• Jul 30th 2007 at 12:55PM
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Stricter mileage standards being voted on by the government is already taking its toll on automakers like GM, which now have to shift focus onto smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles. Traditional bread winners such as big heavy SUVs are being phased out by a new generation of smaller and more car-like crossover models.

To ensure that it can retain buyers downsizing from large SUVs to more fuel-efficient models, GM will be introducing a new compact crossover to essentially replace the Pontiac Torrent (pictured). However, under its new brand strategy, Pontiac will be strictly for cars while GMC will be responsible for truck sales, which means the new model will be branded as a Buick or Chevrolet.

It isn't the end of the road yet for GM's full-sized SUV models. Vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUV will be equipped with hybrid options to ensure they continue beyond the current generations. The Acadia large CUV is also planned to receive a V8 in a couple of years, while the Envoy SUV from GMC will likely suffer the same fate as the Trailblazer.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe if GMC and Chevy took a much needed step back into the small truck market. Junk the crappy I5, and drop the infamouse 4.3L V6, give it a much needed tune and let that little guy really make some power (and along with it, that motor makes some good torque for a V6), update it to be more fuel efficient (like a displacement on demad to run 3 cylinders, etc). Slap it into something with S10-like dimensions, and you have yourself a solid (again) compact truck. They could benifit from a small, fuel efficient, yet capable truck. The S-series SUVS and Pickups were great little things. Even with 162,000 miles, our 98 GMC Jimmy can still make 17-18 mpg in mixed driving. Brand new it was capable of 20 or so highway. Now Im not sure what the Colorado/Canyon make (not interested in them, their, blah), but with some improvements, and a step towards small pickups again, I think GM could get a good amount of sales and reignite a market thats been abandoned by the US automakers.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I own a 1993 GMC Jimmy with the High Output 200hp/260 lb ft 4.3 Vortec, The motor only got worse with the next generation Blazer, it dropped in hp and torque numbers. If they could get it to say 240/250 and 280 lb ft, theyd have something way way better than the I-5 and not really even need the 5.3. Small block V6 is where its at.
          • 8 Years Ago
          A 250hp Vortec V6 would be pushing 300 ft lb of torque Id imagine. And thats gold, GM could market is as the most troque in its class, biggest V6 (which it was/is), and if they updated it with a better fuel injection system (multi-point fuel injection, with each injector working independantly is more fuel efficient, and could allow for a DoD) and a few minor touch ups, it could be the strongest, yet certainly as fuel efficient, if not more than the competitors.

          And your right, After they put in the TBI and CPI over the years, it was 180hp/240ft lb for the 2wd, and 190hp/250ft lb for the 4wd in the 2nd gen S-series.
        • 8 Years Ago
        If GM adds variable intake valve timing to the 3.7 I5, it would make ~250hp/250ft-lbs (it already has variable exhaust valve timing for emissions & mileage)
        couple that to a 6 speed automatic (6L45) or 6L50 if the former isn't ready.
        What's the problem?
        Ranger 4.0V6 207hp 238ft-lbs
        Frontier VQ40 261hp 281ft-lbs
        Dakota 3.7 210hp 235ft-lbs
        Nitro 4.0 260hp 265ft-lbs

        Though if GM lobbed off two cylinders off the LS3, they could make a 300+ hp 325+ft-lb regular fuel, cylinder shutoff 4.6V6. (with balance shaft)
        • 8 Years Ago
        Very true, GMC or Chevy should have an actual compact pick up truck. The Canyon/Colarado are getting a small block V8 and have grown in weight and size. I think Jeep has the opportunity if they make the little Jeep truck they recently showed. Something fuel efficient and functional would make sense in these eco-friendly times. Make a concept out of it with a gardener or landscaping theme tied into the design features.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You're right J.Crew. If GM wants to keep all their brands many of them should not be "full-line" brands with something for everyone.

      GMC does not need to be peddling tiny SUVs, minivans or cars. GM has better brands for that. Buick does not need to be selling a cheap, entry level car. Neither does Cadillac. Pontiac should not be selling SUVs, minivans or bland FWD cars.

      GM is taking some steps to remedy that by pruning some brands, and combining them in one showroom like Pontiac-GMC.

