GM Is Building A Ford Raptor Fighter, But It’s Not What You May Think: Exclusive

GM truck enthusiasts have been clamoring, hooting and hollering for a rival to the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor since the truck launched in 2010. And from a business perspective, the truck sold far better than The Blue Oval anticipated, and is currently on track to build a next-generation model. Meanwhile, The General has yet to confirm, hint or announce anything official to bring some sort of hardcore off-roading Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra. And it seems that will stay that way, for the foreseeable future.

However, the same cannot be said for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Because according to sources, it seems that the new line of mid-size pickups is on track to offer an aggressive off-road variant equal to that of the Ford Raptor, but in a smaller (read: lighter) package. A low weight is one of the most important elements of a proper off-road vehicle, and General Motors opting to convert its most lithe of current/future truck offerings into a dune-running, rock-climbing, hill-descending successor to the Hummer H3T is a decision we can get behind. Perhaps it will resemble something akin to the global Chevrolet Colorado Rally Concept, pictured above. As far as naming goes, it’s not clear what designation General Motors will give the Colorado and/or Canyon off-roaders, but the popular ZR2 name could make a comeback.

Manoli Katakis: Former staff.

View Comments (28)

  • R Smyrna, I know the benefits of Deisel thanks! I'm a fan of the calorado... I think it's going to sell great! Just saying for the (ZR2 vs Raptor), I just don't see the ZR2 being as big of a hit. Glad your happy with your cruze. I hope in your case your new ZR2 your planning on purchasing is rated to tow as much as a stock colarado. Everybody that has a diesel thinks everyone's against them, I'm all for diesels, rotary,2 Strokes... I love choice.

  • Although I think this truck has the potential to be a fierce competitor in off-roading, I don't think it will take many sales from the Raptor. I work in an industrial area with lots of small tool shops with owners with lots of money, and I cain't see them driving this. I see a surprising number of Raptors and other 60k+ trucks and the guys in them are in there 50s. These people aren't the kind of people that downsize or care about diesel MPGs. It all comes down to pricing, it has to be at a low enough cost that someone under 30 will be willing to finance it. That said I think these trucks in standard form will be hot sellers and steal some sales of regular half tons including GMs own...

    • Diesel... is not only about mph Ken. It's also about torque.

      Pulling a medium size boat, vehicle, or trailer with good mph, and with the strength, registered as torque... people where i live, like me, will buy it.

      My Cruze 4 cly diesel out ran every V8 gasoline auto, in the hills and mountains, in Tennessee on a recent trip.

  • I have always said that GM should have done the Avalanche as mid size truck much more than the full size. The smaller trucks need a mid gate to make them more useful with some of the small beds they have.

    In place of that sliding roof GMC Envoy they should have just done a midgate on that one. Less complicated issues of sliding body panels and less weight.

    Even Bob Lutz would have liked to not put that one out based on what he said in his book.

  • Just make a new ZR2 with Raptor killer features off of the Colorado:

    Coil overs all around with 3'' lift
    Adjustable air bag suspension
    H.O. 2.8 Diesel with 200 hp and 400+ tq
    Air locker differentials front and back

    Sleek integrated LED lighting like the Rally concept had
    Lower body cladding all around
    front push bar with winch
    "gasp" Avalanche style midgate (yes, throw us a bone GM, we love the idea still) for versatility

    Revised interior with separate multifunction color display above radio / nav screen for deep dive
    info showing all engine parameters, incline, locked / unlocked diff, engine temp, trans temp, etc.
    Front / rear cameras USABLE while driving and record option ( think Corvette Performance Data Recorder )

    Revised seats just like Rally concept
    Rubber? floor
    Did I miss anything?

    All for 35,000 bucks

  • Have had a Cruze diesel for one and a half months, and just crossed the 5,000 mile mark. Manoli's review was the 1st impression that I had. My wife, and I, are overly impressed with the whole package. The MPG is amazing.

    A diesel Canyon, off road, is on our horizon.

    Thanks Manoli.

  • People should get gm future, a Colorado "High Country" or Canyon "Denali" with wheels 20 "and 2 355hp Ecotec engine and some more luxury extras' and also an edition to compete with road Ford "Raptor"

  • This makes sense. It's more ideal to take the smaller, lighter Colorado and turn it into an off-road beast. I remember hearing reports about this back when the Colorado and Canyon were revealed.

  • Hummer should be a sub-brand of GMC, it's even more of a no-brainer than Pontiac being a youthful sub-brand of Buick.

    Hummer H3T, by GMC, at your Buick-GMC dealership. Done, profit.

    • Pontiac is dead, dude, just let it go.

      We all get misty eyed thinking about the Trans Am, and the Solstice, and the Fiero, but the undeniable fact is the vast majority of Pontiacs were total crap, especially the ones built toward the end of their life.

      No one I know who bought a G6, Montana, Vibe, or other 2000s Pontiac, would describe them as "youthful" or "sporty". Pontiacs in the 2000s were cars that were styled agressively with youth-oriented marketing and no substance behind the style, and everyone saw through it.

      By the time they got the axe, Pontiac's reputation was as a cheap, boring economy car maker that threw spoilers and angry-looking headlights on everything.

      GM bringing back Pontiac would be like Ford bringing back Edsel, or Cadillac calling a new car the Cimmaron. It would just conjure up images that would result in bad sales.

        • I will openly admit that the General's current marketing strategy with Buick is stupid. GM should be pushing kids to Chevys not Buicks, no one my age is gonna buy a Buick (except the dirt cheap 80s ones you get on craigslist with everything on them broken, but we're talking new cars here not used).

          • The problem there is young people know tech. My main concern with Chevy is bloating the lineup.

            There's room in Buick dealerships for a niche Pontiac with a I4 roadster (Solstice Mk II), I4 RWD coupe (ATS-based G6 Grand Prix Coupe), and V6/V8 Sedan (G8 GTO, Charger rival). Three cars, all RWD, that get kids going to Buick-GMC dealerships and test driving some CPO Verano's and Encore's while there.

            Those cars won't fit in Chevy's lineup. But, all of those cars could be built on existing lines in low volumes, using existing platforms (except for Solstice, could roll out with the C8) without affecting CARB fleet averages.

            "Pontiac is dead. Pontiac is dead. Pontiac is dead." Tell that to Audi and MINI. Never give up, never surrender.

          • PONTIAC IS DEAD.

            A *Buick* and *Chevrolet* and *Cadillac* youthful small car/roadster would be appealing. But in case it needs to be reminded, Pontiac is dead.

          • Based on the sales pace, Buick's marketing is doing just fine. And Buick is targeting a certain crowd of young person, not everyone. A stronger youth market push needs to be seen from Chevrolet. More (frugal/fun) products need to be offered, though.

            Pontiac is dead. Pontiac is dead. Pontiac is dead.

    • Bob Lutz covered this in his book. He said one of his greatest mistakes was not to make Hummer a GMC model and skip making it a division.

      He said that way they could change models faster and easier and cut them if needed much cheaper due to market needs.

      Because Hummer was a Division it was so much more inflexible and much more expensive to shut down vs. cutting a model.

      I still wish that GMC would do a Wrangler fighter like they were looking into near the end. It would be a perfect fit for GMC. I think they were going to call it a H4 or H5. They could do it today and call it a Jimmy.

      • Had Hummer been a part of GMC, the brand would be marred with the bad PR of "gas guzzling, fat, slow" sport utility vehicles. Instead, all of that hate was directed at the Hummer brand itself rather than GMC's Yukon and Sierra lines. Unfortunately Hummer didn't live long enough to see out what would have been its best products. There was a Wrangler fighter on the way, and more. But can a GMC or a Chevrolet occupy that space? Absolutely.

  • Two things here.

    #1 This is the segment of the future as even all aluminum full size half tons will fail to keep pace with the future fuel CAFE numbers.

    #2 If you are going to do this one you need to do it right with real performance parts not just some shocks and stickers.

    • I totally agree! People want quality for the prices they are paying. Chevrolet has mostly come through in this area with improved interiors that last and good looks . I once had an '06 Colorado and I loved it. It was for a lady just right. Keep the kinks out and learn from your customers! We are the ones who are driving GM vehicles! LISTEN!!!!

      • Now see I refused to buy a Colorado in the past because it was too flimsy for me. It drove ok and I had no issue with the odd 5 cylinder but The cheap plastic and the 1983 Camaro like interior was just repulsive. I tried to like it but just could not buy one.

        Now I did get to spend some time with a new Z71 Colorado crew. It was a much better and more solid feeling truck. It has the feel of the large truck in 2/3 size. Features like the easy down tail gate and the Bose sound system made it a much more appealing truck.

        the real key is to price it to where it will sell and not discount the full size trucks as to hurt the sales of the smaller truck. Lets face it if the full size is rebated to with in a grand or two what one would you buy?

        • "Lets face it if the full size is rebated to with in a grand or two what one would you buy?"

          The smaller one. Full size trucks have gotten way to big for what I need and to fit comfortably in my garage. Unfortunately the crew cab is still 10" longer than my Enclave. Will fit but another 10" from my walkaround space.

          Sure, I could use the larger towing but not enough to make me buy it. Plus the mpg.

          Right now my plan is to buy a 2016, possibly with diesel, drive for 3 years and then let my then 16 year old son drive it.

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