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Report: GMC Granite NOT approved for production *UPDATE

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Report: GMC Granite NOT approved for production [w/poll] *UPDATE

by Steven J. Ewing (RSS feed) on Jun 29th 2010 at 5:59PM

When General Motors debuted the GMC Granite concept at this year's Detroit Auto Show, it was a huge hit with both the media and public in attendance. A small hatchback like this would shake up GMC's legacy of only building trucks and crossovers, but it would be a good way to expand the brand's lineup and better establish it as a core part of GM.

Now, the folks at Motor Trend report that the Granite has been given the green light for production, though The General is still in the process of figuring out if it can keep those nifty rear-hinged doors intact. The Granite shares the same architecture as the Chevrolet Orlando which will be produced for other markets and will likely be powered by GM's new 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, possibly mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It's still unclear when we'll actually see a production version of the Granite concept, but we wouldn't be surprised if a few test mules start popping up outside of GM's proving grounds within the next year. Can a tall Scion xB-like hatch exist under the GMC nameplate? Be sure to give us your opinion in the poll below.

*Update: Motor Trend is now saying that it was a bit premature in reporting that the Granite was a go. While MT still strongly believes it will be produced, it has yet to receive the official green light.



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By Mark Kleis

Yesterday a report was released suggesting that Tom Stephens of GMC had confirmed the future of the GMC Granite as a production vehicle.

Leftlane has now learned, however, that the report was based on a misinterpretation of Stephen’s comments, and the Granite has not been given the production go-ahead.

“With GMC, we’re looking to build on the popularity of the Acadia and Terrain, to attract a younger demographic to our “Professional Grade” products. To do that, we need to get out of our comfort zone…which is why we asked our advanced studio, in North Hollywood, to design this [Granite] premium box concept,” said Stephens during his presentation.

GMC has now added clarification to the situation, suggesting that the decision for the Granite’s future has yet to be made, leaving the possibility open for a future decision to move the Granite from concept to production form.

The details on the GMC Granite

GM first took the wraps off of its GMC Granite concept vehicle – the “professional grade” version of the Chevy Orlando at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, but gave no indication of whether the vehicle would see a production version in the future.

Why this is a significant vehicle for GMC

In what is likely a sign of the time, this concept represents a significant change for the GMC brand as this vehicle would become the smallest GMC ever built if it were to go into production.

GMC has long been a brand associated with rugged, tough and big trucks and SUVs – touting the slogan of “professional grade.” But with the changing economy and the future of fuel prices destined to continue their upward volatile climb, GMC will now turn to a vehicle for the times – the Granite.

The Granite is GMC’s take on the already revealed Chevy Orlando concept, a new crossover-based utility vehicle, or CUV. GM has decided that the Granite is so unique, however, that it doesn’t fit an existing segment – instead creating the ‘urban utility vehicle,’ or UUV segment.

“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.”

GMC did stick true to its roots with the exterior styling of the Granite keeping a very rugged look – slightly more bold than than Orlando concept. At the same time, many will likely find similarities with the current Scion xB’s exterior and the Granite concept – and that is likely no fluke. In fact, as we showed in the teaser image release for the Granite, the two vehicles ae virtually identical in exterior shape and size.

On the inside of the Granite GMC says it tried to make the vehicle like an urban loft apartment – or that is to say, livable, comfortable and stylish. GMC says that the interior was also inspired by aircraft-type mechanical instruments and precision tools.

GMC also took it upon themselves to equip the Granite with reconfigurable seats – a feature it believes will appeal to young professionals in need of versatility.

“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.”

To move this UUV GMC supplied this concept vehicle with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and matched it to a six-speed transmission for what it believes is a great blend of efficiency and sportiness. The transmission also features dual-clutch design for faster, crisper shifts.

Some of the more edgy style and engineering points of the concept Granite will likely go away for final production form, but expect the overall shape and style to remain very close to the concept – giving GMC an offering that should appeal to both the environmentally conscious and the youth alike.



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Cool, its no for me but it WILL sell.

If anything, this thing looks quite cool compared to the Scion boX.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would love to see GMC do a TV ad with the Granite driven by some Cats going after the Urban Hamsters.

While you are doing colors black out the windows on the black to give it a panel look.

Edited by hyperv6
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Are you asking me to put some black tint on the back windows to give the 'illusion' of a panel van, or are you asking me to make an 'actual' panel van out of it?

Blacked out rear windows is fine but if you want to do a true panel that would be cool. I just was trying to keep it easy.

With the many HHR panels out there I wondered if this would make a cool work vehicle.

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what if this mofo was a coupe? i.e. same front door but a little bit of a rear window behind it and no second row door.

You could do like the present HHR panel and just have solid doors with no hanels on the outside. Then you release them with the remote. That way you get a panel but also still have access to the rear. The people I know with these love them because they get the look and the usability.

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