First Look: GMC Granite Concept

GMC Granite Concept

With GMC being one of GM's four core brands, GM is looking at expanding its lineup by offering smaller vehicles. The GMC Granite concept is the brand's smallest vehicle ever, but retains the functionality of a larger vehicle thanks to its "industrial-inspired" design.

The GMC Granite measures a full two feet shorter than GMC's Terrain crossover. Perhaps more impressively, the Granite is a foot shorter than the Chevrolet Cobalt, although it rides on a similar wheelbase. With the Granite concept, GMC previews functional people movers that aren't as big or thirsty as the Acadia.

Another first for GMC is the powertrain on the Granite. It is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder, the smallest engine used in a GMC, coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the first dual-clutch transmission to come from GM. This powertrain, combined with the Granite's small size, should provide some rather impressive fuel economy.

GMC's target audience with the Granite concept is young, urban professionals in the U.S., and as such, the Granite was designed by younger members of the design staff. The Granite was designed for optimum maneuverability in the city, but the car's width and height give it the feeling of a larger vehicle inside. With these design qualities, GMC dubs the Granite an "urban utility vehicle."

The exterior of the vehicle features complex, intersecting angles to create the impression of an industrial object -- something created out of necessity, but admired for its precision and functional aesthetics. GMC's signature grille is flanked by headlights that sweep back into the fenders. This design cue, along with the high beltline and tapered glass are meant to give the impression of motion even when the vehicle is sitting still. The design all comes together out back with an integrated rear spoiler, centrally mounted exhaust, and LED taillights.

Inside the car, the industrial-inspired theme continues with a highly functional interior. The seats are reconfigurable to allow for passengers, or cargo. Instead of a conventional gated gear selector, GMC uses a rotating knob that clicks like a ratchet to save space. The instrument panel is designed to give the feel of a command console with finely crafted timepieces as the gauges. And wide-opening, rear-hinged, rear doors along with the lack of a traditional B-pillar allows for greater interior access.

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