Mention GMC and the mental image for most will be full-sized trucks and SUVs with a mega grille to fit those three alphabets, but as we all now know, even the Americans are now turning to smaller vehicles that are more friendly to the wallet and environment. Which brings us to this, the GMC Granite concept, the smallest car ever to wear the famous logotype.

The Granite is 0.6 m shorter than the Terrain crossover, GMC’s current “baby”, but its interior is spacious and flexible to fit the needs of “active people”. Generous cargo space and flipping/folding seats, for example, enable a mountain bike to be loaded completely inside with the tailgate closed. A decent 2,631 mm wheelbase means the claims are realistic.

“Granite was conceived as a new type of vehicle from GMC – one that could stretch people’s ideas of what a GMC can be,” said Lisa Hutchinson, product marketing director for GMC. “We call it an ‘urban utility vehicle’ and our goal was redefining what the GMC name could mean to a new generation of customers looking for both bold design and functionality.”

It seems to be a must-have these days, so the Granite gets rear-hinged “suicide” doors. GMC describes the Granite as an urban loft apartment on wheels with “urban-industrial design”. It reminds us a liitle of the Kia Soul, although this concept looks more butch, with a lower roof and wider stance. The glasshouse is very slim, but the flanks don’t look slab sided thanks to those deep creases that “cut through” the car. The wheels are pushed out to the extreme ends of the box and wheel arches are prominent. Looks quite cool to us!

Power comes from a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine matched with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. This engine should be the ECOTEC turbo from the Chevy Cruze which makes 138bhp and 200Nm of torque.

Full gallery after the jump!

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