In October of 2006, 13 weeks ahead of schedule, GM will launch its new line of Chevy and GMC full-size pickup trucks based on the GMT900 architecture. The launch has been pulled ahead by employing lessons learned in accelerating the introduction of its new full-size SUVs.

I know that many will see this as a move born from desperation, but to me it just seems like a smart and logical move for the company's biggest-selling and most profitable product line.

There's very little in the way of confirmed technical information on the new pickups. The front sheetmetal and interior will likely be carried over from the new Tahoe and Yukon. Our best guess is that the half-ton pickups will also utilize the SUVs' new rack-and-pinion steering and coil-spring front suspension design, but it would not be surprising to see the heavy-duty pickups carry over the current torsion-bar suspension. Expect an array of powertrain choices from the 4.2 L inline-six to the 6.6 L Duramax, which may see another boost in power by the time the new HD models are introduced.

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