A Legacy of Innovation

Published by The Bee News

February 15, 2024

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A legacy of innovation is made manifest in every Chevrolet and GMC truck sold at Findlay Chevy GMC in Bullhead City, Arizona. For more than a century General Motors has been an industry leader in styling, innovation, and technological advancement.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting and unusual trucks that GM has developed over the years, from futuristic concepts to practical prototypes.

One of the earliest examples of GM’s experimental trucks was the GMC L’Universelle, a concept vehicle that debuted in 1955. The L’Universelle was designed to be a versatile and adaptable truck that could serve various purposes, such as a delivery van, a passenger bus, or a recreational vehicle. The L’Universelle had a front-wheel drive system, a low floor, and a panoramic windshield. It also featured a modular body that could be easily changed to suit different needs.

Another notable experimental truck from GM was the Chevrolet Turbo Titan III, a massive tractor-trailer that was powered by a gas turbine engine. The Turbo Titan III was unveiled in 1966 and showcased GM’s vision of the future of trucking. The Turbo Titan III had a sleek and aerodynamic design, with a cab that could tilt forward for easy access to the engine. The Turbo Titan III also had advanced features such as air suspension, power steering, and automatic transmission.

In the 1970s, GM experimented with electric trucks as part of their Electrovair and Electrovette projects. These pioneering projects aimed to develop electric vehicles based on existing models, such as the Chevrolet Corvair and the Chevrolet Chevette. The electric trucks used lead-acid batteries and electric motors to provide zero-emission transportation. However, the electric trucks had limited range and performance, and were never mass-produced.

In the 1980s, GM continued to explore new possibilities for truck design with the GMC Centaur, a concept vehicle that combined the features of a pickup truck and a sports car. The Centaur was introduced in 1988 and had a sleek and futuristic appearance. The Centaur had a mid-engine layout, with a 3.8-liter V6 engine mounted behind the cab. The Centaur also had a removable roof panel and a fold-down rear seat that could transform the truck into a two-seater convertible.

In the 1990s, GM created one of their most famous experimental trucks: the Chevrolet SSR. The SSR was a retro-styled pickup truck that was inspired by the classic Chevrolet Advance Design trucks from the 1940s and 1950s. The SSR was first shown as a concept vehicle in 2000 and went into production in 2003. The SSR had a unique feature: a retractable hardtop roof that could turn the truck into a roadster. The SSR also had a powerful and innovative 5.3-liter V8 engine that delivered 300 horsepower.

In the 2000s, GM ventured into the realm of hybrid trucks with the GMC Graphyte, a concept vehicle that debuted in 2005. The Graphyte was based on the GMC Yukon SUV and used a hybrid system that combined a 5.3-liter V8 engine with an electric motor and a battery pack. The Graphyte could operate in either gas-only or electric-only mode, or use both power sources together for optimal efficiency. The Graphyte also had an innovative feature: an adjustable suspension system that could raise or lower the vehicle depending on the driving conditions.

In the 2010s, GM experimented with hydrogen fuel cell trucks with the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, a prototype vehicle that was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Army. The Colorado ZH2 was based on the Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck and used a hydrogen fuel cell system to generate electricity for an electric motor. The Colorado ZH2 had several advantages over conventional trucks, such as silent operation, reduced heat signature, and high torque. The Colorado ZH2 also had an exportable power take-off unit that could provide electricity for other devices.

GM has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity when it comes to truck design. So, if your in the market for a stylish, durable, and hard working truck stop by Findlay Chevy GMC and see a legacy of innovation.

Written by Jim HInckley of Jim HInckley’s America

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