Featured Story: GMC Uncovers Terra4 Concept
In Pebble Beach, California this past week GMC took the covers off its upcoming Terra4 concept scheduled to debut next January in Detroit at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. The Terra4 is the latest in a line of well received concepts from GMC that started with the Terradyne, a full-size pickup, and Terracross, a hybrid SUV crossover.
Introduced by Scott Fosgard, Director of Communications for the GM Technical Centers, and Wayne Cherry, GM's VP of North American Design, PUTC and other journalists were shown a life-size foam model of the Terra4 meant to provide a "snapshot in time", according to Fosgard, of its ongoing development. Carl Zipfel, GMC's brand character chief designer, was also on hand to provide details around the Terra4. Zipfel is responsible for leading the team behind the Terra4's development.
The Terra4's name comes from its four forward-opening doors, four wheel Quadrasteer, 4x4 capabilities and the number of ways to access the truck's bed.
Using a cab forward design almost as extreme as the Terradyne's, the Terra4 also sports a unibody architecture integrating the bed seamlessly with the rest of the truck. A high shoulder line runs the length of the truck. "Scale is used to convey a powerful and professional grade appearance," according to Zipfel.
The Terra4's cargo box features a power retractable decklid / tonneau cover constructed of aluminum slats to provide a weatherproof and lockable storage option to protect rear cargo. The bed cover folds up on itself when not in use and is stored under the rear window in the cab like a window blind. GMC is working with an unnamed SEMA supplier on the system for the show truck.
The truck's cargo box is also accessible from the interior of the cab through a fold-down rear wall. It's similar to the Avalanche's Midgate system, where the rear seats fold down flush with the load floor, but the rear window is not removable on the Terra4. Zipfel tells us the reason for this is that the Midgate is, "special to the Avalanche".
Along the sides of the bed are two additional cargo storage areas located just above the rear wheels. Covered by lightweight SRIM composite access panels, the vertically opening storage areas are accessed manually and lift up on hinges similar to the Terradyne's rear passenger doors. It's the perfect place to put groceries after a quick trip to the store or to house your tools.