We've already seen GM's SUV offerings that will spring forth from its new GMT900 platform; now, we take a step half-way to the pickups with the introduction of the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche. There aren't many surprises here - the midgate remains but with an improved central locking system and 2" more available cargo length, the tailgate gets some assistance from a torsion spring system, and a remote starter system is available. That starting system fires up either the standard 5.3L V8 and its 320 HP, or the 6.0L V8 with variable valve timing and 355 HP. Both engines route their power through the ubiquitous GM 4-speed automatic. The new 'lanche rides on standard 17-inch wheels or optional 20s, with a set of 18-inchers to show up late this year on the Z71. GM's long press release and several more photos are available after the jump - grab a snack and check it out.ALL-NEW 2007 CHEVY AVALANCHE IS FLEXIBLE WITH PASSENGERS, CARGO AND FUEL
Chevrolet introduced the 2007 Chevy Avalanche, the next generation of the industry’s most flexible utility vehicle. It combines the passenger-comfort attributes of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck. The ’07 Avalanche is based on GM’s new, full-size SUV platform, which features more power with segment-leading fuel economy and flex-fuel capability; a sharper, more precise driving feel; increased interior refinement; and improved quietness.
Avalanche also delivers a 360-degree safety system of occupant protection and crash-avoidance technology that demonstrates GM’s commitment to providing world-class safety, including available head curtain side air bags and standard StabiliTrak stability control system with new rollover mitigation technology.
“Avalanche is vehicle without peers, selling more than 379,500 units from its spring 2001 launch through December 2005,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “Avalanche’s flexibility, from its SUV comfort and ingenious Midgate to its new family of flex-fuel-capable engines, delivers a truly unique combination of cargo and passenger options.”
The 2007 Avalanche will be available in the second quarter of 2006. It is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD (a Z71 off-road package will be offered later in the model year). At the start of production, Avalanche will come with an efficient 5.3L V-8 with Active Fuel Management™ technology that seamlessly switches from eight-cylinder to four-cylinder operation to save fuel. Later, a new, all-aluminum 6.0L V-8 with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing (VVT) will be available. Several available engines allow Avalanche to run on E85, a renewable fuel.
E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and 15 percent gasoline. It delivers similar performance as regular gasoline and is a renewable, domestically produced fuel made from the starch and sugar in agricultural products – primarily corn. E85 also burns cleaner than regular gasoline, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. GM vehicles with E85 capability can run on any combination of E85 and regular gasoline.
GM is a leader in advancing E85 technology and use. More than 1.5 million GM vehicles on the road already are E85-capable.
Avalanche’s unparalleled flexibility enables it to function as an SUV, truck or both, thanks to the unique Midgate. Pioneered on the first-generation Avalanche, the clever Midgate opens to extend the cargo-carrying capability from the cargo bed’s 5.3-foot-long (1.6 m) length to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) – 2 inches (51 mm) longer than previous models. The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability; with the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, Avalanche has room for up to six passengers.
When the Midgate is open and the rear seat is folded flat, Avalanche can carry 4-foot by 8-foot (1.2 m by 2.4 m) sheets of plywood with the tailgate closed. Storage compartments alongside the cargo box provide ample and lockable storage. The storage compartments also have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers. A three-piece rigid cargo cover with interlocking panels also is available.
New features on the ’07 model enhance Avalanche’s flexible attributes and reflect customer feedback:
Central-locking tailgate: Locking and unlocking the tailgate is more secure, as the conventional keyed lock is removed from the tailgate. Locking and unlocking functions are handled by the interior lock switches or from the Remote Keyless Entry fob.
Remote vehicle starting: Standard on some models and available on others, the remote vehicle starting system allows convenient start-up from a distance to pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle’s interior.
Cargo cover retaining straps: New straps allow the cargo covers to be held securely in place when removed from the storage compartments.
Avalanche also has a new tailgate that is spring-loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it.
