Congratulations to everyone who guessed the vehicle just by looking at a tail lamp. Being auto enthusiasts, you probably know what the sport utility’s name – GMC Terrain Denali – all means.
GMC began life as General Motors Truck Co., and has sold trucks and sport utility vehicles in General Motors dealerships not covered by Chevrolet and, in recent times, Cadillac.
Terrain is the name given to GMC’s midsize SUV based on the Chevrolet Equinox and replacing the Pontiac Torrent in dealerships when Pontiac closed its doors.
Torrent? As bad as that name was, Terrain seems to have been created in advertising heaven. You might remember an episode of the television series Medium a few years ago. The family bought a Terrain, which played prominently in the plot as a product placement. The name of the episode? “New Terrain,” referring not just to the vehicle but also to new territory covered in the plot.
Finally, Denali is the native name for Mount McKinley in Alaska. It also is the name of a national and a state park.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries in last week’s quiz was Christopher Fuller, of Hephzibah, who said he recognized the Terrain because someone at his church drives one.
Fuller wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. There were several readers who guessed other vehicles, but those who correctly identified the Terrain were:
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “Although the other car based manufacturers are busily restyling their crossover and SUV lineups to be more car-friendly in appearance, GMC appears to be relishing in its nonconformist boxy, trucklike styling.
“I would not expect a truck manufacturer to bend to the whims of automotive design, much less bend over backwards to make a vehicle look more carlike, even though we are talking about General Motors with its huge corporate-sharing parts bin.
“The Terrain replaces the Chevrolet Trailblazer-based-Envoy. While the Envoy was obviously a rebadged Trailblazer, the Terrain is a complete repackaging of the Chevrolet Equinox. Parked side by side, there is not a single obvious shared component between them and, in fact, the Equinox evokes that aforementioned car-friendly appearance while the Terrain is clearly a truck.
“Sci-fi and action-adventure movie fans might recall that a GMC Terrain played one of the characters in the last Transformers movie. In a chicken-or-the-egg moment, I wonder which came first; the finalized design of the new Terrain or a request from Michael Bay for a rugged, masculine vehicle for his next movie?
“No matter which came first, it is working across the board for GMC as they place themselves in the upscale truck market. Generally speaking, all trucks these days are more carlike in their drivability and user-friendliness, but GMC has upped the ante just a bit in ride, handling and quietness of the interior.
“But as for styling, well, that’s all trucklike and, as one reviewer noted, it will not be mistaken for any of its competition and lost in the local mall parking lot.”
EVANS: Jerry Paul wrote: “My guess this week is a GMC Terrain Denali.”
MARTINEZ: Jeff Miller wrote: “The GMC Terrain Denali comes with either a lame 2.4-liter or a beefier 3.6-liter engine that’ll let loose its 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque to accelerate its 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space. As Charles E. Wilson said (although misquoted) before he resigned as president of General Motors to become secretary of defense under Dwight D. Eisenhower: ‘What’s good for General Motors is good for the country!’ ”
Jim Muraski wrote: “This week’s car is a 2013 GMC Terrain Denali.”
PERRY, FLA.: Larry Anderson wrote: “It’s a GMC Terrain Denali, redesigned for 2013. It’s everything you would expect from a GMC truck – thick, brawny and imposing. With the Denali badging and chrome accents, the Terrain no longer looks like the stubby little brother of the Yukon and Sierra but an SUV of its own breed.
“To satisfy their needs, GMC is introducing an all-new V-6 engine for 2013 in the Denali trim. Up from the old 3-liter V-6, this larger displacement, 3.6-liter unit with direct injection delivers 301 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. An increase of 14 percent horsepower and 22 percent more torque than the previous 3-liter V-6, it delivers the same 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
“The Terrain Denali is better than the standard model in all ways, providing an improved interior while capturing the attention of sidewalk onlookers with imposing SUV looks and plenty of chrome. Add V-6 power to that and an extensive list of new technology features, and there’s a lot to appreciate.”
WARRENVILLE: James Covar