New York '08 Preview: GMC to show four-door Holden ute

click above for more high-res pics of the 2003 Holden Crewman

Australian outlet GoAuto is reporting that GM Car Czar Bob Lutz has confirmed that a four-door ute concept based on Holden's rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform but wearing a GMC badge will debut at the New York Auto Show in late March. From Bob's description, the vehicle is much like the Holden Crewman, which was a version of the Holden Ute with its wheelbase stretched to accommodate a second row of seats and two more doors (all-wheel-drive was also eventually an option).

The concept debuting in Detroit will be wearing very masculine GMC styling cues, however, and sounds as if it will be billed as a unibody pickup. This gives the GMC four-door ute a good shot at production since GM knows that demand for trucks in the future has to be satisfied with vehicles that are more fuel efficient than body-on-frame trucks. A recent spate of unibody truck concepts like the Toyota A-BAT Concept and Ford Explorer America Concept show that automakers are very interested in switching to lighter unibody platforms for vehicles that have traditionally been truck-based.

Lutz also points out the obvious upside that if the GMC four-door ute is popular with the public, it can be sold in Australia as Holden's replacement for the Crewman, which wasn't updated along with the rest of the Ute lineup last year.

[Source: GoAuto via Winding Road]

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