The concept features center-opening or "French" doors that eliminate the usual center body pillar. This facilitates passenger and cargo loading, a presumed sales plus for the "active-lifestyle" crowd. Augmenting this functionality are right-side front and rear seats that can be swung up toward the full-length center console, thus creating enough room for a full-size mountain bike to be carried upright. This may prove to be the ultimate vehicle for the New Hampshire GMC enthusiast.
The pillarless bodysides might be tough to get by federal side-impact tests, but probably no more so than General Motors' like-constructed extended-cab pickups. The full-length console and twin rear bucket seats will probably be ditched for five-passenger seating, but we can easily imagine the flip-up function being adapted for a three-person back bench. Besides running gear, the 2012 GMC Granite will almost certainly share chassis hardware and safety features with Cruze. That means a strut-type front suspension, a well-located "twist-beam" rear axle, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and an antiskid system with traction control. There should also be 10 standard airbags, including front side and rear side airbags, full-length curtain side airbags, and a knee airbag for the driver and front passenger.
Unsurprisingly, the 2012 GMC Granite should list at least two trim levels and a broad Scion-style palette of "personal-styling" options inside and out. Besides those already listed, likely features should include two-tone interiors, GM OnStar service, and extra-cost amenities like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a navigation system, rearview camera, one or more high-power audio setups, satellite radio, and sport-tuned suspension. Again with an eye on Scion, dealer-installed goodies should be plentiful. We suspect GMC is already working with outside suppliers on all manner of profit-boosting "custom" accessories.
In all, the 2012 GMC Granite strikes us as exactly the sort of product this brand needs to remain relevant in a fast-changing market that presents many new challenges. The only question is whether this "automotive equivalent of an urban loft apartment" will be another short-lived fad like the xB and other boxy style statements. We'll be interested to see how it fares.
Visit our GMC NH dealership located near Berlin NH to find out more about the new GMC Granite.
A Notable Feature of the 2012 GMC Granite:
With its mainstream compact-car platform, the 2012 GMC Granite will be all about style and interior versatility, not technical innovation, rapid straight-line performance, or even particularly agile backroads handling. Sure, the boxy shape and modest size imply city-friendly maneuverability and fine interior space utilization, but those are secondary points that apply equally to the xB, Soul, cube, and Honda's Element. So what we have here is basically GMC's take on the "cute-ute" idea, designed for appeal to young urban hipsters rather than older urban cowboys.