GM has revealed the details of its upcoming 2006 lineup. This, of course, is supposed to be the year that GM really breaks through in the market, which is also the same story we've heard about the 2004 and 2005 lineups. First, the trucks, which will probably continue to sell quite well as long as customers can be convinced that they're getting the deal of the century. There's the TrailBlazer SS, which should provide a decent spiritual successor to the GMC Typhoon; hopefully I'm not offending anyone in the same way I get tweaked when someone tries to compare the new V8 Impala SS to my '96. On the one hand I find it hard to get excited about SUVs, but I've also got a soft spot in my heart for unconventional performance vehicles. This thing will probably provide for some interesting stoplight races.
The only all-new vehicle on the truck side is the HHR, which I think we?ve already expended enough electrons on in
The introduction of the VortecMax is a pleasant surprise for GM fans who were wondering why GM wouldn?t offer the 345-hp 6.0L V8 in a regular (non-SS) half-ton truck. It?s paired with the 9.5? rear axle, which is more of a 3/4-ton part and should be plenty strong. Unfortunately it?s still tied to the 4L60E, but that?s likely a concession to fuel economy requirements (the stronger 4L80E has a narrower ratio spread and is less efficient). The 6.6L Duramax diesel engine receives a host of revisions that allow it to make 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque when mated to the new six-speed Allison transmission (it gets a second overdrive ratio). Yummy. The Silverado hybrid will be available nationwide. Oh, and all the Silverados get the ?power bulge? hood. Almost everything I just wrote about the Silverado also applies to the GMC Sierra.
The full-size vans now will be offered with the Duramax diesel, which is very cool. Not so cool is that they?re stuck with using the 4L85E, presumably due to the size of the Allison, which means that the van applications will only make 260 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque. That?s still a lot more than the Dodge Sprinter.
The Colorado and Canyon are pretty much unchanged, with the GMC version now offering the ZQ8 sport suspension package. The Equinox is also pretty much the same, while the VUE gets restyled.
Since the big SUVs will be the first of the GMT900s to roll out in 2007, they go into their final year with no substantial changes.
There?s no diesel for the Hummer H2 yet, but a H3 Alpha is supposedly on the way. It?ll probably get a turbocharged 3.5 L I5.