Looks like General Motors is not completely dead yet, nor devoid of ideas. For example, fresh from Detroit and The North American International Auto Show comes the GMC Granite Concept. The exterior features an “urban-industrial design aesthetic” and on a lot of levels seems very un-General Motors-like.
Intriguingly the GMC press release teases almost right off the top: “If brought to market … ” What do you mean “if”? Sure, most concept cars are there to tease, but that’s pretty un-GM-like to be so up front with it. In a lot of ways, a car like the Granite could make a lot of sense. You’d think there would be a market for it, and it would get better MPG figures than most GMC trucks. And it is small to be sure. The Granite is a full 2 feet shorter than the new GMC Terrain compact crossover.
“Granite was conceived as a new type of vehicle from GMC – one that could stretch people’s ideas of what a GMC can be. 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,” said Lisa Hutchinson, product marketing director for GMC.
Dave Lyon, executive director of North American Interior and Global Cross-Brand Design takes things a little bit further in the hyperbole department: “We think of the Granite as the automotive equivalent of an urban loft apartment. The exterior has an unmistakable industrial look, but the interior is warm and personalized.” Uh-oh, easy there.
But he might not be that far off, given what the design team was going for. Said team was a young group of designers, and they aimed the Granite at young, urban professionals like themselves, who are very social and active.
The Granite is short, which makes it more usable in an urban setting: A 103.6-inch wheelbase and 161.3-inch overall in length. “The Design team leveraged the best attributes from different segments: SUV, minivan and crossover, and mixed them with a commercial chic aesthetic. We feel this redefines the premium class of vehicles we call urban utility vehicles,” said Lyon.
The Granite has four doors, the rears being suicide style, and there’s no pillar between the front and rear doors, which should make it easier to enter, exit and load.
“We gave the Granite a bold yet appealing design that truly makes a styling statement,” said Juho Suh, exterior design manager. “For a new generation of urban professionals, it delivers the look and functionality they need.”
OK GM, you want to survive? You want to start moving forward: Build the Granite.