• Sep 21, 2009
GMC Denali XT concept - click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has reportedly cancel plans for a new unibody mid-sized pickup truck after finding it wouldn't get much better fuel economy than existing body-on-frame designs. In early 2008, GM showed off the GMC Denali XT concept at the Chicago Auto Show. That truck was actually based on the same Zeta rear wheel drive platform used for the Pontiac G8. And unlike the star-crossed G8 ST that never made it into showrooms, the intended production truck would have been derived front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive Epsilon II architecture like Honda's Ridgeline.

GM vice-chairman Tom Stephens told Automotive News the unibody design would not give much of an efficiency boost while losing capability that buyers were willing to pay a premium for. That means the trucks would have been less profitable, something GM is obviously trying to avoid. The current four-wheel drive Chevrolet Silverado pickup has an EPA rating of 14/20 mpg while the all-wheel drive Ridgeline only gets 15/20 mpg, so there's clearly something to this.

As a mid-sized truck, the unibody would have likely replaced the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, two vehicles that are getting long-in-the-tooth. It's not clear how GM plans to handle those products (or that segment) going forward.



[Source: Automotive News - sub req'd]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Came for the "Ford Ranger tooling has been bought and paid for several times over" reference and was unfulfilled.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What happens to the Avalanche? It uses a unibody (although it still has a frame I think) instead of cab and box construction. This makes it enormous and gets terrible mpg. Which is too bad, since the mid-gate idea isn't a bad one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a unibody in that it has a single body on the frame, instead of a separate box and cab. The body provides some of the stiffness (unlike in a cab/box arrangement), as evidenced by the need for the crazy diagonal crossbraces above the top of the cargo area on the Avalanche. Obviously, with frame rails, it isn't a unibody in the traditional sense where the chassis is replaced with only a cradle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Avalanche is essentially a Suburban with a MID-GATE. It's is not Unibody. It gets similar fuel economy to the Ridgeline all the while using a V8 with 60 More HP and better tow capacity
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Terrain isn't ugly. I could see polarizing, but it's tougher looking and more futuristic looking than say the Equinox (which I like as well). I'm not surprised that GM killed the unibody truck. I've always been disappointed by the Ridgeline's fuel economy all things considered. I just don't see the point.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think its a shame that no one sells a small, fwd pickup truck in the USA anymore. (not that the Denali was small)

      It would be great for kayakers and bicyclists, etc. Not to mention a few small businesses. And it would handle snow nearly as well as 4WD pickups.

      Bring back the Brat, the Rampage, the Rabbit pickup.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think most Utes are a lot better looking and capable than the rather polarizing Denali
      • 5 Years Ago
      "General Motors has reportedly cancel plans for a new unibody mid-sized pickup truck..."

      cancel? Seriously, do you guys even proof read your posts?
        • 5 Years Ago
        +1
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, grammar check: "...would have been derived front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive..."
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm sure before the day is up, you'll make a few typos as well. It's not like it throws off the whole article. Now if it said, "General Motor had reportely cancel plan for new uni,body mid-size pickuptruck." I'd understand the confusion. but it's one word.. come on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why even HAVE GMC, anyway? Shouldn't that brand be killed off? They're just Chevys with square wheel wells. The brand is even more useless than Buick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        no... it's Cmicasa the Great XvX. I make Bob Lutz look like one of those sissified dudes who would actually drive a Highlander or CR-V (something Maximum Bob would never do Thank GOD) Google me for proof.


        Truth is I just love America. Love Domestics, and have simply not seen a reason why I would buy anything from any maker other than GM or Ford.. in a long time. The only area where GM doesn't compete is in the Super PREMIUM market where vehicles like the S-Class, 7Series, and A8 do and the Premium Compact along with the 3series, C-class do. That will be changing by 2011 from what I'm seeing.

        I currently have 5 GM vehicles all from 2005-2009, all best or competitive in their classes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because GMC is quite possibly one of the most profitable brands on the market due to it's limited need for additional R&D costs. I challenge anyone to give a valid reason why a division capable of selling up to 500K units at a higher price than the Chevy alternative should be axed while people are willing to buy them?

        What any moron who actually would give his/her money to foreign maker should be asking themselves is how can a company like Honda justify having Acura when they do need to put additional R&D/Marketing dollars into their so called premium brand all the while selling the cars for damn near Honda pricing?

        In fact... any person who buys a foreign car on the basis of past perception, simply has no clue that the domestics are now blatantly better than the majority of their competitors.

        DOMESTICS 4 LIFE
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bob Lutz, is that you?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey great...get off the pipe man. You sir are annoying.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon... are getting long-in-the-tooth."

      Yet they could still be called young and fresh compared to the elder-statesman of the class, Mr. Ranger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So a car, dress up like a truck.
        • 5 Years Ago
        a better looking version of Austrailia's Ute...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can the Ridgeline really be considered a real truck?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unibody construction is for crossover vehicles, not real trucks.
        If you are not going to use your truck for hauling or carrying, unibody is fine...but in that case you have to wonder if you really need a truck.

        Small, body-on-frame trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier and Chev Colorado are some of the most useful vehicles made today. No company that understands the purpose of a truck would ever replace these great veicles with a unibody vehicle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Comanche actually had a frame supporting the bed... and they had to make two different ones for the different bed lengths. I don't know if the Ridgeline has something like this (found some articles mentioning subframes for certain components but not anything about one for the whole bed)
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Unibody construction is for crossover vehicles, not real trucks.
        If you are not going to use your truck for hauling or carrying, unibody is fine...but in that case you have to wonder if you really need a truck."

        this is misguided. You know why light trucks mostly stick with BoF construction? It makes it a lot easier for the manufacturer to offer a variety of cab & bed configurations. Having the frame as a separate structural component means it's easier and cheaper to validate different frame lengths and configurations, and you can "mix and match" cab/bed combos to get what configurations you want.

        A unit-construction pickup would be much less conducive to this. However, if there are only one or two configurations planned, then unit-body would be fine so long as it met the structural requirements. Witness the Jeep Comanche.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They still make sense to some people, including construction workers.

        But GM's right, the Ridgeline isn't anything close to a fuel miser and it's pushed by a V6 - why would it work any better for them?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, the Ridgeline can never be considered a real truck, in my opinion. In fact, the old Rabbit pickup and the Brat were more of a pickup than the Ridgeline will ever be.

        If GM wants a real midsize truck, they should have brought the Holden Ute here in the first place.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Proofread" is actually one word. Don't worry about it though, it's not like you were criticising... oh, wait.
      • 5 Years Ago
      More erratic behavior from Government Motors. How long until this is brought back again, then canceled, then on tap again? Just like the G8/Caprice re-badge.

      Government Motors is in disarray.
    • Load More Comments