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GMC Granite concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The compact-sized Granite crossover concept shown by GMC at the Detroit Auto Show proved extremely popular with attendees, and the "Professional Grade" division at GM really wants to put it in production. According to new GMC product marketing director, Lisa Hutchinson, the main stumbling block right now is figuring out how to build the doors. The Granite featured the same rear hinged back doors that are commonly used on concepts to show off the interior.

The goal is to retain the door design for production to maximize access to the rear seat. However, the doors will have to be engineered so that the car can pass side impact safety requirements, an extremely difficult task without a fixed B-pillar, especially on such a small vehicle. The engineering feat has been managed before, as seen on the Mazda RX-8 and Honda Element, but the rear doors on the concept Granite would appear to require a larger opening than the demi-doors on either of the two Japanese offerings, making engineering significantly tougher. Of course, GM could still build the model with a hidden pillar à la Opel's 2011 Meriva, but that might compromise some of its appeal, or its utility if they can manage to build it with the concept's trick folding seats. In any case, GMC itself has shown that it can build rear-hinged doors, as it already has the Sierra extended-cab pickup, but that vehicle's body-on-frame architecture and less weight-sensitive construction could make that an easier manufacturing feat.

At this point, the fate of the Granite remains up in the air.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would love for this to get produced. a successor to the HHR is needed and this would be a good option.

      not a fan of the mazda5, PT cruiser or upcoming CMax, but this has character. better use of teh block format than the Terrain.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I love the look of this thing. Call me crazy, but I think a little version w/ a truck bed on the back would really peak my interest!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like this little truck, and would love to see the Granite go into production as the entry vehicle for GMC, not that the Terrain is a bad car alternative.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 Chibi

        I think this fornt end needs to become GMC asap
        that is about the best looking truck front end ever, and it would further diferentiate the GMC varinats form Chevy

        the rear on the other had is just bad, but with a truck bed it woudl be fine

      • 4 Years Ago
      Have a folding gullwing-style door that encompasses the entire passenger opening. The fold can have a rigid beam just above it, making side-impact strength higher. All while making tight-space ingress/egress much easier. :-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Up to day, there is no chanse for this car in passing a crash test without the B-pillar
        • 4 Years Ago
        It depends.

        A B-pillar can be integrated into the front edge of the rear door, and can be quite strong, and if latched properly at the top and bottom, would be at least as strong as the side-intrusion beams that are inside most side doors, already, that usually capture a grasping point on the door frame, in addition to the main latch point.

        The pillar as part of the door would be strong enough to minimize inward bending intrusion, again, like side anti-intrusion beams already...

        and if latched properly, would also continue to minimize collapsing or flaring forces between the roof and the floor, with the b-pillar acting as a brace to prevent the roof and floor flaring apart, and collapsing the length of the vehicle, or crushing the roof and the floor towards each other.

        It is a bit more material and engineering work to make that pillar latch and un-latch, rather than being integral, but as long as the latches are well engineered, they are probably not significantly less safe than an integral b-pillar.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks good but what is the asking price base and with add-on's? how much protection is on the side? generally a door post support provides more security. the same thing everytime they preview a vehicle, no base costs or deminsions or gas milage results. you gonna be a writer about the vehicle get all the information not just how pretty it looks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks quite cool.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really hope that they can find a way to put those doors into the production version. I would love to be able to load up my bike inside.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I agree with BoxerFanatic, while those doors look cool on the car show floor they are not practicle in the real world. My extended cab Titan has rear doors that are half that size and swing open 168 degrees and it still is a pain to get people/things out of the back seat when parked to another car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think this is the best looking Box car of all. It is agressive, unique, with a cohesive design. Personally i love this concept and would love to have this car with a manual and an ecotech 2.0L turbo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say make all 4 doors suicide doors. Then all your exiting problems are solved.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought the Granite was based on the Orlando and the Orlando was DOA. If that is true then I can't see how GM can justify the Granite but not the Orlando's development and production cost?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they're trying to give each brand more 'unique' vehicles?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I was thinking too...
      • 4 Years Ago
      It looks cool, as long as you are not parked next to other vehicles.

