2010 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) – GMC Granite Concept: GMC unveils the Granite Concept, a vehicle completely different from any of their current offerings, hinting at a possible change of philosophy and a glimmer of hope in GMs future as the embattled giant continues to redefine itself.
Changing the face of a company is no easy task, especially one that has been set in stone. GMC has been associated with big, burly trucks and enormous, elephantine SUVs for so long, it’s nearly impossible to imagine them building anything else. So perhaps it’s no mistake that GMC decided to name their new concept vehicle, which if produced would be the smallest vehicle in their lineup, “Granite.”
The Granite Concept is a design study attempting to pack everything you like about GMC into a stylish and handy carrying case—that you can drive. The Granite is stylish, with its unmistakable GMC front grille, a front clip that means business and angular side lines that start from the rear of the front wheel well and disappear into the line of the D-pillar. The side mounted French doors are also a nice touch that would make lading the granite a breeze. It’s definitely a step in the right direction for GMC.
Part of what makes a GMC a GMC and not just a rebadged Chevrolet is the amenities such as a well appointed interior, premium sound system, and high tech gadgets. It’s easy enough to fit those items into a smaller package, and they have, but what about GMC utility?
GMC boasts that with the flipping/folding seats, a mountain bike could be transported in the Granite with the tail gate closed. That represents the GMC utility you’ve come to expect, although on a much smaller scale. However, the designers state that the Granite is designed for young people on the go—people who are much more likely to load up their vehicle with friends and gear than tow boats and haul lumber.
Well, that kinda sounds like the market for another motorized box on wheels we know of—the one that first made it hip to be square—the Scion xB. Compared to the current xB, the Granite is actually six inches shorter than with a one inch longer wheel base. It’s also an inch wider and four inches shorter than the xB.
Throw in some GMC amenities and it would seem GMC has outboxed the box. We hope the Granite gets chiseled into a production version, because we’d like to see a box that rocks for once instead of a box of rocks.
–by Vernon Heywood
Photos Courtesy of General Motors