By on June 29, 2010

GM has been showing off all kinds of future product at its day-long “Global Business Conference,” as it drums up support for its upcoming IPO. Sadly TTAC was not invited, but a wealth of exciting news is percolating through the autoblogosphere. Like this item: Compact MPVs are a big deal.

GMC’s “Granite” concept (above) has been approved for production, to be built on the Cruze’s Delta II platform. According to Automotive News [sub], Chevrolet will double GM’s pleasure by “launch[ing] a family van soon in several global regions” based on the same “global compact” architecture. Would this be the long-rumored Chevy Orlando? Orlando was off-again for the US market the last time we checked, replaced by the Volt MPV5 and the Granite… if this is not the Orlando, GM’s already-crowded herd of compact CUVs, MPVs and other five-doors is getting even more crowded than it seemed nearly a year ago.

Speaking of which, the biggest GM sin-in-the-making of last summer’s hype, the lack of replacement for the aged Impala before 2014, may have been acknowledged inside the RenCen. Several outlets reported being shown a new Impala concept, indicating that perhaps GM is taking its need for a competitive large sedan more seriously.

On a final GM product-related note, Carscoop has uncovered patent drawings of a Chevrolet compact pickup, meaning we might just have got one Wild Ass Rumor right. No word on anything related to that product yet, so like the “family van” this could be a Chevrolet for markets outside of the US.

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37 Comments on “WAROTD: GMC Granite, Compact Chevy Van Planned. Impala, Compact Pickup Coming?...”

  • avatar

    I attended via phone… no visuals, alas, but Tom Stephens was awfully excited about the Impala’s design. “THIS is what a Chevy Impala should look like!” I’d place a small wager on something vaguely retro… the rumor pre-collapse was that the next Impala would be to a ’66-’67 what the new Camaro is to a ’69. (Of course, that rumor also had it on Zeta…)

    • 0 avatar

      That rumor was exactly right. The next Impala was already well underway until it was iced in 2008 by GM’s cash crunch and subsequent bankruptcy.

      It was modern throwback in style in a very good way (ala Camaro, not ala the last Monte Carlo barf) and was going to use the Camaro’s structure and powertrains in addition to being assembled alongside it in Oshawa. Not unlike what Chrysler does with all their big RWD cars.

      Hopefully they will resume where that program left off and it will remain stylish, powerful and RWD. It would be a shame if they started all over from scratch and delivered an appliance-looking FWD Impala again. That’s the last thing Chevrolet needs.

    • 0 avatar

      Lutz said last fall that the next Impala would be FWD, on EpII. I haven’t heard anything to make me think they’ve changed their minds on that. Zeta’s kind of dead in the water at this point, at least from a North American perspective.

  • avatar

    A retro-Impala with a lean towards the 60s style is a great rumor.I hope that it happens

  • avatar

    So that’s not the next gen Scion Xb?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The Granite is the Orlando, beaten with an ugly stick.

  • avatar

    GM keeps promising these cool cars, but all they advertise is Silverado’s and SUV’s. They talk Kia and Scion but sell Cobalt.

  • avatar

    That car is precious.

  • avatar

    From the side, the front-end looks like Audi + PT Cruiser, back-end like Golf.

  • avatar

    The Impala is a huge seller, GM has to make the next one a real winner. To differentiate it from the LaCrosse/Regal, I’d make it RWD (for other reasons too, of course), preferably Sigma or Zeta. If that’s unrealistic, FWD with an AWD option is fine. Vaguely retro is fine by me, so long as it’s very, very vague. Good visibility and a well-finished interior would be key.

    GM should also keep the relatively low price point of the current Impala. People like that it’s a big car for small money, and they’ll be wanting more. As such, it shouldn’t be marketed as a performance product (like the G8 was), but should certainly have a high-end performance option available.

    Engines…if a turbo’d four is realistic, it’d be great and keep the EPA happy. Beyond that, I can see a sixer and maybe a small V8 on the aforementioned hi-po model. That or a turbo six (maybe the 2.8 used on the Saab 9-5?), which would compete better with the EcoBoost Taurus.

    Kind of excited for this car, whatever it may be, to be quite honest.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Impala is a huge fleet seller. Retail, not so much.

      The reason it’s cheap is that the platform is nearly 25 years old, and over the years GM has done as little to it as possible. They’ve never fixed the rear seating space issues that derive from the W-body’s coupe origins.

      The Zeta Impala is not going to happen; it was designed in a different era under what proved to be wildly inaccurate assumptions about the future of the US market. IMO, the next Impala will be a reskinned, decontented Lacrosse. The smart thing to do would be to borrow from Hyundai’s playbook (Sonata: Azera) and make the next Malibu the 4-cylinder-only volume car, and the bigger, softer Impala V6-only. GM will not do the smart thing.

  • avatar

    It would be cool if the Granite gets built, but I believe the biggest problem is the suicide door. Other manufactures have made some recent ones, but the Granite’s door is more centered and a problem for side impacts standards. I wonder if they have it figured out or are going with something other than a suicide door.

  • avatar

    Call me when that sloping up front to rear window sill styling has run its course. IMO it doesn’t suit any vehicle.

  • avatar

    Nice to see a small vehicle with a masculine touch. Shame the engine probably won’t.

  • avatar

    Can I find out why this vehicle and the Terrain are “Professional Grade”? GMC always pushed their tagline to be rough duty vehicles for professionals who need heavy duty trucks / suvs. How do some CUVs fit this tagline?

    Again – GM muddies the water with poor brand management.

  • avatar

    The “Granite” concept above looks like the marriage of a GMC Terrain and a Honda Fit.

  • avatar

    Like all GM concepts since, well, forever, it promises far more than will ever see fruition.

    Can’t wait to see what the latest GM “overpromise-underdeliver” POS is.


  • avatar

    The car looks kinda cool, for a toy car. Is it even possible to looke out from those gun slit windows? This is old GM, doing everything wrong, it’s a Dustbuster redux. Think of it, Dustbuster vs Chrysler minivan: GM made the upright minivan longer, lower, wider, thus negating every single trait that made the minivan a viable option to begin with. What is a requisite for a minivan? Good packaging, large greenhouse, high windows, and an airy ambience. The Granite is none of that, it has the ambience of an armored security car.

  • avatar

    Update from M/T

    Not approved yet.

  • avatar

    Sheesh, I thought the only people who actually give 2 shits about the Impala were the rental companies. Government Motors really has no reason to rush the next generation. The current one serves its purpose for those customers who want to upgrade from the Rentibu.

  • avatar

    SO GM is flashing lots of vapourware to help its upcoming IPO. I see not much has changed.

  • avatar

    Another GM late comer copy….looks too much like an Xb clone.

    Reminds me of their attempt at the ME-Too Cruiser…..can’t even remember what that was called.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  • avatar

    Saw a small pick-up prototype with camo on Woodward Ave in Detroit a couple of days ago. It was a dead ringer for the Carscoop drawings of the new compact Chevy pick-up.

  • avatar

    That Granite looks… mmmm well , pretty good (compared to the crap their ramming down our throats these days)

    I can’t focus now…after hearin bout this new Impala rumor…

    I tell you what…it BETTER have 6 taillights. ;) – and an optional V8.

    Also, I agree with …well whoever said…make it affordable (base model-heck I’ll take crank windows and no radio or floormats)…with options all the way up to the sky.

    Remember those days?
    Well, I don’t , but I’ve heard about em’

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