First Look: GMC Granite Compact Pickup Truck Concept Revealed


Photos courtesy of General Motors, Scott Nehls (Jalopnik)

The industrial styling is familiar, but the application is new. General Motors unexpectedly unveiled the GMC Granite Compact Pickup concept at the10th anniversary celebration of GM's North Hollywood Advanced Design Center on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, ahead of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

“GM Design believes there is an opportunity for a small truck because nobody else is doing this right now,” said Clay Dean, executive director GM advanced global design.

The two-passenger Granite compact pickup is based on the GMC Granite small "" design study that debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. From the grille back to the B-pillar, front styling is identical to the original Granite concept.

“We designed the Granite to be modular,” said Robb McCann, design manager for GM’s California design studio. “Our first choice [after the compact crossover version] was to do a compact truck for Southern California because small trucks have been so popular here. The big idea is that it’s for someone who wants a pickup with a small footprint with great fuel economy and an occasional load in back.”

The Granite Compact Pickup is a that reminds us of classic garden trucks like the Chevy LUV and Toyota Pickup.

The wheelbase is only around 110 inches, but its 4-foot-long cargo box can be extended to 6 feet. Two side-hinged Dutch-style doors replace a conventional one-piece fold-down tailgate. When the doors are opened, a pallet that forms part of the floor of the cargo box can be pulled out to provide extra bed space.

The cargo box also features small access panels that slide down into the sides of the box to provide easy access to the space behind the cab. Black chrome trim decorates the tops of the bed rails.

Extra utility is provided via a trick folding "pack rack" that's stowed under the floor of the cargo box. The rack can be easily flipped up to provide a raised platform to carry a surfboard or ladder above the cargo space. Cubbies surround the interior of the box to provide dry, secure storage.

"There's an integrated air compressor in the bed, like the [2001] had," McCann said. "All of these premium features are what make this a GMC. It’s why they are there. A Chevy version of this pickup would be simpler."

Propulsion for the front-wheel-drive Granite runabout would come from a frugal 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine.

Will this Granite be produced? Not likely. We're told it's only a design study, but we're sure GM is watching closely for feedback on the ideas that inspired it.

Dramatic styling aside, could a small truck like the Granite Compact Pickup find a niche in the U.S. today, like the successful compact pickups of the 1970s and '80s?


Latest expert reviews