Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: GM Considering Front-Drive Pickup?
Reflecting on the recently-previewed Chevy Colorado Concept, Automotive News [sub]’s Rick Krantz notes
During an interview this year at the Detroit auto show, Jamie Hresko, then vice president of GM global powertrain engineering, strongly suggested the automaker was exploring a new mid-sized pickup. He resigned in late February to pursue other opportunities.
To meet proposed higher U.S. fuel economy and lower emissions standards, automakers that sell in the United States eventually will need to develop a leaner range of pickups, Hresko said.
At some point, especially with the likelihood of higher gasoline prices down the road, a smaller, lighter-weight pickup is inevitable…
As you look around the industry, Hresko said, “what you have seen is a massive shift to smaller, more efficient [vehicles], so I think it applies to every segment,” including pickups.
An increase in energy costs is “inevitable with the expansions in China and other regions. Logic would say prices will go up” and some pickup buyers will be looking for a more fuel efficient alternative, he said.
“My point is the general population will eventually walk there. I do believe that. I am not sure what the marketers think. To me it is logical,” Hresko said.OK, so Hresko is only hinting at a front-drive pickup in the most vague terms possible… and he’s no longer at GM. Even by our wild-ass standards, this is one wild-ass rumor. Still, it’s been a long time since any auto exec has even entertained the possibility of a front-drive pickup, most surviving examples of which are headed to the crusher. Besides, when GM already builds a rear-drive “ute” pickup based on the Holden Commodore chassis that gets 27 MPG (non-EPA), why go front-drive at all? One thing is for certain: with CAFE increases coming, GM can’t afford to do nothing about its truck lineup.
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Oh, c'mon. We don't need FWD to make a compact truck. Ford-Take Mustang platform. Shorten wheelbase or keep the same. Reduce hood length for four cyl/six cyl rather than six cyl/eight cyl duty. Keep live rear axle. Increase headroom (heighten cabin space). Raise suspension 1"-2". Replace backseat and trunk with pickup bed. Name "Ford Ranger", "Ford Courier" or "Ford Ranchero." You have an excellent compact truck platform in the Mustang, Ford, it just happens to be being used in a ponycar rather than a useful little pickup. Chevy: Do what Ford should do, only do it with the Camaro.