• Jan 21st 2009 at 1:27PM
  • 35
Click above for a high-res image gallery of GMC Terrain spy shots

Judging by the looks of this prototype, plans for a GMC version of General Motors' updated Theta platform are almost ready for prime-time.

Essentially the replacement for the Pontiac Torrent, this cladded-up GMC Terrain prototype reveals a masculine, blocky exterior with good differentiation between it and the forthcoming Chevrolet Equinox successor. A large, quadrangular shield grille stands proud while the blocky bumperette-style outcroppings in the corners give the crossover a bluff looking front end in a bid to reinforce GMC's image as a truck brand. In profile, the crossover has strong, squared-off wheel arches and flares that alleviate its otherwise slab sides, and the rear tailgate area cribs its cues from the SUV playbook, including an upright rear window, matte lower cladding and large, high-set taillamps.

Like its platform-mate from Chevrolet, we expect to see the Terrain debut with a 2.4-liter Ecotec direct-injection four-cylinder (good for 182 horsepower and an EPA-pending fuel economy rating of 21 city miles-per-gallon city and 30 on the highway ), as well as a 3.0-liter direct-injection six-cylinder good for 255 hp and estimated 18/25 mpg.

Our spies at KGP Photography note that the Chicago Auto Show has been a common unveiling point for GMC in the past, and judging by the finished look of this tester, a rollout in The City of Big Shoulders seems quite likely.

[Photos: KGP Photography]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      If GM keeps doing the same thing, they're going to keep getting the
      same results. This car should not exist. It is more of the same from
      GM. This might be a fine vehicle but it is bad for the company. GMC
      is about trucks and that's all it should be. I understand that trucks
      and truck-based SUVs are on the decline but GMC can't lose it's focus.
      If it's numbers decline along with the market for trucks and
      truck-based SUVs, so be it. GMC doesn't need to be all things to all
      people. GM has other brands for that. That's the point of having lots
      of brands. Adding crossovers like the Acadia and Terrain dilute the

      GMC could have a future as a niche brand for those who want/need
      truck-like vehicles. Yes it will be a smaller market than it has been
      but it will continue to exist because some people actually want/need
      these vehicles. If they stray from this market they risk becoming
      irrelevant and we will be having the same discussions about GMC in
      10-15 years that we are having about Saturn and Pontiac today or that
      we had about Oldsmobile 10 years ago. GM is trying to "save" GMC by
      growing its short term numbers and will end up killing it by
      destroying its brand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is there a chance they might make an SUT version of this? I doubt it, but if they did it'd be cool. I think it would be, anyway.

      Also, with regards to the whole SUV thing: Guys, Americans do in fact like SUVs and pickups. If given the choice between a small SUV and a small car that got the same mileage, a majority would choose the SUV. The question is fuel economy. Vehicles like the Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV-4 are designed to have the looks and high roof of an SUV with the ride and mileage of a car. A majority of Americans appreciate the tradeoff. I see nothing wrong with this and other crossovers as long as the manufacturer makes an array of cars too. We'll be getting the Chevy Cruze and Groove and we've already got the Impala and Malibu. Although GM's lineup is a little top-heavy with crossovers I think that just reflects American buying tastes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "If given the choice between a small SUV and a small car that got the same mileage, a majority would choose the SUV."


        The problem is a small and even mid sized car or wagon will get better mileage. Aerodynamics don't lie. If Dodge still made the Magnum R/T, it would get the same mileage, similar cargo room, but with 120 hp more and almost double the torque of the 3.0 in this new mommy-mobile. The problem with that is that Dodge doesn't make the Magnum anymore because people don't want to have a mere car or wagon when they can have something that resembles the mighty SUV, even at the cost of fuel or space efficiency. I guess they were also making room for the Challenger too, but still.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The SUV thing is fine, "they never learn"? - its what people want! Only a liberal idiot would think they can force people to buy something they don't want.

      Let me guess you want the Obama car czar to approve first??? Hope. Change. Hope. Change. Hope. Hope. (I feel so warm and fuzzy now.)

      My problem with it is, why not put this money into the chevy version? Do they need two of almost the exact same vehicle? NO!!! Spend the cash making the chevy version the best it can be - on improvements and marketing.

      GMC needs to go! It should only be for commercial trucks and buses, there should have never been a civilian GMC.

      This is more proof that GM is still stuck in its old way of thinking and it has nothing to do with the fact its an SUV.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Jake, aren't most Buick dealerships combined into GMC-Buick-Pontiac family?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I believe that the thinking is that Cadillac and Buick dealers want a truck/SUV platform to get people on their lots as well. So - GMC.

        So, perhaps GMC should be GM's truck and SUV platform and Chevy should only do cars. That isn't going to happen.

        Perhaps allowing Buick and Cadillac dealers to also sell Chevy trucks and SUVs is the answer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ ijopihjpoh

        First of all, about six months ago oil was at $150 and no one wanted to buy GMs vehicles, after that GM said that if we do not get a bail out will will go Ch 7. Now i am sure that this is all news to you, i am sure you never heard that SUV sales were in the dump only a few months ago.

