New truck, high-performance Cadillacs are in GM's future

LAS VEGAS — General Motors product plans include a sport-utility similar to the Chevrolet Avalanche, high-performance versions of Cadillacs and a roomier Chevy Malibu.

GM North America President Ron Zarrella mixed tidbits about upcoming vehicles in a speech Monday, Oct. 29, at the start of the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show here.

Zarrella said:

  • GMC will get a mid-sized sport-utility that has a version of the passenger cabin cargo door used in the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT. Zarrella said the vehicle would be built on the platform used for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. It probably will be a 2004 model.

  • The next-generation Chevrolet Mali-bu will be offered with a European-styled five-door body that looks like a cross between a sport wagon and a hatchback. Zarrella showed a photo of the car during his speech. He called the body style “a breakthrough design” that would bring new functionality to cars.

  • Cadillac will get high-performance models to compete with BMW M cars and Mercedes-Benz AMG models. The first to get the high-performance treatment is the CTS, which goes on sale in January. Zarrella said it will be the first GM car to use a new overhead-cam V-6 engine.

    The engine will be built in the United States.

    GM also is developing a pushrod

    V-6 engine that will generate as much as 230 hp and feature optional displacement on demand, a technology that cuts off unneeded cylinders to save fuel.

  • SEMA members got the first look at the small Chevrolet vehicle that will replace the Suzuki-built Chevrolet Tracker. GM will design the vehicle, and it will be built at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.
  • You can reach Richard Truett at rtruett@crain.com

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