PickupTruck.Com Brings you coverage from Las Vegas October 31-November 2, 2000

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CHEVROLET'S BRUIN - THE PAPA BEAR OF PICKUPS
By: Michael Levine

LAS VEGASó Crew Cab pickup trucks have become big business in Detroit the last few years, but who would have thought the trucks themselves would get as big as the Chevy Bruin?

John Middlebrook, GM's VP and General Manager of Marketing, pulled the covers off the Bruin at the 2000 SEMA show providing a first look at GM's all new medium duty commercial truck platform.

The maroon and silver truck cut an imposing presence among the other GM products, even positioned at the farthest corners of the display area.

Its grille carries forward the new truck design theme first introduced last year on the Avalanche concept truck. A chrome bar cuts the crosshatch grille in two and carries around the front fenders where you would normally find the headlights. The headlights, in turn, have actually been moved lower into the Bruin's bumper ensuring one heck of a surprise to any motorist you might pass on the highway at night who might have thought it was simply a large sedan coming up behind in the rear view mirror.

The Bruin is meant to provide an example of how flexible the new medium duty chassis is. Built in fleetside configuration, it's also the largest pickup truck GM has ever built and its first fleetside dually.

Many medium duty trucks, like the Bruin and its Ford competitor, the SuperCrewzer, are equipped with fifth wheel trailer hitches for heavy-duty towing purposes. With its Duramax diesel engine the Bruin can tow a GCWR of 26,000 pounds making it the most powerful pickup built by GM. The Bruin's hood tilts forward, like a big rig, to reveal the 300hp / 520ft-lb. Duramax and provide easy engine access.

The Bruin's bed is a piece of real estate unto itself. You could practically rent out the space when the truck isn't being used or, if you are taking a long trip, forget the spare tire and just park a Chevrolet Tracker SUV in the back.

The Bruin also sports quite a few aftermarket accessories. The spring dampened seats are covered in leather, two Webasto power sunroofs provide fresh air, a Transfer Flow toolbox with an auxiliary fuel tank brings total fuel capacity to almost 100 gallons and a spray in bed liner protects the cargo area.

More to Follow Later...