Chevrolet Avalanche Concept Truck

Chevrolet introduced its one-of-a kind concept version of the groundbreaking Avalanche during the 2000 NAIAS amidst a man-made storm of snow and heavy fog.

Save for the molded body cladding along the rocker panels and bumpers, the truck you see here is pretty much the same truck you will be able to purchase in early 2001. And if you use your imagination to substitute the bow tie and "power bar" from the grille with the Cadillac crest and wreath you can almost make out what the luxury version of this truck will look like, also set to debut in 2001.

"The Avalanche combines the roominess of the Surburban-style first- and second-row seating with the practicality of a Silverado-style cargo box," explained Chevrolet General Manager Kurt Ritter.

After having seen the initial Avalanche photos, released in early January, several members of the truck community expressed some dissatisfaction with its appearance. Many seem to have changed that opinion after having seen this truck in person.

Though in the same category of vehicle as the Ford F-150 SuperCrew, the Avalanche has taken a radically

Note the separate bed and body found on the F-150 SuperCrew (Left) versus the unibody construction used in the Avalanche

different route by actually integrating the bed with the rest of the truck into a single unibody. This integration plays a vital role in the function, flexibility and adaptability of the Avalanche. The exterior sail panel, which began as a design attempt to smooth the transition from the cab to the bed, actually provides additional body stiffness and increased structural integrity.

During the design of the Avalanche Chevrolet looked at three possible sizes for the truck - extended cab size, Tahoe size and Suburban size. Early sketches were actually based on an Avalanche the same size as the extended cab Silverado but the design team finally decided the truck needed its own unique look and chose to create a Suburban-sized truck instead.

The Avalanche is built on a derivative of the GM full-size truck platform and also uses a hydroformed frame for higher structural integrity.

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