Official: GMC Granite is dead!

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 11, 2012

Jim Federico, vehicle line executive for General Motors' compact and small vehicles, said during this week's Detroit Auto Show that there will be no GMC Granite. He related that they received "a lot of input, pretty good input," but they never proceeded from its concept, which starred in the 2010 North American Auto Show.

During that time, it was a stylish, compact, van-like concept created for the young, urban customers. The vehicle was targeted to those who considered the Chevrolet Equinox or the GMC Terrain too massive for their neighborhoods. A debut was suggested for 2013 at that time. Federico provided no further details about the decision to end the concept vehicle.

One of the two design elements that stood out on the concept vehicle was the wide opening on the side. It offered as much functionality for loading cargo as the entry through the rear hatch. There was no B-pillar. The Dutch doors (also called suicide doors) provided a wide entry when opened. With the tight parking spaces in large urban areas, most people are expected to access the vehicle through the side entry.

The Granite's reconfigurable interior also stood out two years ago when it was launched at the North American Auto Show. It provided a front passenger seat that pivoted up and toward the console. When the seats are raised, a bicycle could be placed without dismantling the front tire.

While the GMC's team never used the word "Scion," the Granite was anticipated to be an xB competitor. Instead, the Granite has never progressed from its concept phase.

The exterior of the GMC Granite Concept has been designed – by a group of young designers – to reflect the taste and preferences of young, urban professionals who are both social and active. These youngsters are more likely go to clubs with friends and go to weekend pleasure trips. Considering these aspects, these young designers gave the GMC Granite Concept with a wheelbase of 103.6 inches (2,631 mm) and an overall length of 161.3 inches (4,097 mm).

This means that while the GMC Granite Concept has a wheelbase that is similar to that of the Chevrolet Cobalt, it is over a foot shorter – making the concept very maneuverable, even when negotiating narrow urban streets. In terms of width and height, the GMC Granite Concept measures 70.3 inches (1,786 mm) and 60.5 inches (1,536 mm), respectively.

With these dimensions, the GMC Granite Concept boasts of distinct proportions unlike those of its peers in the minivan, SUV or crossover segments. Lyon quipped that the GMC Granite Concept is a combination of the best qualities of an SUV, a minivan and a crossover, and injected with a commercial chic aesthetic – resulting to a redefinition of urban utility vehicles.

Meanwhile, exterior design manager Juho Suh remarked that they provided the GMC Granite Concept with a bold yet appealing design that would deliver the look and functionality demanded by a new generation of urban professionals.

Interestingly each of the four doors of the new GMC Granite Concept is hinged on each side, allowing them to be opened like French doors. Since the GMC Granite Concept features no pillar between the front and rear doors, passenger ingress and egress as well as cargo loading is much easier.

Following an urban theme, the exterior of the concept is laden with a series of complex, intersecting planes and angles, thereby creating the impression of a precise and functional industrial machine.

On the other hand, the new GMC Granite Concept comes with a forward-angling motif -- cutting through its door panels, starting high behind the doors and moving to the center of the front door.

Furthermore, its high beltline and tapered side glass suggest motion even though the vehicle is at standstill. The concept also features a roof-integrated rear spoiler that extends slightly above the rear glass. The exterior of the concept is laden with angles and planes that appear metal-crafted.

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