      Otherwise, those doors trap people between the doors, and the adjacent car, into a nice little box. Especially fun with multiple people with their hands full, and trying to figure out where everything and everyone has to go, to allow one of the doors to close, and people to get OUT of that trap.

      A sliding door is better. A Jack-knife or butterfly a-pillar hinged door is better.

      Honda Sky-deck concept, with front jack-knife door, and a sliding door makes the most sense, and is very narrow-opening, and doesn't trap people between the open doors, and the adjacent car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I heard that dihedral doors, like the McLarens have... are slightly wider than jack-knife doors, but still open fairly close to the body. Less than 24 inches of clearance, I think McLaren said, for it's new MP4-12C.

        My SVX door is barely wide enough to crawl through at 24 inches from the door outer edge to the body of the car.

        I have never been a huge fan of SUVs, and I have never quite understood the sheer slave-to-fashion mentality of the stampede from vans to SUV/CUVs...

        But, the SUV/CUVs are light trucks under CAFE, minivans are not. Companies who want the extra breathing room under the CAFE regulations market the hell out of CUVs, and let their Minivans languish as pathetic attempts, except maybe Chrysler, due to their tradition with the bodystyle.

        The marketing has worked, and the government, via the car company's monetary dis-incentives, have successfully turned public opinion through marketing and fashion, away from practical engineering, and toward fashion and peer-opinion of the vehicle you drive.

        Toyota is trying to make the Sienna cool again... but frankly, I don't see the difference, and I still don't think Sienna is as forward-looking and interesting as the old Previa was.

        It used to be that ideas, and their practical applications, and implications mattered. Now all that matters is what the ads say other people will think about you if you buy product x over product y, regardless of the real reason they are pushing product x.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The reason Chrysler markets their minivans (i.e. PT Cruiser) is that they have found a loophole in the CAFE rules and gotten the PT Cruiser declared as a Light Truck.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Tourian

        I love those doors.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was about to post basically the same thing about the use of a rear slider ala the Honda Sky-Deck. That would work well for this vehicle.

        Also the sliding-hinged idea used on the S60 concept http://www.themotorreport.com.au/15121/volvo-s60-concept-uncovered-ahead-of-detroit-debut

        Mazda even did a concept with similar "sliding-hinge airplane door" for this segment a few years ago called the Washu , although it does include a "hidden" b pillar like the Meriva
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dihedral (butterfly) doors can be impossible to open at all in close quarters.

        I agree with you about the sliding, but people are idiots. They already buy SUVs instead of Minivans even though they are tough to get into and out of due to the step up and the lack of a sliding door. You have to meet people's perceived needs in order for them to buy even if they are fools.

        Otherwise cars with automatics would have column shifters instead of console shifters.
        • 4 Years Ago

        A regular 4-door car... doesn't trap people as readily, since the doors don't lock to each other, and don't close toward each other.

        A front passenger can open the door, step out into the space between the open rear-door, and the front door's closure radius, and close the front door, and walk forward,

        or wait half a second until the rear passenger gets out, closes the rear door, and they both walk aft.

        With doors that close together, the front and rear passengers are in a rectangular box, with no exit until the rear door is closed first, so that the front door can be closed against it. Plus those people are have to cram together to allow one of the doors to swing closed. there is very little difference in being compressed into an even smaller space to close the front door, then the rear door, then re-interleaving them again, correctly.

        I have a 4 door car. I have had a reverse door pickup truck, and several long-door coupes. and my parents had a minivan when I was a teen-ager. I know how the geometry of various door configurations works, personally, and I have loaded people and cargo through all of the various configurations.

        Reverse doors don't work easily or quickly when parked along side an obstacle.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Other those disappearing doors from Jatech that never caught on:


        With the design as it is now I foresee a lot of door dings when the kiddies pile out of one of those for whoever is unfortunate enough to be next to one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Tourian - ugh, spokanistan? is there any bit of automotive crap that's not roaming the streets up there?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I learned it first hand on my previous 4-door Ranger extended cab.

        It's rear half doors were not as long as the Granite pictured above... which would even be worse, in terms of vehicle side clearance, in a parking lot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a truck with a rear suicide door and I completely agree.

        Unless it can fold back 180 degrees, it should just slide back.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Something unique for GMC? I don't buy it.
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