General Motors Corp.'s GMC brand, known largely for its trucks, will try to move farther into the mainstream market when it unveils the new Terrain midsize crossover at the New York International Auto Show.
On the surface, the tough-looking 2010 Terrain appears to be a traditional truck-based sport utility vehicle. But the five-seat crossover, to be unveiled Wednesday, is built on a car architecture that GM uses for its global midsize crossovers.
When equipped with GM's new 2.4-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the Terrain is expected to get 30 mpg on the highway and 21 in the city, the same as its Chevrolet counterpart, the Equinox.
The inline-four produces 182 horsepower, and the Terrain also is available with a 264-horsepower, 3-liter six-cylinder engine that gets 25 mpg on the highway.
The Terrain, due in showrooms in late summer, comes in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and includes a standard rear-vision camera.
GM would not reveal the price, but GMC traditionally is more expensive than Chevrolet, which will charge a base price of $23,185 for the 2010 Equinox, including $745 for shipping. The Equinox goes on sale in June.
With the Terrain and Equinox, GM is trying to catch buyers who are fleeing the traditional truck-based SUV segment. The midsize crossovers are designed to be more maneuverable and efficient than SUVs, but with many of the same storage, hauling and seating attributes.
The Terrain's four-cylinder engine, GM says, is more powerful and efficient that fours of the past, said Chris Meagher, chief engineer for GM's Ecotec four-cylinder engines.
Direct-injection engines put fuel directly into the engine's cylinder, rather than mixing it with air first. GM said such engines will be available in 38 of its 2010 models, up from 18 in the 2009 model year.
But the high-pressure fuel injection system creates low frequency noises that are different from other engines, Meagher said. To counter the noise, GM changed the block structure and added layers of foam around the engine in key areas.
"We spent a lot of time and attention trying to make sure the sound quality of this engine is as good as we can make it," he said.
The Terrain, built in Ingersoll, Ontario, is the first GM vehicle equipped with a new Active Noise Cancellation technology, which used microphones to detect low-frequency sounds and send counteracting sound waves through the audio system to ensure quiet driving, the company said.
The four-cylinder front-wheel-drive Terrain can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 9.5 seconds, GM said.
The Terrain is expected to compete with the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Murano.
GM also is unveiling the 2009 Yukon Denali Hybrid, adding a third gas-electric vehicle to the Yukon Hybrid and Sierra Hybrid in GMC's lineup.
The full-size luxury SUV with seating for eight people will get an estimated 21 mpg in city, GM said, matching the efficiency of many midsize sedans. Highway fuel economy is 22 mpg.
That compares with Environmental Protection Agency estimates of 12 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway for the gas-only model.
The Denali Hybrid, which goes on sale in May, will have a 332-horsepower, 6-liter Vortec V-8 engine. The two-mode hybrid system uses two electric motors in the transmission, with regenerative braking, electric power steering, and an electric air conditioning compressor.
The hybrid has a suggested base price of $59,185 for two-wheel drive and $62,030 for four-wheel drive, including destination charges. That's a premium of about $9,000 over the standard models, but hybrid buyers may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $2,200, GM said.