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General Motors: Concepts 2001

TerraCross: GMC Takes SUV to Next Level of Sophistication

The GMC TerraCross concept reinvents the SUV, and builds on the brand's "industrial precision" design vocabulary by showing just how sleek and stylish a rugged and highly functional vehicle can be. "Just as last year's Terradyne concept represents GMC's vision for the ultimate 'professional grade' pick-up, TerraCross creates an innovative type of SUV, designed to exceed the expectations of the most demanding customers," said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC general manager.

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TerraCross is not simply another SUV, but is also a pick-up and a five-seat convertible - all in one highly efficient and versatile package. It appeals to young, urban professionals and people of all ages with a strong appreciation for functionality, innovation and surprising capability. "TerraCross is the next decisive step in the evolution of GMC's 'industrial precision' brand style," said Carl Zipfel, 33, brand character chief designer for GMC. "At 172 inches long, the TerraCross offers maximum interior space and flexibility, as well as agility through efficient design. It features minimal overhangs, and clean, contemporary, billet cut surfaces."

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TerraCross' strong industrial precision design statement is reinforced further by its confident brushed metal grille, dominant headlights with new lighting technology and robust 19-inch wheels and tires, providing maximum ground clearance.

Surprising Functionality

Ingredients of TerraCross' surprising functionality include a unique three-panel sliding glass roof, a reconfigurable mid-gate and gliding rear doors. The roof's three glass segments can be moved electronically to various positions. Also, the panels can stack on top of each other, opening up to two-thirds of the entire roof length, for a pleasant open-air experience with the security of a full safety cage. When moved to their most forward position, the sliding roof segments create an open cargo box at the rear of the vehicle. That is when the additional flexibility of the reconfigurable mid-gate comes into play.

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The mid-gate with its retractable rear window, integrated into the second seat row backrest, can be flipped forward and stowed flush with the seat creating an extended, flat cargo floor. When upright with the window up and two roof segments closed above the seat rows, the mid-gate converts the vehicle into a closed passenger compartment with an open cargo box for transporting tall or bulky items.

Also, the GMC TerraCross employs a unique hinge system that allows the rear doors to glide rearward parallel to the sides of the vehicle. Combined with standard front doors and no B-pillars, this provides wide-open access to the roomy interior. All doors can be opened independently. Because of its uni-body construction, the floor of the TerraCross is lower than in traditional SUVs, allowing driver and passengers to enter and exit more conveniently and facilitating easier loading and unloading of cargo.

Innovative interior

Inside, TerraCross cradles driver and four passengers in sophisticated comfort, surrounded by high-tech fabric and brushed metals. The front passenger seat swivels, allowing the interior to be reconfigured as a conversation pit for tailgating or waiting for the fireworks to start above the glass roof. Translucent green accents on the dashboard evoke state-of-the-art computers and watches. The reconfigurable color instrument cluster allows the driver to display information about the vehicle and its systems in dozens of different ways.

The OnStar system provides a hands-free cellular telephone, driving directions, weather updates, stock quotes, concierge services and emergency notification, if an accident occurs. An integrated laptop computer with a cellular modem on the vehicle's dashboard allows the front-seat passenger to tap into the Internet while on the road. The sophisticated sound system can play radio, tapes, CDs or even digital music files from the Sony Memory Stick. This small flash memory device on a keychain fob stores several hours of digital music downloaded from the Internet. It also allows the driver to carry tunes along when he or she leaves the TerraCross by plugging the memory card into a portable MP3 player.

Agile and capable

The GMC TerraCross is a fully capable vehicle with excellent on-road manners and agile handling. Its VersaTrak all-wheel-drive system automatically delivers torque to the wheels with the most grip for surefooted, stable traction under demanding, wet, snowy or transitional driving conditions. Thanks to its high ground clearance and sturdy tires, TerraCross is also competent off-road. A GM 3.4-liter V6 engine is transversely mounted and mated to a four-speed automatic transmission for good fuel economy on the highway and smooth shifting around town.

all photos: General Motors


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