Future Models - GMC 2016 Acadia
Detroit show: GMC chops 318kg from Acadia
Weight watcher: GMC’s all-new Acadia large SUV is believed to sit on General Motors’ new C1XX crossover vehicle platform that is likely to be shared with a forthcoming Opel/Holden flagship SUV.
GM’s new lightweight SUV platform underpinning GMC Acadia could turn up at Holden
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13 January 2016
GENERAL Motors has slashed more than 300kg from one of its large SUVs in North
America, the GMC Acadia, with the adoption of a new lightweight platform that
could provide some clues to a possible new Opel-built seven-seat family wagon
Less truck and more car, the latest Acadia is still a big bus, at 4917mm long
and 1916mm wide, but now light enough, at 1794kg, to employ 2.5-litre
four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant.
Launched at this week’s Detroit motor show, the Acadia is believed to sit on
GM’s new C1XX crossover vehicle architecture that also underpins the new
Cadillac XT5 luxury SUV and, potentially, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse.
American pundits believe C1XX is a variation of the front/all-wheel-drive E2XX
mid-sized car platform – the replacement for the current Epsilon 2 medium car
architecture – that forms the basis of the new Chevrolet Malibu and
next-generation Opel/Holden Insignia.
This design employs a transverse-mounted engine and transmission, high-strength
steel monocoque body and independent suspension all round.
There is no suggestion that the Acadia will be foisted on export markets – GMC
remains a largely North American brand – but GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra is
on record as saying Opel will build a large SUV alongside Insignia in Germany
by the end of the decade.
This “joint flagship” with Insignia will be made in right-hand drive for
Britain, opening the door for a Holden version.
With Holden’s ever closer relationship with Opel and its British twin Vauxhall
– not to mention Australia’s thirst for SUVs – logic suggests this product will
make it to Australia under Holden badges soon after the European launch.
And if C1XX and E2XX are indeed closely related, it should be no problem to run
a C1XX-based SUV down the same line as Insignia at the Russelsheim plant in
This same Opel vehicle is also likely to turn up in global markets as a Buick,
as the American brand is also now closely aligned with Opel/Vauxhall.
Buick is thought to be working on a new-generation Enclave SUV, replacing the
current generation model that is built on the Lambda platform.
It is unclear if the new Opel large SUV and next Enclave will be one and the
same, but they almost certainly will be directly related under their skin.
In Australia, the Opel-built vehicle might well be expected to replace the
outdated, Korean-built Captiva, which is the oldest vehicle in the Holden
This new SUV would go into battle against Ford’s Territory replacement –
thought to be the Canadian-built Edge – and Toyota’s Kluger, among others.
Like Edge, GM’s new-generation Acadia largely dispenses with previous ‘Yank
tank’ construction methods and employs a modern press-hardened, high-strength
steel monocoque that permits thinner and lighter components without affecting
body rigidity or crashworthiness.
The designers also took the opportunity to reduce the overall dimensions,
cutting the overall length by 182mm.
A smaller, lighter vehicle meant engineers could substitute a smaller, lighter
four-cylinder engine for the base variant.
All up, the kerb weight was reduced by 318kg, from above 2100kg to 1794kg for
the base front-wheel drive version – a massive amount in an industry that
frequently counts weight savings in grams.
This time around, Acadia gets MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link
rear independent suspension, along with weight-saving electric-assisted power
A new 145kW 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is the standard powerplant for
Acadia, but GM’s latest 3.6-litre V6, with 231kW on tap, is optional. Both are
mated with a GM-built six-speed automatic transmission.
All-wheel drive is also available in the All Terrain variant, but only with
five seats (the front-wheel drive variants come with family friendly six and
seven seat layouts).
The AWD system can be disconnected from the transmission to save fuel in 4x2
The four-cylinder version is said to consume 10 litres per 100km on the
American EPA test, while the V6 version uses 11.5L/km.
Acadia will be built at GM’s Spring Hill factory in Tennessee, alongside the
Cadillac XT5 that had its global launch at the recent Dubai motor show.