Produced between 2001 and 2013 over the course of two generations, the Chevy Avalanche combined the practicality of a pickup truck bed with the passenger-carrying cabin of an SUV, creating a unique utility offering. The model was discontinued, to the dismay of fans and enthusiast, due to a lack of a business case. Now, GM Authority spy photographers have caught Nissan benchmarking the Chevy Avalanche at its engineering center in Farmington Hills, Michigan – raising questions as to what the Japanese automaker may be up to.
Even though the Chevy Avalanche was discontinued a decade ago, this particular example – a Black Diamond Edition, by the looks of it – appears to be in pristine condition. The vehicle also isn’t wearing any license plates, and we observed it being driven between various buildings within the Nissan facility before disappearing into a garage.
Exactly what Nissan is doing with the Chevy Avalanche is unknown. However, one possibility could be that the automaker is taking a closer look at the utility vehicle’s mid-gate and rear glass configuration, indicating that the automaker may be interested in learning about the mid-gate that will be offered on the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV, both of which have yet to launch.
As a reminder, the Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV are both set to offer a mid-gate feature similar to the mid-gate feature equipped previously by the now-discontinued Chevy Avalanche and Cadillac EXT. The mid-gate is situated between the cabin and the bed, folding down to provide additional cargo room to accommodate longer items in the bed, such as a kayak or planks of lumber.
On the upcoming 2024 Chevy Silverado EV (and Sierra EV), the mid-gate feature expands the bed length from 5-feet, 11-inches to over 9-feet. Pop the Chevy Multi-Flex tailgate or GMC MultiPro tailgate down into its configurable Load Stop position, and the available length expands yet again to 10-feet, 10-inches.
Given that the Chevy Silverado EV launching this coming Fall and the GMC Sierra EV launching early next year, Nissan doesn’t have any examples of the all-electric pickups to examine – making the Chevy Avalanche a good choice to learn from the new mid-gate feature.
We’ll keep an eye on this for any further developments and report back what we find. In the meantime, remember to subscribe to GM Authority for more GM competition news, Chevy Avalanche news, Chevy news, GM technology news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.