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 |  Jan 11 2010, 11:23 AM

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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

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Official release after the jump:

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