Last week, we spotted the 2021 GMC Terrain facelift undergoing testing covered in a fair amount of camouflage. At a cursory glance, the Terrain had all the hallmarks of a refresh – redesigned front and rear facias hidden under swirly camo all over the body except for the front end, which was wrapped in a heavier, tarp-like black camo.
The convoy had two models: one seemed like a regular version of the upcoming 2021 Terrain facelift, while the second was wearing quad exhaust outlets, which General Motors does not currently offer on the compact GMC crossover, making us wonder whether this second prototype could be of a high–performance GMC Terrain.
The quad exhaust is technically a twin-tipped dual exhaust, and it’s not the only indicator that we could be looking at a prototype of a high–performance GMC Terrain.
The particular prototype also featured sporty-looking wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 tires, which are billed as ultra–high performance all-season tires.
We should also note that the sighting of this alleged high-performance GMC Terrain prototype comes on the heels of spy photos showing the refreshed 2021 Chevrolet Equinox with the same quad-tipped exhaust setup. At the moment, it’s not clear what powertrain is under the hood of either prototype.
As of the 2018 model year, the second-gen Terrain and third-gen Equinox offer three powertrain options:
- Turbo 1.5L I-4 LYX gasoline engine making 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque
- Turbo 2.0L I-4 LTG gasoline engine making 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque
- Turbo 1.6L I-4 LH7 turbo-diesel engine making 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque
However, none of those powertrain offerings inspire performance prowess, or warrant four exhaust outlets.
The quad-tipped exhaust, sportier wheels and semi high-performance tires lead us to conclude that GM is probably developing performance versions of the GMC Terrain (and Chevy Equinox).
With consumers continuing to switch from sedans to crossovers en masse, performance versions of crossovers should satisfy those looking for something a little more exciting than the average crossover. Such offerings could theoretically command a higher price, enabling GM to continue dominating the compact mainstream crossover utility vehicle segment, and padding that ever-important income statement.