As we reported last month, the GM C1 platform delivers massive scale for The General. By the first quarter of next year, the architecture will underpin no less than eight different vehicles around the world. But among the vehicles that C1, or “Chi,” underpins, there are a number of inconsistencies in terms of front and rear track, as well as wheelbase measurements.
Specifically, the Cadillac XT5, GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT6, and Chevrolet Blazer all run on the GM C1 platform. However, the XT6 and Blazer both offer wider tracks and a longer wheelbase when compared to the XT5 and Acadia. So we’ve dug deep to find out why.
In this case, it all comes down to styling and packaging.
As it stands, the GM C1 platform launched with the second-gen Acadia and first-gen XT5. Those models ride on the “regular” version of the platform, which features a “regular” wheelbase length and “regular” track widths. Then came the new Cadillac XT6 and Chevrolet Blazer, and it’s here that most industry observers go wrong in thinking that the XT6 and Blazer are reskinned versions of the Acadia and XT5, respectively. If they were, it wouldn’t have taken another 30 months for GM to bring them to market.
Instead, the automaker made some changes to the C1 architecture to underpin both the Blazer and XT6, and the changes will soon propagate to the upcoming “baby” Buick Enclave and three-row Chevy Blazer.
What The General did was widen the track roughly 21 mm per side for the Blazer and XT6. It did so for a reason: without the extra track width, the crossovers’ wider bodies would look too bulky in relation to the stance. Essentially, a wider body over the same narrow track would have made the XT6 and Blazer look like their wheels were “inside” the body, rather than the surefooted stance that was desired. Think of it as someone who spends all of their time working out their upper bodies at the gym, resulting in a big, chiseled torso, while neglecting the lower body. The end result is commonly referred to as “chicken legs,” and it’s far from desirable.
|Vehicle||Wheelbase (in)||Front Track Width (in)||Rear Track Width (in)||Overall Length (in)||Overall Width (in)|
- * The three-row Chevrolet Blazer and “baby” Buick Enclave destined for the Chinese market will feature identical wheelbase and track measurements as the Cadillac XT6
As a result of the widened tracks, the packaging for the hubs and various other components no longer lined up, which meant that the wheelbase needed to be lengthened. Besides the obvious final product changes, these modifications resulted in a different version of the GM C1 platform, with as many as three different adaptations in use today.
It’s also worth nothing that the upcoming “baby” Buick Enclave and three-row Chevrolet Blazer, both of which are destined solely for the Chinese market (at least as of this writing), will use the regular wheelbase/wide track version of the GM C1 platform used by the Cadillac XT6 and standard two-row Blazer.
|C1 Platform Version||Vehicle Applications|
|Regular Wheelbase / Regular Track||Cadillac XT5, GMC Acadia|
|Regular Wheelbase / Wide Track||Chevrolet Blazer, Cadillac XT6, three-row Chevrolet Blazer, baby Buick Enclave|
|Extended Wheelbase / Wide Track||Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave|