GMC - Terra4
Versatile And Fuel Efficient GMC Concept Terra4 Superior Form, Function And Fun
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. - As GMC celebrates its 100th Anniversary, the GM truck maker reveals the latest version of what an authentic professional grade truck can be with the introduction of the 2002 Terra4 concept vehicle.
"Terra4 builds upon the capability GMC has already established with the Terradyne (2000) and Terracross (2001) concept vehicles," said Carl Zipfel, GMC brand character chief designer. "The truck market has undergone a radical shift as trucks have moved away from being strictly work vehicles to being vehicles for personal use."
But as trucks have become more upscale, even prestigious, functionality remains supremely important. "GMC raises these elements to new heights in the Terra4 - a four wheel-drive, four wheel steer truck with four doors and four ways to access the cargo area," Zipfel said.
Terra4's unconventional package - a totally integrated design and closed body, with a short, deep cargo area - permits greater functionality and utility than a pickup truck. Doors on the rear quarter panels allow easy access to the closed cargo area. The passenger cab is moved up and forward, creating interior cargo space behind the second row seats.
The four-door truck also is loaded with features that would exceed the expectations of the most demanding customers. The concept vehicle combines the fuel efficiency and power-on-the-go capabilities of a parallel hybrid V-8 engine with the car-like maneuverability of GM's exclusive four-wheel-steering.
Terra4's aerodynamic cab up and forward architecture is the foundation for superior sight lines and a spacious interior that is finished in leather and brushed metal trim accents. Soft glow analog gauges represent precision and complement the oversized controls for better sight and feel. "I guarantee you've never seen anything like this," said Zipfel. "We're hitting a sweet spot here where function meets social responsibility, and it's a stylish statement as well."
The Terra4 continues the story begun by GMC's two most recent concepts - the Terradyne professional grade pickup truck, and the sporty, versatile Terracross crossover vehicle.
"In size, looks, and market appeal, Terra4 fits right between those two," said Zipfel. "This concept makes the idea of 'professional grade' more clear -- functional, comfortable and versatile.
"Terradyne and Terracross were experiments to see where we could go with various ideas about interior space and the functionality of openings," said Zipfel, who led both projects.
"This continues the legacy of several things we first tried on the Terradyne," said Zipfel. "It has the cab-up-and-forward architecture for improved sight lines and optimal use of interior space."
The cargo area, which is closed like a trunk, is accessible through the sides and rear. A convenient retractable decklid cover made of aluminum slats operates like a roller blind, opening up the cargo area to accept tall items, when needed.
Terra4's versatile passenger cab, together with the cargo area, can be transformed to carry various combinations of passengers and cargo. In normal position, the cab seats four with storage behind the second row seats with a deep enclosed cargo area. A pass-through at the lower portion of the cabin's rear wall opens to provide additional room for cargo. Also, the rear seats can be folded flat into the floor at the same level as the box, making one continuous load floor to accommodate long items.
Leather and brushed stainless steel dominate the interior, creating a sense of functional luxury and durability. The analog gauges, which feature amber, soft glow lighting, with digital display technology, were inspired by the rugged, functional timepieces worn by divers and pilots.
Controls are slightly oversized for a more solid appearance, comforting grip and professional-grade feel. Terra4 also features an integrated vehicle information center and door-mounted modular compartments.
Terra4's powertrain is derived from GM's innovative Parallel Hybrid Truck, which brings together a 285hp, 5.3-liter VORTEC V-8 gasoline engine and a powerful electric motor/generator.
A 4.8-kilowatt motor/generator is integrated into the drivetrain between the gasoline engine and the transmission. This provides starting power and the ability to generate electricity during deceleration. It also saves weight and parts because a conventional starter and alternator are no longer needed.
At a stoplight, the gasoline engine shuts off, but the accessories continue working on stored electrical power. When the light turns green and the driver depresses the accelerator, the gasoline engine restarts automatically. The truck gets more miles per gallon because of the stop/start function, torque-smoothing for improved powertrain efficiency, and regenerative braking, which turns the motor into a generator to capture energy as the truck decelerates.
The bottom line is up to 15 percent better gas mileage with no reduction in the truck's towing capacity. This system will be available as a powertrain option on GM's full-sized pickups, the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado, beginning in 2004.
As an added benefit of its robust electrical system, the parallel hybrid Terra4 also features a pair of 110-volt, 20-amp electrical outlets for powering anything with a standard three-prong household plug.
Terra4 also features the Quadrasteer(tm) four-wheel steering system that provides car-like maneuverability in a full-size truck. The GMC-exclusive steering system guides 20-inch low rolling resistance custom Goodyear tires.
QuadrasteerTM is an electro-mechanical rear steer system that turns the rear wheel to produce four-wheel steering. The rear wheels turn as a percentage of the front wheels up to a maximum 12-degree angle. The angle is based on vehicle speed and steering wheel turn.
At high speeds, the four wheels turn in parallel to provide better control of the vehicle through lane changes and sharp curves. At low speeds, the wheels turn in opposition, dramatically shortening the turning radius and making towing and parking a breeze.
"This concept is GMC's latest expression of an authentic professional grade truck, with capabilities that will certainly exceed consumer expectations," said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC General Manager. "We're very excited about this concept, and I think when people see all this truck can do - coupled with the fact that it gets up to 15 percent better gas mileage - they'll be excited, too."
2002 GMC Terra4 Concept Vehicle
Body/Chassis Structure: Body on frame, Front Engine Rear Wheel Drive/Four Wheel Drive
Body Material: Sheet Metal
Chassis Material: Hydroformed Steel
Frame Suspension: Front - Short Long Arm (SLA) with Longitudinal Torsion Bar Rear - Hotchkiss Rear Axle with Quadrasteer
Wheels: 20 in Alloy
Tires: Goodyear - P285/60 R20
Brakes: Front & Rear Disc Brakes
Engine: VORTEC V-8 with GM Parallel Hybrid Technology
Engine displacement: 5.3L
Horsepower: 285 hp
Torque: 325 lb-ft
Transmission: Automatic w/ selectable 4 wheel drive transfer case
Height (in / mm): 76.2 / 1934
Length (in / mm): 211.3 / 5366
Width (in / mm): 78.0 / 1980
Wheelbase (in / mm): 136.0 / 3454
Track (in / mm): 71.7 / 1822
Weight (lbs / kg): 7000 / 3175.1