Clear Focus on SUVs, Pickups, for GMC; Granite Still a Possibility?

Automobile Staff
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Left to bear the brunt as General Motors' sole division devoted exclusively to pickups and sport-utility vehicles, GMC has released most of the evolutionary changes to its lineup for the near future -- save for the on-again/off-again chance of producing the small, car-based Granite. Here's what we know so far about the changes in store for GMC over the next couple of years:

Future

The most speculative news surrounds the Granite, a proposed Scion xB hatch-box lookalike. If produced, the Granite would share the same platform as the front-wheel drive Chevrolet Cruze -- a significant departure for the maker of large pickups and SUVs. GM management has gone back and forth about producing a vehicle like the Granite. If it's given the green light, it likely won't hit the road until 2013 at the earliest.

Current lineup

GMC's Canyon pickup receives a stay of execution until 2012, when its production is scheduled to end. Although GM is working on a global replacement for the Chevrolet Colorado, there are currently no plans to sell that vehicle in the U.S.

No big news for the hot-selling, midsize Terrain SUV, aside from a rumored Denali trim level. It's set to be restyled in 2013, and a possible hybrid is on the way one year later.

A Denali trim level of the Acadia was added recently, but the large SUV continues mostly unchanged for 2011. A more significant update to the lineup will come in 2012, when the 3.6-liter V-6 is replaced by a 3.0-liter V-6.

Although it was rumored that the next generation of the Yukon and Yukon XL would move to the Lambda platform that underpins the Acadia, body-on-frame fans won the argument. The next-gen Yukon, due around 2014, will likely share components with the next Sierra pickup. By then, GM may rework its two-mode hybrid system for better efficiency in towing and hauling.

Compressed natural gas will likely become optional on the Sierra pickup for 2012, and a refresh is due in 2014. The Sierra heavy-duty pickups were reworked for 2011, and will generally follow the timetable for other Sierra upgrades through 2014, with a slight delay.

But GMC's Savana van will be among the first of the lineup to be CNG-compatible, starting in 2011. It soldiers on as the marque's lone van offering, against an increasing number of smaller, more efficient competitors.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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