Avalanche is powered by a new Gen IV small-block V-8 family that delivers more power than comparable powertrains in previous models. Standard on 2WD models is a Vortec 5.3L V-8 with 320 horsepower (238 kw)* and 335 lb.-ft. of torque (470 Nm)*, which offers Active Fuel Management. Two versions of the Vortec 5.3L Gen IV V-8 – including an aluminum-block version that is standard in 4WD models – are compatible with E85.
The 5.3L aluminum-block V-8, standard on the 4WD Avalanche, delivers an estimated 310 horsepower (231 kw)** and 335 lb.-ft. (463 Nm)** of torque.
Coming later in the year is a powerful, new all-aluminum 6.0L V-8 with variable valve timing, as well as Active Fuel Management. The engine, available on 2WD and 4WD models, is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (264 kw).** VVT helps optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The system is enabled by a unique dual-equal cam phaser – the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 cam-in-block engine. The unique dual-equal phaser adjusts the camshaft timing at the same rate for both the intake and exhaust valves. A Hydra-Matic 4L70 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is paired with the engine.
Contributing to Avalanche’s more efficient performance is improved aerodynamics. A more steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline improve airflow over the vehicle, while additional contributors to efficiency include a lower, wider front air dam, tighter tolerances and gaps between the fascias, lamps and grille openings, and improved front-end sealing that nearly eliminates air leak paths. These features all contribute to enhanced fuel economy and improved driving quietness, compared with previous models.
Refined, convenient interior
Along with Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the interior of the ’07 Avalanche represents significant new levels of refinement, comfort, quality and convenience. It is roomy and airy, thanks to a lower instrument panel and deeper windshield that improve outward visibility. Passenger space also is increased, including more shoulder space for rear passengers, which is packaged with the available roof-mounted head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows.
Avalanche’s new front seats are designed to provide more comfort and easier entry/egress. Door pillar-mounted first-row three-point safety belts facilitate slimmer seat design, which helps increase cargo space behind the seats. Comfort has been enhanced with firmer foams, including more aggressive bolsters. The front-row seats have one-inch more aft travel than previous models.
The rear seat is unique to the Avalanche and enables easy access to the Midgate system. The seat folds flat, allowing longer items to be carried between the cargo bed and into the rear passenger compartment. Refinements throughout Avalanche’s spacious interior create an environment that exudes quality and precision. A two-tone color scheme is executed with new, softer and low-gloss materials for the instrument panel and other trim pieces. An all-Ebony interior is available. Additional details include LED backlighting for the instruments and chrome accents on instruments and vents. Flush-mounted accessories and controls, such as the climate control/radio center stack, create a seamless, “single unit” appearance. Also, there are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates.
New comfort features include an upgraded HVAC system, and storage capability is improved with the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a larger glove box and additional new storage compartments. Avalanche also offers a host of available convenience features, including:
Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist
Rearview camera system
Touch-screen navigation system
DVD rear-seat entertainment system with larger, 8-inch screen and enhanced features.
Avalanche also features an impressive new audio/navigation lineup, which provides quality entertainment and information. A new family of CD/MP3-compatible radios leads the audio lineup, with an enhanced DVD entertainment system that includes a larger, 8-inch screen (with in-dash loading). A new touch-screen navigation radio is available and incorporates the view monitor for the available rear-camera system.
Distinctive exterior design
Avalanche’s all-new exterior, monochromatic design is leaner and more agile looking, with a more steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline accentuating the exterior length. Avalanche wears the new face of Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold Bowtie, centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. The body-colored grille surround is inset with an argent texture mesh. Fog lamps and headlamps feature jewel-like optics. The lower fascia, incorporating the front license plate holder and integrated recovery hooks, is aggressively styled with a skid plate look that enhances Avalanche’s rugged, off-road appearance.