      There's still room for improvement.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, and that is why they are selling well. They have almost the same utility, while being way more fuel efficient, safer, and driver friendly. They also look great outside and inside. All three versions are real winners so far in the market. I would bet the Chevy version will be a minivan though...just a sneaking thought I have.

      As for the Jeeps, yeah, they were smart for going that way and I bet most people don't know that or do but don't care. The Jeeps are all built for off roading except for the dumpy little Compass. I really like the Patriot though, hard to believe Jeep thought they needed both designs to fill the same spot in the market.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Yup, I totally agree on all counts. Aside from the Toyota/ricer-inspired tail lights I love the way the Acadia looks (due to the tail lights I like the Outlook better overall). I actually didn't even know the Acadia bested the Tahoe in size and space until I looked up the numbers just now, and I doubt the general public has any clue that the Acadia and Outlook are actually "full-size SUV" in scale.

        From what I've read about the Compass and Patriot, the Compass apparently scored well in focus groups in Europe and with women here in the US, while the Patriot scored well with men in the US. And apparently they both scored well enough that then-DCX gave both the green light (though IMHO the Compass should have stayed on the drawing board).
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM's current small SUVs (Equinox/Torrent) aren't bad, but suffer from neglect. GM stopped refrining them up until just recently. It probably isn't enough. Pontiac should sell Holden's off-road wagon (Adventra, if they produce a new one) as the next Torrent.

      As for the Envoy, it's going away because the Acadia is replacing it. The Enclave is replacing the Rendezvous, Rainier and Terraza over at Buick.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How about some diesel compact utes and trucks?
      • 8 Years Ago
      What GM needs is a compact pickup with style. Also, they already have a great I-6, why bring back the 4.3 when they already have the 4.2 I-6 from the Trailblazer/Ascender to use. They also need something that will compete in the minivan segment. Even though the market is shrinking, how many Uplanders do you see on the highways? Correct answer=not many. Develop something that will keep soccer moms who don't want to spend 40 grand on a Tahoe or Acadia happy and they would be set for success.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Gm just needs to copy what Ford is doing with their CUV's. Ford is having great success.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Please explain Ford's "great success"...
        • 8 Years Ago
        Are you saying that the AcadiaOutlook are not?
      • 8 Years Ago
      With a curb weight approaching 5,000lbs, towing capacity of 4,500lbs, exterior dimensions almost identical to (and in one case BIGGER than) the Tahoe, and interior space bigger in almost every way than the Tahoe, and a V8 in its future... explain to me how the Acadia/Outlook still qualifies as a "CUV"?

      Seriously, the Acadia/Outlook has a longer wheelbase than the Tahoe/Yukon by nearly 3", and more cargo room by 8 cu-ft with the 2nd and 3rd rows folded. Even with all 3 rows upright the Acadia boasts nearly 3 cu-ft more than the Tahoe does.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Exactly Mike, thanks.
        • 8 Years Ago
        All new Jeep SUVs (ie: the Cherokee, Liberty, Grand Cherokee, and Commander) have been unibody since 1984, but no one's ever referred to them as "crossovers". ;-) The Patriot and Compass probably *should* be considered crossovers are they're based off a "car" platform. I don't think I've ever heard anyone refer to the Mercedes M-Class as a "crossover" either (maybe it has been though...).

        Mainly what I was trying to point out was that GM's popular new "crossover" is actually BIGGER than their popular "full-size SUV" (ie: the Tahoe/Yukon).
      • 8 Years Ago
      GMC could have a small CUV as they now have a large one. You could not have a GMC passenger car though. GMC is all about utility and functionality with a touch more luxury than the Chevy's. I am not sure if there is enough differentiation between the two, but the two retail channels would allow for this as it does now. It is between Buick and GMC where more confusion could happen. Still too many brands in the GM stable and too many dealers. I like GM, but they still have lots of work to do on the retail end of things.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Trailblazer and Envoy could actually be sticking around for awhile. The Trailblazer still outsells the Equinox, so nixing it now wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Trailbalzer and Envoy are doing so well because they have huge incentives. GM is giving them away to keep the plant open until the Lamdas can take over. With the final price of the SUV's the CUV's just look a whole bunch more expensive.
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