Report: GM Readies Lifestyle-Oriented Midsize Pickups

No, this isn't an April fool's joke: General Motors says it's working on a pair of mid-size pickup trucks that will bow some time in 2014 or 2015.

The topic of a smaller American pickup truck has been a controversial one: Ford killed the Ranger and Chrysler killed the Dodge/Ram Dakota in 2011, and the GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado duo were discontinued in 2012. The only remaining pickup trucks smaller than the Ford F-150 are the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Despite hinting periodically about a next-gen mid-size pickup, Chrysler hasn't made any announcements about a new Dakota, instead focusing on its Ram 1500 full-size line-up.

We heard last year that both GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado successors were on their way, but the Detroit Free Press reports today that GM hopes to bring the duo to market at the same time as the next-generation Ford F-150. Considering that Ford's Atlas concept bowed at this year's Detroit Auto Show, we should see the new Ford in late 2014 or early 2015.

General Motors North America president Mark Reuss said as much this week, adding that the two trucks will slot in size above the Toyota Tacoma (which is still technically a compact pickup), and fill two different niches. While the GMC Canyon replacement will follow GMC's "professional grade" ideology and serve as a shrunken Sierra work truck, the Chevrolet Colorado will move towards the consumer angle with a "lifestyle truck" look and feel.

While we know little else about the duo, what we do know is that GM engineers are shooting to beat the Silverado/Sierra's fuel economy numbers, recently revealed as up to 23 mpg highway. With a smaller, lighter body--and, heck, the international-market Colorado's turbodiesel engine--it shouldn't be that difficult. But will that happen? Nobody knows for sure.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Pictured are the discontinued GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Silverado, the global-market Colorado, and spy shots of an American GM mid-size pickup.

Although the Tacoma and Frontier are the smallest pickups offered in NA today, they aren't compact pickups - they're midsize pickups. I'm happy to hear that GM may put a small diesel in one or both of the upcoming GM midsize pickup twins but it's going to be way to big to fit nicely in a garage or an urban parking space. A lifestyle truck needs to be more of a compact in size than a slightly smaller fullsize truck. 
The two main secrets to  success in this niche market are power train and cost. You can't come in $1,000 less than the Silverado with one more mpg and expect many sales. The fact that the vehicle is larger than the Tacoma is worrisome in that the 3rd selling point of a smaller truck is that you could park it in your garage. If there is a 4th selling point it would be nimble handling in an urban environment. A 5th virtue would be that the smaller footprint would allow more Jeep like use on narrower dirt roads.
@Dave_in_Rio_Rancho You are so dead on! Done correctly this would be the a great boon to small job contractors too!

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