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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
Professional Grade interior includes analog gauges and oversized controls.
Note the transmission shifter in the middle of the console. It's similar
to that on the upcoming Hummer H2. Another hint at the Terra4's production
its versatility the cargo box on the Terra4, "gives people
who use their trucks for personal use something you don't get with
a regular 6-foot box," stated Zipfel.
the Terracross the storage fest continues. Inspired by the stowage
compartments found in airplanes, the Terra4 features a cabin length
storage box slotted between two sunroofs. The roof storage area
is, "separated by and for passengers." No word yet on
whether Terra4 passengers will be limited to only two carry-ons.
Terra4's attention to the powertrain and fuel efficiency is just
as aggressive as its cargo management capabilities.
Vortec engine uses GM's Parallel
Hybrid electric motor and 42-volt power system to save fuel
and component weight. GM claims 15% better gas mileage and no reduction
in towing or driving performance using the Parallel Hybrid system.
windshield's steeply raked 56-degree angle helps reduce aerodynamic
drag along with a smooth belly pan underbody.
aiding drag reduction, the rearview mirrors on the Terra4 have been
replaced with video cameras sitting just on the edge of the front
rolling resistance tires from Goodyear mounted on 'torqued' fan-blade
wheels help further improve gas mileage.
exterior items of note are the small vents which can be seen just
in front of the rear wheels. These vents are used to cool off the
battery packs stored under the rear passenger seats for the Parallel
with any concept vehicle you always wonder about production possibilities
and this is where the Terra4 gets really interesting.
Zipfel told PUTC, "The Terra4 is closer to being a production
vehicle than either Terradyne or Terracross...we could do this today.
It's [the Terra4] really tailored to what's in place with today's
trucks and plants."
we saw only the foam model, the final concept is being built right
now on the GMT800 chassis and will be fully functional and drivable.
The GMT800 is the same chassis used across GM's current lineup of
full size trucks and SUVs.
did add that, "No final decision has been made yet about production."
GMC Terra4 Concept Vehicle
Body on frame, Front Engine Rear Wheel Drive/Four Wheel Drive
Hydroformed Steel Frame
Front Short Long Arm (SLA) with Longitudinal Torsion Bar
Rear Hotchkiss Rear Axle with Quadrasteer
20 inch Alloy
Goodyear P285/60 R20
Front & Rear Disc Brakes
5.3L VORTEC V-8 with GM Parallel Hybrid Technology
Automatic w/ selectable 4 wheel drive transfer case
(in / mm):
76.2 / 1934
(in / mm):
211.3 / 5366
(in / mm):
78.0 / 1980
(in / mm):
136.0 / 3454
(in / mm):
71.7 / 1822
(lbs / kg):
7000 / 3175.1
Terra4's cargo box is supplemented with 'saddle-style' rear storage
compartments located above the rear wheels. Note the vents located
just in front of the rear wheels to help cool the batteries and the
small marker for the rearview cameras located at the edge of the front