Avalanche’s front end styling reflects its capability. It includes the fast-rake windshield; a bulging power dome hood; a prominent new fender design with integrated wheel flares; a distinctive new grille and headlamps; and a full-wrap fascia. The wraparound fascia, which eliminates the conventional bumper-to-body gap, is one of the numerous attributes that gives the Avalanche a more refined look. It also enhances aerodynamics. There also is a new family of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard, with 20-inch factory-installed wheels available (standard on LTZ). The larger wheels fill Avalanche’s wheel houses, giving the vehicle a confident stance.
An available Z71 Off Road package (available in the fourth quarter of 2006) takes this aggressive look to the next level, with larger recovery hook openings, larger, more prominent fog lamps and specific grille texture and platinum chrome grille trim. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires also are part of the package.
Avalanche is offered in nine exterior colors: Greystone Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Sport Red Metallic, Bermuda Blue Metallic, Black, Summit White, Gold Mist Metallic, Sunburst Orange Metallic and Silver Birch Metallic.
New full-size SUV foundation
Avalanche is built on GM’s new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle’s comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel.
Extensive attention to detail was paid by Avalanche’s engineers to ensure a quiet driving experience. The new, stiffer frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully-boxed frame also enable more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components. This helps reduce vibration – even the tires on the large, 17-inch and 20-inch wheels were designed to reduce noise.
Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engines also feature a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. New door seals help reduce seal “pull-away” at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise. Also, a sleeker shape, thanks to improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, more steeply raked windshield and tighter body gap tolerances, assures a quiet ride.
Avalanche’s quietness and smoothness are complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.
Avalanche offers up to 8,000 pounds (3,629 kg) of towing capability, when properly equipped, enhancing its flexible, ready-for-anything capability.
The ’07 Avalanche offers security in the form of a 360-degree safety system of occupant protection and crash-avoidance technologies. New features include roof-mounted head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both rows and front-seat safety belt pretensioners that are linked to the vehicle's sensing system to provide segment-exclusive deployment in rear-end crashes.
These features are integrated into a stronger vehicle structure that is also designed for improved compatibility with other vehicles. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment. Sensors located at the front of the vehicle, in the side doors, and within the occupant compartment provide increased and more immediate crash detection. The vehicle's sensing system provides industry-exclusive capability to deploy front seat safety belt pretensioners during certain rear-end collisions, enhancing the belt system's ability to hold the occupants firmly in place.
The roof-mounted head curtain side air bag system incorporates one of the segment's first rollover indication sensors, which is located on the vehicle's center tunnel in the occupant compartment. The sensor monitors the vehicle's accelerations and roll rate. If these signals indicate an impending rollover, the roof-mounted head curtain side air bags deploy to provide an extra measure of occupant protection and containment. These rollover-capable head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than air bags developed only for side impacts because rollover incidents can last longer. The deployment duration and other design features of the rollover-capable air bags combine to provide increased occupant protection and the ability to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.
Crash avoidance is bolstered through enhanced design and driver control dynamics, such as wider front and rear tracks, as well as more responsive suspensions – including a new coil-over-shock front suspension design and new rack-and-pinion steering. The vehicles are built on a stronger and stiffer, fully-boxed frame that contributes to enhanced crash energy management. The front frame section has been designed to optimize crush progression, resulting in improved energy absorption efficiency. The improved crush performance, enabled by hydroformed frame rails and efficient chassis component packaging, also comprehends design provisions that help improve vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility in the event of a frontal impact with a smaller vehicle.
Additional safety features include:
Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
Standard dual-stage driver's front air bag
Standard dual-stage outboard-front passenger air bag with Passenger
Available roof-mounted head curtain side air bags for both seating rows
Standard front seat safety belt pretensioners with rear impact
Standard tire pressure monitoring system
Available rain-sensing wiper system
Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound and display via three LEDs on the right D-pillar
Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with
a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
Standard pull-up/push-down power window switches
All models come with the Generation 6 OnStar system (with a one-year Safe and Sound service plan). The system includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to emergency services to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. If the vehicle is in a crash that activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar advisor, who will check on the occupants or summon emergency help if necessary. OnStar also can assist authorities in locating a vehicle if it is reported stolen (ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions).