Upcoming Small GMC Crossover Spied Testing: Photo Gallery20
Just a few hours ago, we brought you what we thought to be the first-ever spy shots of the 2020 Chevy Trax. But we were wrong, as the prototype in question was not that of the Trax, but rather of an upcoming small GMC crossover instead.
What took place is rather interesting: a few hours after getting ahold of the model seen here, we caught up to another prototype that is much more identifiable as the next-gen Trax. And since we have already seen prototypes of the 2020 Buick Encore and they look like neither of these models, the only logical conclusion is that these photos are of the oft-rumored subcompact GMC crossover. Such a vehicle would slot under the GMC’s smallest model – the Terrain – and carry one of the following four names: Granite, Graphyte, Anthem or Tribute. GM has filed trademarks for each of these names in the recent past.
The tester, which we caught while it was testing in Arizona, is covered in healthy amounts of camouflage, but we can still make out its proportions and the majority of its shape, along with a few noteworthy details.
Up front, we have what appear to be placeholder headlights as the production-intent units are not yet available. Even so, it’s not difficult to tell that the production model will wear horizontally-shaped eyes. There’s also what appears to be large panoramic glass on the tester’s roof, a rather nice feature for a subcompact crossover.
And take a look at the side mirrors: they are mounted on very stylish piano black arms. We can also see GM’s trademark front-view camera that enables various active safety features.
The side view reveals this future GMC model’s rather long front overhang, which means that the small utility will (not unexpectedly) feature a transverse powertrain orientation with front-wheel-drive as standard, and all-wheel-drive as an option.
The DayLight Opening (DLO) surround features straight cut-lines that have become defining elements of the GMC design aesthetic with the likes of the second-gen Acadia and Terrain. And take a look at the DLO lines into the camouflaged D-pillar seems to reveal that the model will feature feature a similar C- and D-pillar treatment as the second-gen Terrain (pictured below).
Out back, the heavy camo makes it somewhat challenging to see any notable details, but we can make out two notable features:
- Follow the cutline from the roof down, and you’ll be able to see the shape of the liftgate/hatch door and the way it wraps around the taillights
- The license plate cutout is mounted on the rear bumper cover and on the liftgate
As far as platforms go, we believe that this small GMC crossover will ride on a new GM Vehicle Set. In fact, we expect this model to be one of three new crossovers to launch General Motors’ Vehicle Set Strategy.
The other two models that are expected to partake in launching GM VSS are the 2020 Chevy Trax and 2020 Buick Encore, which we saw testing last month not once but twice. Specifically which Vehicle Set resides under this model is currently unknown, but our money would be on either VSS-S (for crossover SUVs) or VSS-F (for front-drive models).
Under the hood, expect to find one or two turbo-charged, small-displacement four-cylinder engines mated to either a 6-speed automatic, 9-automatic, or perhaps even a CVT.
Expect this subcompact GMC crossover to launch sometime within the next 16-24 months as a 2020 model, just in time to sell to crossover-hungry masses.
As for the 2020 Chevy Trax, we just got photos of it as well and will have those up for your viewing pleasure in the next few hours.
- Update: here they are – 2020 Chevy Trax spy pictures.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
This whole crossover thing is getting somewhat ridiculous and out of hand. Does Every marketing brand of GM need one of everything? It’s like the 80’s/90’s all over again. The Buick/GMC dealer already has the successful Encore. So they want to compete against it on the same showroom floor? Might as well give Buick a truck and BOF SUV to compete with the GMC Sierra and Yukon while they’re at it. And the Trax might as well not exist. It has a hard enough time trying to compete against the Buick. With a GMC now too, may as well stick a fork in it.
Here is something to consider. Buick only has two models that really sell.
The Enclave and Encore.
GMC lacked a Encore version and now it appears they are getting one.
GMC also lacks a Enclave long wheel base mode as the Acadia is the short wheel base. Could GM at some point move the Enclave over to GMC and close Buick down?
Just a thought as Buick in spite in having great cars really moves way to few of them. Could GMC take over the dealers here and. Buick become a China only brand?
I have a GMC Dealer here that GM wanted them to take on Buick too. They refused as there was no real money there. They are doing fine as GMC only.
Buick is [one of] GMs best selling brand in China. Which is also the world biggest automaket.
Entry level luxury is a great segment for Buick to play in with good margins. Their sales aren’t as good as they could be because no one wants sedans anymore. Buick needs more crossovers, one of which should be electric.
It’s not going anywhere. If it were it would’ve in 2008, but GM knew then it was too valuable.
Please note in my post Buick would be a China only brand.
Yes Buick Is doing fine there but here they have a Lacrosse that is nice but sales are lackluster. The Regal that will go away in a couple years.
Finally a convertible that is on the way out. That is it for cars and we are not seeing any mules identified as a Buick cars.
We have three SUV/CUV models that two are selling well the other is limited.
Now we have GMC the same size as the Encore.
We now have a mid size Envision CUV that production is not coming here that is priced and sized with the Terrain.
The Enclave is a home run but let’s face it the Denali name could be applied and it could fill the long wheel base slot GMC lacks since they only have a SWB Acadia now.
This will not happen overnight but I can see it in the next 5 years.
Whatever happened to the Granite Concept?
The original was rejected as the doors would not work.
The key element of the design was to take the doors open them with a large opening. The lack of center post proved to be a problem for production.
That is at least what I read. The money also went to other projects that needed the funding too.
I feel like this is going to be a lesson in XT4 cannibalization.
If there’s a Denali version, you can bank on it.
I doubt it, since they are in completely different sizes and class. If anything once Caddy receives the XT2/3, then they’ll be some competition.
What Archnight said. This is an entirely different size, one size smaller than the XT4.
It will also have a starting price in the low $20,000s, as opposed to the XT4’s $35,790 starting price.
GMC is as much a mainstream brand as Chevy is, with a few exceptions on occasion (Sierra and Yukon Denali). The rest are sold with similar pricing structures as their Chevy equivalents.
What Archnight said. This is an entirely different size, one size smaller than the XT4.
A GMC variant of the Buick Encore/Chevy Trax is long overdue as skeptics said the Chevy Trax would cannibalize sales from Buick Encore; but it didn’t happen as sales for both the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax remain strong and people will want this GMC variant when it becomes available especially as one can imagine a Denali model.
I’m just curious how this will be positioned sitting on the same lot as a Buick, but I’m sure they’ll beef it up a bit. I’m wondering if it’ll be a bit wider or longer than its siblings or if it’ll get a unique interior layout. A Denali trim is definitely in the cards and I’ll be interested to see what they cram into that package. I was hoping that if GMC finally got the chance to have one of these, they would make it sportier than the Trax or Encore with a unique engine. I must have a feeling they will saddle it with the 1.5T and call it a day.
Having totally different exterior designs and interior layouts will differentiate them plenty… something that should be very feasible with this new VSS approach.
If we think about the last-gen Acadia and Enclave, they had no issues being sold from the same showroom/lot, despite not being as different as (I expect) this subcompact GMC and the second-gen Encore to be.
As far as engines go… we would be lucky to get the 1.5T. The 1.4T is more likely… and there might even be a f$#ng CVT somewhere in there as well.
Good sleuthing work Alex. I only wish these prototypes were something to get excited about but another little box on wheels elicits a yawn. The truth is that the world hardly needs another 2.0 I-4 powered FWD crossover that’ll only be sold in shades of silver. I’m ready for the crossover to join the minivan and station wagon as products so completely out-of-style that nobody actually wants to own one anymore.
Thanks, we try 🙂
I agree with you as a whole… but sometimes I consider a different point of view.
Here’s the issue: GM is already significantly behind the industry in being able to make money from “normal” cars that are appliances (as opposed to large trucks and SUVs). In fact, GM is not a sales volume leader in any car segment (except for the Spark, where it only has one true competitor – the Mitsubishi Mirage, which is a horrible vehicle in its own right that’s not helped by a tiny distribution network, making it easy to beat it from a sales standpoint).
All in, GM’s business looks rather bleak outside of trucks, SUVs, Sierra Denali, Yukon Denali, and Cadillac. And though it’s selling trucks in the midsize segment (Colorado/Canyon), it’s still being outsold by the Toyota Tacoma by a healthy margin, despite making a substantially better product.
So with that being the case, GM is looking at these crossovers as a major opportunity to once again become competitive in mainstream “appliancy” vehicle segments that it had previously totally lost. The strategy is rather sound, since these segments are just now being established, and are not bound by factors associated with reputation, previous customer experiences/opinions, perceptions, or an established market order.
That said, I don’t even think the vehicle pictured here will use a 2.0L Turbo engine… but more like the new 1.4L Turbo LE2 or maybe the 1.5L Turbo is GM is feeling particularly frisky.
Makes sense of course and I totally agree with the notion that GM is missing out on the ‘cars-as-an-appliance’ market. It’s just that I remember when prototypes caught testing was exciting news. Now with this flood of look-alike silver cute utes, I wonder if they even need to disguise a new one at all. Bill Mitchell reportedly used to say it was “hard to tailor a dwarf” meaning it was hard to attractively design a small car. I suppose the same would apply to boxes; there’s only so much that can be done with them.
Well volume is important but profits are becoming as or more important.
GM went broke selling high volumes of cars because the were making no money.
Today they have a respected volume even not number one in segments but in many segments they are making more money than most.
The suv, truck and CUV segment are very profitable and GM has gotten these segments very cost effective.
I could see a market for this. Crossovers are a cash cow for automakers so what’s one more? I think a mini GMC would be nice. Not as cheap as the Chevy and maybe not as luxury focused as the Buick.
If only they came out with a compact pickup version of the Granite like the original concept… That may actually get me interested in the GMC brand. With GMC primarily a Truck/SUV brand, a pickup slotted below the Canyon would be a welcome addition. I think a work truck version would do exceptionally well with contractors that need a bed, but not the full abilities of a larger truck.