is looking at putting shutters behind or in the grilles on their trucks to close off most of the grille at freeway speeds to reduce drag and clean up the aerodynamics..

pretty sure they hope to have that fleet wide. plastics that respond to slight electrical charge to change shapes.... thinking they want to get this started in... maybe by '12 ? anyone confirm?

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Sounds good - I look forward to adaptive cruise control being more common.

+1

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From this pickup buyer's perspective, this may not be good news.

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From this pickup buyer's perspective, this may not be good news.

Don't worry, I'm sure you will be able to get a tech-free stripper model that has optional brakes :neenerneener:

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Don't worry, I'm sure you will be able to get a tech-free stripper model that has optional brakes :neenerneener:

I'll take the tech-free part of that!

For me, trucks are all about function, and it sounds as if that isn't a priority - not good.

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I'll take the tech-free part of that!

For me, trucks are all about function, and it sounds as if that isn't a priority - not good.

You have to remember most 1/2 ton trucks are just cars with big trunks anymore. The ony real guys doing any real work are the 3/4 or bigger truck. By that point they have a Duramax.

Anymore it is a race to see who can make the most car like interior and have the biggest ugliest chome grill. Now they have to make them get MPG to keep selling in large numbers as they have.

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I don't really care all that much what happens with the half-ton, but the tone of that press relese doesn't sit well with me.

Count me as concerned.

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I would not get too excited as trucks for the most are not all that advanced.

My Father inlaws new Silverado is nice and improved alittle over say a 1973 Chevy but the basics are still there. There is a lot of space, weight and aero things that can be done.

Other than interior sound, interior material, cab length and some engine technology the basic truck has not changed much since the late 60's.

There are many areas open for improvment.

Edited by hyperv6
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I would not get too excited as trucks for the most are not all that advanced.

My Father inlaws new Silverado is nice and improved alittle over say a 1973 Chevy but the basics are still there. There is a lot of space, weight and aero things that can be done.

Other than interior sound, interior material, cab length and some engine technology the basic truck has not changed much since the late 60's.

There are many areas open for improvment.

I hope it stays that way. Trucks are not meant to show off the technological dick size leave that to Cadillac and Buick. If the technology is meant to enhance the way they operate then it is well and good.

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I would not get too excited as trucks for the most are not all that advanced.

My Father inlaws new Silverado is nice and improved alittle over say a 1973 Chevy but the basics are still there. There is a lot of space, weight and aero things that can be done.

Other than interior sound, interior material, cab length and some engine technology the basic truck has not changed much since the late 60's.

There are many areas open for improvment.

Actually, that isn't even remotely true.

EVERYTHING changed in '88. Since then, the changes have been evolutionary but significant.

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Coil springs in silverado, suburban, tahoe. Independent suspension in the GMC's

separate interiors with the sierra getting a more car like interior like the terrain while the silverado remains with a truck interior

sierra loses three quarter ton and one ton to be replaced by sierra HD which is like a three quarter ton.

if the escalade moves to the lambda platform the Yukon should move uplevel for luxury buyers who like the BOF

silverado stays as the work truck and suburban and tahoe move down to differentiate it from GMC's

This is what i think should happen

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Actually, that isn't even remotely true.

EVERYTHING changed in '88. Since then, the changes have been evolutionary but significant.

I think that is what hyper is referring to too, Camino. Changes were evolutionary but enough to be called revolutionary.

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I hope it stays that way. Trucks are not meant to show off the technological dick size leave that to Cadillac and Buick. If the technology is meant to enhance the way they operate then it is well and good.

Well GMC should be the Buicks of trucks in order to gain any relevance

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Well GMC should be the Buicks of trucks in order to gain any relevance

Frankly I disagree. Lincoln has not been a success for Ford for following the same path. There are many GMC people who will not buy a Chevy but need a work truck. Three offices of my company buy GMC's not Fords, Dodges or Chevies.

You will be surprised by the volume GMC pulls from Sierra. At its peak it was selling at almost 40% of Silveradoes. Yes it should be a step above and differentiated from the Chevy, but not a significant step above that it looses its roots. Truck buyers are very loyal and hardcore, messing with the formula is like messing with their loyalty.

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I hope they address the slab-sided styling, fix the rear bumper (that big black cover in the center), fix the seatbelts in the extended cab, bring back two-tone paint as an option, and get rid of the strange color restrictions on certain option packages (like the All Terrain not being available in Fire red, WTF?) Or even decouple the All-Terrain trim options from the Z71 suspension package altogether...make a Ford Raptor competitor if you want to emphasize off-road ability. Pillaging the RamBox and factory dual exhaust ideas from Dodge would also be good ideas...

Even better would be to poll existing GM truck owners rather than believing that dealers know what customers what...they don't. I couldn't order what I want if I wanted to (which is why I haven't).

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I hope they address the slab-sided styling, fix the rear bumper (that big black cover in the center), fix the seatbelts in the extended cab, bring back two-tone paint as an option, and get rid of the strange color restrictions on certain option packages (like the All Terrain not being available in Fire red, WTF?) Or even decouple the All-Terrain trim options from the Z71 suspension package altogether...make a Ford Raptor competitor if you want to emphasize off-road ability. Pillaging the RamBox and factory dual exhaust ideas from Dodge would also be good ideas...

Even better would be to poll existing GM truck owners rather than believing that dealers know what customers what...they don't. I couldn't order what I want if I wanted to (which is why I haven't).

Amen!

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I hope it stays that way. Trucks are not meant to show off the technological dick size leave that to Cadillac and Buick. If the technology is meant to enhance the way they operate then it is well and good.

Yep. I like basic trucks that are easy to use..

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I think that is what hyper is referring to too, Camino. Changes were evolutionary but enough to be called revolutionary.

Thank you!

The Evolution has been slow too.

In the 60's people were happy with a rubber mat and a inline 6.

Today if it does not have a V8, power windows and most other goodies the truck sits till a NAPA store needs a deleivery truck.

The average buyer wants features anymore that is who are buying all the trucks anymore. My company sells enough bed rugs to tell me they are not hauling gravel anymore.

GM could get away with a truck model for recretional use if they wanted as some folks never haul more than 200 pounds at a time.

Blame the buyers and market not GM. Soccer Moms drive trucks too.

There is a lot of tech GM can still do to the suspensions and body that would make all parties happy.

Edited by hyperv6
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StylinTrucks.com is where I buy my truck accessories.

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Frankly I disagree. Lincoln has not been a success for Ford for following the same path. There are many GMC people who will not buy a Chevy but need a work truck. Three offices of my company buy GMC's not Fords, Dodges or Chevies.

You will be surprised by the volume GMC pulls from Sierra. At its peak it was selling at almost 40% of Silveradoes. Yes it should be a step above and differentiated from the Chevy, but not a significant step above that it looses its roots. Truck buyers are very loyal and hardcore, messing with the formula is like messing with their loyalty.

ya i got that answer from the last one of my friends i tried explaining that idea to.

i said chevy and gmc trucks are exact copies, he replied by calling chevy a car company which made it somewhat inferior to gmc's manlyness

______________________________________________________________________

ha, i just though what if you wanted a GMC work truck, the dealers just have a baggie of Sierra badges that they will slap onto your Silverado

Edited by CanadianBacon94
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