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A few months ago the Granite concept, the darling of GMC’s display at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, was slated to enter production. But GM internal management never confirmed it, and the matter was dropped. Now, the GMC Granite has been given the go-ahead for production…again.
Motor Trend reports, from a source within GM, that the Granite will enter production—and will even keep the trick rear-hinged suicide doors from the 2010 concept. It rides on the same C-Segment platform that’s shared by the Chevrolets Volt and Cruze, the Buick Verano, and Opel Astra, and closely shares its floorpan (as well as its functionality and overall shape) with the Chevy Orlando, the too-hot-for-America mini-MPV that GM will sell in Europe, Asia, and Canada.
Except, well, the Granite is more “professional-grade,” which apparently means that the model will live on without a B-pillar, necessitating plenty of reinforcement from the quarter-panels to the roof. This might overwhelm the 138-horsepower turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed transmission, that the Granite will share with the Cruze. Hopefully there will be other engine options available (such as the Buick Verano’s 177-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four, as MT suggests) to ensure that the Granite won’t be as slow as its namesake.
It’s not yet clear if GMC intends to also go ahead with the Granite Compact Pick Up.
The GMC Granite has been given the green light for production. No… wait… it hasn’t. According to a report by Motor Trend, a source at GM announced that the funky Scion xB-like urban MPV based on the Chevy Orlando will get the go ahead. After publishing the report, GM contacted MT to inform them that the production light is not green, but more yellow – if not downright red.
Did MT just jump the gun? Or perhaps someone at the General slipped up and prematurely announce this new model for production long before it is ready. After all, GM hasn’t even launched the Chevy Orlando yet and the Granite is sure to come after it’s Chevy brother.
Regardless, we have to think that after the overwhelmingly positive reaction the Granite received at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, well see it in dealerships before long and unlike the Orlando, the Granite will most certainly be sold in America.
GALLERY: GMC Granite
[Source: Motor Trend]
GMC introduced its new Granite concept model at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, presenting a “urban utility vehicle” with a boxiness rivaling the Scion xB.
“Granite was conceived as a new type of vehicle from GMC – one that could stretch people’s ideas of what a GMC can be,” said Lisa Hutchinson, product marketing director for GMC. “We call it an ‘urban utility vehicle’ and our goal was redefining what the GMC name could mean to a new generation of customers looking for both bold design and functionality.”
If brought to market, the Granite would be the smallest GMC ever produced. With a wheelbase of 103.6 inches, the Granite is comparable to the Chevy Cobalt, and at a total length of 161.3 inches, the Granite would be more than a foot shorter.
Despite its small size, the Granite boasts a generous amount of cargo space. The doors are hinged to open like French doors and the lack of a pillar between front and rear doors makes it easier for passengers and cargo to be loaded. The passenger and seats fold and flip up towards the center console for additional space. According to GMC, the passenger seat can be folded to fit a mountain bike with both wheels still attached.
Powering the Granite is a turbo-charged 1.4L four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Instead of a traditional shift handle, the Granite uses a knob that rotates with distinct clicks like a torque wrench.
Gallery: GMC Granite Concept
Official release after the jump: