GMC won't help rival Ford in its quest to dethrone the Jeep Wrangler, according to a recent report. The body-on-frame off-roader the firm planned as an alternative to the upcoming Bronco and the fourth-generation Wrangler allegedly fell victim to a top-down restructuring plan implemented recently by parent company General Motors.
Citing anonymous inside sources, Muscle Car & Trucks reported the rugged SUV remained part of GMC's long-term product plan until November 2018. It was shaping up to be one of the company's most distinctive models in decades. It should have arrived as a dedicated off-roader developed and sold exclusively by GMC; it wouldn't have had a twin in the Chevrolet portfolio.
The problem, according to the report, is that the off-roader (which might have revived the heritage-laced Jimmy nameplate) should have been built on the 32XX platform designed to underpin the next Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins. General Motors canceled that project to save money, so the SUV was consigned to the attic before we even spotted prototypes testing on and off the pavement.
The updated pickups will instead arrive on an evolution of the frame found under the models currently found in showroom. There's no word on why that architecture can't support a Wrangler-like SUV.
GMC never confirmed plans to build an off-roader aimed at the Jeep Wrangler and the upcoming Ford Bronco, so it certainly won't validate reports claiming it has canceled the model. This isn't the first time we've heard about a body-on-frame SUV made by a brand in the General Motors portfolio, though. Hummer was supposed to take the fight directly to Jeep with an off-roader accurately previewed by the 2008 HX concept, but it shut down before it finished developing the model. Rumors of GMC picking up where Hummer left off have come and gone on a shockingly regular basis over the past few years, yet the Wrangler remains in a class of one.