Aldred: Jeep Wrangler-Style GMC Model A Possibility

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Would you like a “professional grade” Jeep Wrangler? Should Buick-GMC vice president Duncan Aldred get his way, that’s exactly what will happen as part of Aldred’s vow to “change the face” of GMC.

Edmunds reports Aldred is looking at where to take GMC to boost sales, including what segments will and will not be key to success. While only in the brainstorming phase with no plans at present to expand the lineup, he said there was “room throughout the range” if one were to segment it, with “plenty of room everywhere in the hierarchy” to spare.

Thus, Aldred’s team could bring aboard an “active all-road, Wrangler-esque type of vehicle” to the lineup, as well as a flagship SUV above the Yukon, and an Encore-sized subcompact crossover. Aldred added that the brand could play around in “more big segments” if so desired.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Nov 13, 2014

    Forget about the Wrangler competitor for now, make sure you get the diesel option in that new truck on the dealer lots ASAP.

  • Azmtbkr81 Azmtbkr81 on Nov 13, 2014

    Finally some news on this, I was starting to think the project had been abandoned. I'll buy 2 if that'll help make it happen, is there a petition I can sign somewhere?

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    • Azmtbkr81 Azmtbkr81 on Nov 13, 2014

      @Hummer Way to burst my bubble Hummer, although I suspect there is a high probability that is exactly what it will be, "all-road" has crossover written all over it. GM did buck the trend and move forward with the Colorado so there is some hope I suppose.

  • Anti121hero Anti121hero on Nov 13, 2014

    My guess is that it will have independent front suspension with button activated 4wd and some ubiquitous gm v6 and generally be disregarded by the offroad community.

  • Luke42 Luke42 on Nov 14, 2014

    I've been thinking about this one. I secretly like Jeeps, but won't own one because it's a heavy obsolete truck, and I don't need one. But the Wrangler is still awesome, and it's probably my default midlife crisis car. The current Wrangler is selling as many units as Jeep can make. Jeep keeps floating ideas about how to make the Wrangler a better vehicle, but a worse Wrangler. For instance, a modern suspension, better fuel efficiency, a convertible top that retracts automatically. But all of this undermines the Wrangler-ness. As near as I can tell, many of these efforts to modernize the Wrangler have been shouted down, because that would make it a modern CUV and not a Wrangler. But, I'd rather own a modern vehicle that reflects the Wrangler's simplicity, durability, and hackability -- while applying the lessons of a half century of automotive progress to building an off-road convertible vehicle. So, what to do? It occurred to me the other day that FCA/Jeep should keep making the Wrangler as it is, making small incremental improvements to improve its reliability, safety, and fuel economy. It's printing money for them, and if they keep the improvements incremental, they can keep it that way - while maintaining the integrity of the brand. And then they should introduce a modern Wrangler-like "CUV" for guys like me, who would like a simple durable vehicle with a timeless appearance that's actually built for the modern world. That means independent four wheel suspension, lightweight unibody construction, good MPGs, electronically controlled AWD and so on. But it still needs to be an off-road capable convertible that 2-3 motivated guys can rebuild in their driveway (think me and my sons, in a few years). If GMC beats them to the punch, fantastic. Just so long as it really does reflect the values of the Wrangler, while eliminating its weaknesses. (I'm not looking for another FJ Cruiser.) But, in the meantime, I'll get back to my regularly scheduled fawning over minivans and EVs. The minivan gets me through the day, and the EV would do it better. But, when I think about saying "fuck it all, let's go have some fun", I really do think of a Wrangler Unlimited with the top down.

    • Azmtbkr81 Azmtbkr81 on Nov 14, 2014

      The problem is that creating a unibody SUV with independent suspension that can perform well off-road is a very expensive proposition. By the time all of the structural elements are added to keep it rigid and strong enough for off road driving, the weight savings becomes negligible vs BOF. Solid axles are simple, durable, perform ideally offroad, and are very easy to modify and lift if desired. Same with a transfer case 4x4 system. 20 years from now I suspect you and your son or daughter will have a lot more fun installing a lift kit on a 20 year Wrangler and changing the transfer case fluid vs. replacing 40 different bushings on an independent suspension and testing AWD circuit boards for shorts with a multimeter!