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GMC has sprung some great concepts that pointed to many features that saw production later. But they also featured designs that, for the most part, never made it. We wish they had. So here are our picks for some of the GMC concepts we wish had been produced. 

2005 GMC Graphyte concept

GMC Graphyte
2005 GMC Graphyte concept | GM

This 2005 concept was an SUV concept with a two-mode hybrid system. GM was playing catch-up in the hybrid arena at that time. Hidden in the automatic transmission were two electric motors powered by a 300-volt nickel-hydride battery pack. With a 5.3-liter 300 hp Vortec V8 production engine. Featuring displacement on demand, the system shuts off half of the cylinders when cruising. Debuting at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, it was intended to signal what future GMC styling would look like. 

2001 GMC TerraCross concept

GMC TerraCross
2001 GMC TerraCross concept | GM

Following on the heels of the previous year’s Terradyne, the TerraCross both featured similar sliding rear doors. It also featured a three-piece sliding glass roof, and a mid-gate with a window to create and separate the cargo area from passengers. Both the GMC Envoy and Chevrolet Avalanche would later use this feature. With no B-pillars, passenger ingress and egress were better, also aided by the swivel rear seats. 

2010 Granite SUV concept

GMC Granite
2010 GMC Granite concept | GM

While we have always liked the GMC Granite, it was a vehicle more in line with GM’s Saturn or Pontiac brands. But in 2010, they were both axed in GM’s bankruptcy reorganization. It was small, almost too small to be a GMC model. So the suspicion is that it was a concept for one of those other brands, and was transformed into a “GMC” to get something out of it. To justify it, GMC said, “Granite was conceived as a new type of vehicle from GMC, one that could stretch people’s ideas of what a GMC can be,” said Lisa Hutchinson, product marketing director for GMC. “We call it an urban utility vehicle and our goal was redefining what the GMC name could mean to a new generation of customers looking for both bold design and functionality.” But as GMC was rolling out its “Professional Grade” advertising campaign, the mumbo jumbo ran contrary. Unlike all other GMC concepts up to this time, it didn’t feature any future technology. But compared to a similar Scion XB or Kia Soul, it had a distinctly bold and chunky presence. 

2008 GMC Denali XT concept

GMC Denali XT
2008 GMC Denali XT concept | GM

Unveiled as a “Coupe Utility Vehicle,” the Denali XT did have a sedan-like silhouette. A flex-fuel direct-injection 4.9-liter V8 featured cylinder deactivation. Direct injection was first made available in production GM products the previous year. With the bed’s mid-gate lowered, the XT’s cargo capacity extended to six feet. Some of these features were first seen on the 2001 Avalanche and Envoy, so they didn’t have that concept panaché. GM was barreling towards bankruptcy, so any concept at all was significant considering the company was about to collapse. Still, it was a handsome truck in the vein of past Chevrolet El Caminos.

2000 GMC Terradyne concept

GMC Terradyne
2000 GMC Terradyne concept | GM

First appearing at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show, the Terradyne ran a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 engine. It also featured GMC Quadrasteer four-wheel steering. This would show up two years later in Chevy and GMC pickups. Its main feature was the configuration of the doors. The front doors slid forward, and the rear doors to the rear, in a similar fashion to minivan doors. An extended tailgate could expand from six feet to eight feet. Both a 5000-watt generator and 110- and 220-volt electric outlets were another feature. 


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