        Now as far as Car Czar comment, you do not like him? You do not want a car czar? No problem, just call Wagoner and ask him to return bailout money back and government will call car czar back. While you at it ask Wagoner to return $17+ million dollars he was making a year, from 2000 until 2008, if you remember in 2008 government said to Waggy, dude you do not know what you are doing, so while your company takes a bailout you will have to take a pay cut. Wagoner protested, but at the end he realized that he already collected his $17+ mill for 2008, so he and his family could afford a slight pay cut.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This crossover is built on a car chassis, with fuel economy that rivals current sedans, so it escapes me why some posters on complaining. There are people who still need hauling capacity where a sedan is not sufficient enough.

      Eventually GM will be switching to CUV chassis even with the big Escalade. It not only makes since because most people don't do off roading with these types of vehicles so they don't need a body on frame design.

      BTW the next Ford Explorer will be a CUV.

      And to reiterate what a posters said earlier. Toyota makes a lot of trucks/CUVs no one complains.

      Lexus LX570
      Land Crusier
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this will do a good job of getting a lot of current SUV owner, like the Explorer, out of their BOF to a uni. Considering that the New Ford Explorer is coming out in 2010, this might be GM's answer along with the Equinox. It looks tough but can get 30 mpg. That's something that I think people will be attracted to. It's a good alternative to the cute utes that swamp the market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      More SUVs? Alright GM, you never learn do you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin,

        Twenty or thirty years ago booster seats were not required by law for kids up to age 8. How many family cars will allow for 3 booster seats? Not many - and the mileage of such cars aren't much better than the crossover and minivan alternatives. Small cars are simply NOT AN OPTION for families. My wife and I have a Cavalier and one kid, and the rear facing kid seat nearly blocks the entire view out the back. Nothing against safer kid seats... just people who think they know what kind of vehicle meets everyone's needs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Torrent, i grew up in a 6 people household, we had a 2-door coupe. Believe it or not we all survived without a 3 row, 4x4, V8, 2 MPG tank.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you don't want an SUV, DON'T BUY AN SUV. The people who want/need SUV's will buy them. It's obvious that GM has the interior/exterior design thing downpacked (thank god), and this will have more power than it's competitors (or a little less. no biggie) most likely a lot of space, and will deliver 30 MPG. This is a problem- how? Believe it or not, People still need SUV's. There aren't always families with 2 children and a small dog, and they got a mid-sized hybrid EV sedan and lived happily ever after. I was raised in a house with 5 other brothers and sisters. Sure, we would have liked a nice economical sedan, but our only choice was an SUV. A big ass V8 Suburban. No other vehicle would make do, except for a cargo van, and that wasn't on the list. There are still big families today, and they still need SUV's or Crossovers to transport themselves. You can't tell people to have less children. You can't tell people to condense their belongings into what will only fit in a sedan's trunk. You can't tell people what they want to buy, but you can make something that people want to buy, and that's an attractive, powerful, economical vehicle.

        There are some people you just can't please.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah because Toyota and Honda never badge engineer.


        There are many more but I think most will get the point.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...toyota debuts new Venza to everyones praise!! what ev.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin: But my point is- do you think families of 6 these days can go out and get a new coupe that comfortably seats 6?
        • 6 Years Ago
        SUV? Try a crossover that gets 30 mpg highway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly. More SUVs built off the same platform with different names. Gee I wonder why Toyota just blew by you...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where's the gallery/link?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just another Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How many American jobs are saved by buying "American" when the "American" vehicle you are buying is not made in any of the US 50 states or its territories? Last time I checked the GM employees in Mexico, Canada, Korea, Germany or elsewhere are not American citizens. Technically these vehicles: VUE, Astra, Equinox (current model & 2010+), Aveo are imports. If window sticker lists Port of Entry or "Assembled in" as outside of US the jobs are not US. Now, buying these vehicles does help the USA companies but Joe UAW doesn't benefit. Funny how the USA makers can't build their ecenomy cars here but they can build the big things here.

      For the record I own a previous generation VUE and an '07 Hyundai Tucson. Will probably buy US built, foreign owned Santa Fe in a few months. Am I supporting a foreign company by doing that? Yes. But I'm also supporting American laborers.

      Let the flames begin.

      Also, so this post isn't totally off-topic: I like thrclooks of GMC's Theta. If the back is truly as described it will be the first next-gen Theta with usable cargo space in the back! Both the VUE and the Equinox cut into the space by angling the rear roof line.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Having lived just outside Chicago my whole life, I can safely say I've never heard the expression "The City of Big Shoulders."
        • 6 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles: It's from a poem by Chicago's (arguably) most notable hometown poet, Carl Sandburg. It's even titled "Chicago." He has a series of buildings on the Gold Coast/Lincoln Park border named after him (Sandburg Village) ... I'm surprised you've never heard the nickname. It's not as widely-used as "Windy City" or even "Second City," but it's up there.

      • 6 Years Ago
      lower it a little - slap a good AWD unit in, give it the turbo Ecotec from the Cobalt SS - Could call it the Typhoon2.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And we NEED this why?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nah...if I am buying an SUV...I want a real SUV. Not some limp-wristed wannabe.

        I would much prefer a Tahoe. Best SUB on the market that can do everything I want it to.

        This GMC Terrian is unnecessary. GM needs to stop with the redundant models.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you simple or something? Because it's a mid-size SUV that replaces both the Torrent and the Envoy...and it's long overdue because both those models are beyond expired.
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